Beanotown takes over Radley London

Gnasher and our Scottie mascot are now firm friends (after a shaky start). The Beanotown gang has taken over at Radley London HQ, allowing us to bring you a collection like no other. Maybe it’s because we all love to do things our own way?

We’ve never been much for style ‘rules’ here (yes, we can make bags out of the most premium leather and put dogs on them). In fact, we pride ourselves on not following the rules. Just like our favourite Beano characters. Including Dennis, who is celebrating his 70th anniversary this year. We wanted to mark this special occasion by doing what we do best.

You might be wondering how we managed to create the collection with this mischievous bunch around. Our Junior Designer, Sophie, was at the centre of it all:

“We had so many ideas it was hard to rein them all in – just like the Beano gang. I’ve read Beano comics and watched the Dennis & Gnasher cartoons since I was a kid. It was a dream to work with these iconic characters.”

Here’s one of Sophie’s original sketches, complete with Dennis-style slingshot pencil. Our London Design Studio wanted to celebrate the heritage of Beano, and what it means to its millions of fans, past and present.

We’ve been crafting the handbags and purses you want to use every day since 1998. And Beano first published their comic in 1938. Together, we know a thing or two about designs that last. If you love iconic design and expert craftsmanship, these are the handbags and accessories for you. All made in the finest leather.

Have you heard of our Book Street bags? They’re limited edition because each one is packed with detail such as intricate appliqué, and the name printed on the spine as well as embossed under the flap. A true collectible. We’ve got two brand new styles in our Beano collection.

Earn Your Stripes features everyone’s favourite duo of Dennis and Gnasher alongside our Scottie. Sophie explains how this design came about.

“Radley dog got off to an unfortunate start with Dennis and Gnasher. The naughty Scottie actually stole one of Dennis’ jumpers off the washing line, leaping into it as Dennis’s dad is about to hang it out to dry. The amused Beanotown gang pursued him to retrieve it, and witnessed our Scottie causing all sorts of classic Beanotown mischief, convincing everyone that he has ‘earned’ his stripes!”

You might be wondering why Dennis, Gnasher, Minnie the Minx and Radley dog are on the run on the cover of Breaking the Rules. Completely ignoring that ‘Keep off the grass!’ sign. Keep reading for an explanation from the Minx herself. We were lucky enough to have a chat.

How about some roomier styles? Our multiway picture bag features the same front design as the Breaking The Rules Book Street bag, on a shape you can carry by the handles or with the longer strap. Sophie explains the inspiration behind this design:

“We wanted the front of our picture bag to look like a frame from a Beano comic, which is why you’ll see the box around this mischievous scene.”

Our large tote is all about the Beano details. The shape is ideal for a day at work, and these troublemakers turn a simple tote into a statement one. Who better to keep you company on your commute?

Everything is brought to life using appliqué badges and screen print illustrations. One of our favourite details is Minnie the Minx’s quote ‘Warrior not a worrier’. Should Minnie be our next Woman of Spirit with wisdom like that?

And of course we don’t just make handbags. The Beano gang can also be found on our matinee purse, cardholder and bag charm. The latter is inspired by the original Dennis fan club, and inside you’ll find Radley dog’s membership ID. Each one is also crafted from beautiful leather.

We think you’re going to love each and every style, but let’s hear from Minnie the Minx.

Q: Were you excited to work with Radley London?
A: “Not as excited as they were! Just kidding … 😉

“Radley and I have so much in common: classic style, good looks, versatility, and a strong handle on most things. When Radley got in touch with my PA (my cousin Dennis – you might have heard of him?) to see how my schedule was looking for Autumn 2021, I thought: Minnie, you’re the perfect girl to put the Rad into Radley London!”

Q: What do you keep in your bag?
A: “Just the essentials: gum, phone, keys, cash. Eye patch in case I need a disguise. Peashooter and ammo during the day, water pistol for evenings out.”

Q: Can you tell us how the scene from the Breaking The Rules picture bag came about?
A: “Me and Dennis are well into our fashion just now (what with red and black being the new black), so we thought we’d check out London Fashion Week. Gnasher and his new pal (on the left there) got a bit over-excited when they heard our seats were right beside the catwalk. By the end, there wasn’t a dry seat in the house. To top it all, we forgot to buy red roses to throw to the models. We thought red tomatoes would be just as good… and it’s the thought that counts, right?! Anyway, the picture shows us making our escape before we got into haute water!”

Q: Was there any rivalry between Gnasher and our Scottie dog?
A: “They hit it off straight away. I’ve always said that a new friend is nothing to be sniffed at, but Gnasher and Scottie definitely disagree with that!

“I think they bonded over the indignity of being lumbered with men as their best friends.”

Q: We hear there’s something exciting coming up this autumn at Somerset House, will you be taking part?
A: “I don’t take part, I take over!

“Yes, me and the gang have agreed to be part of a Beano exhibition at Somerset House. It’s great – I’m in most of the really important artwork on display but I’ve graciously left a little room for Dennis and all the other supporting Beano characters. The exhibition is called The Art of Breaking The Rules, and I will personally be adding an artfully-placed F to every poster I see promoting it around London!”

Thanks for sitting still long enough to chat with us, Minnie. Who knew you were such a fashionista!

Find the full Beano collection here. And find out more about our September collection here.

A Beano Studios Product © DC Thomson Ltd (2021).

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