We are beyond thrilled to be introducing our first capsule collection from Italy, the Carteret Collection, named after our family farm. Our barn is where I grew up, learned to work, and learned horses… whether prepping yearlings for the sales ring or show horses for the hunter ring. February nights were often cold: spent in the barn, watching, waiting for mares to foal. Although perhaps a bit groggy at school the next day, I perservered and it prepared me well for long, late nights studying as an undergrad at Duke, in business school and for my current life trying to balance two young children and a growing business.
Life on a farm is pretty much 24/7 and I think it oriented me for a full, busy and fulfilled life, for which I am really grateful. To this day, my husband says our old farm manager is still the only one I will listen to or mind. I guess old habits die hard. The company name OUGHTON is an homage to my Mom, her innate sense of style and glamour, and with the Carteret Collection I hope to equally credit my father’s example of hard work and entrepreneurship as well as life on our family farm with the preparation and work ethic to see any good taste I may have into a business.
Being able, now, to offer a collection handmade in Italy is a thrilling milestone and a culmination of sorts as well. My Mother, while attending university at La Sorbonne in Paris, spent much of her time in Italy where she dated a famous ski racer. Growing up she often spoke certain phrases in French or Italian and, looking back, in many ways really had a continental outlook and way of life. As an adult, my husband and I have spent quite a bit of time in Italy for work. The Italian outlook and way of life resonate deeply with me, perhaps becasue of my Mother. The emphasis of quality over quantity in all things. Good design matters. Elegance is restraint and quality. Heritage is tantamount, heirlooms a point of pride.
My quest to source materials and partners to produce Oughton products, has taken me, literally, around the world several times, a task made all the more painful by the rigor and quality I expected. Although I have poured my heart into it, it is also with some luck that I have been able to work with the same factories that produce many of todays luxury brands and some of my personal inspirations: T. Anthony, Hermes, Prada and others.
Our Italian handbags are intoxicatingly benchmade, in the purest sense of the term. The traditional ateliers of Italy imbue each item with character and a sense of history and place impossible to replicate through mass production in Asia. I am honored to have my patterns and dies hang alongside some very well-known luxury brands… in so many ways it is has been a long time since my childhood afternoons in the barn, but in other ways, Oughton has been inside me my whole life and it has been a natural evolution that has led me here. To this Collection. I hope you love it as I do.