Jane Lanario, a talented handbag and accessory designer who for 20 years designed for large brands like Jigsaw, Jasper Conran and House of Holland, amongst more prominent names, found herself in a dip in life and decided to start her adventure by creating her very own brand. A brand that would bring designs that were missing in the market. So three years ago she took that leap and created Mabel Sheppard, a name inspired by her grandparents Mabel and Frederick Sheppard.
I was sent two pairs of gloves from Mabel Sheppard that are absolutely stunning, I agree that this definitely was something missing in the market. I’m a leather glove girl, I feel it elevates the outfit and looks very chic. But often styles in the shop just look boring and similar. My gloves however are nothing but!
The first pair are the stunning Metallic Ziggy Gloves, these are a best seller and I can see why. Super soft nappa leather with a lightning flash design on the top and inside a lush fleece lining. Show stopping to say the least. The second pair are super fun because they kind of give off a mysterious and playful vibe to me. I am talking about the Vegan Leather Lightning Gloves, they are black but have a pop of red between the fingers and sporting a lightning on the top. The vegan leather glove is new for AW22, and after careful sourcing she managed to create this first, out of hopefully more, vegan leather gloves.
We interviewed Jane Lanario about her brand Mabel Sheppard and about her motivations, inspirations and designs.
You have been designing for some big names before, how did it feel to take that step to design for yourself?
It was quite scary, as well as having a sense of freedom and excitement. All of my designs are based on my own personal style, so it was a bit of a worry whether other people would like them too. I’d always had a regular income, so going from that to nothing for a couple of years while I built up the business was quite daunting. And then Covid hit after my first season, so that was another big worry.
I read that you run this business all by yourself; it must be hard at times, what keeps you motivated?
Yes, it is hard at times, and quite lonely; I really miss the office chat and laughs. I do get a lot of help with my website, photography and social media from my husband and daughters, and this is invaluable as I’m a bit of a technophobe! I try to get out to meet shops I supply, friends, and go to galleries, museums, music gigs to keep my spirits up, and this also helps with inspiration for design. I volunteered for a local charity one day a week for a year which was so fulfilling. I love sitting outside a café in a busy area just people watching and taking note of different styles. I’m so lucky living near London.
Are you looking to expand your collection and markets?
Initially I started just with gloves, but added bags, purses and other small accessories, as this is where my background lies. I’m always looking to expand to supply overseas, and boutiques in UK. I’m a big supporter of our high streets and hate to see some of them disappearing; there’s nothing like going to a boutique to try on, touch and feel garments and fabrics.
How do you source your material and keep your products sustainable?
My materials are sourced from tanneries which are certified by LWG (Leather Working Group), and dyes are ecologically friendly. My leathers are a sustainable material, being a by-product of the food, wool and dairy industries and a completely renewable source. My manufacturing partners are regularly assessed by the Amfori BSCI code of conduct to meet their labour principles for ethical business behaviour.
I love the Vegan Lightning Gloves, tell me the process of creating them and about keeping them vegan?
I added the vegan gloves as an option for those that prefer not to wear leather. They are made from a soft, eco-friendly leather alternative, using no animal derived components.
What is coming up next for you?
In November, I am launching a new Daisy leather bag which is available to pre-order now. This is in a beautiful soft grainy leather in black, tomato red or green, featuring a statement silver Daisy magnetic closure. It has a roomy zip compartment and pocket on the back ideal for easy access phone storage. It can be worn across the body or on the shoulder and is an ideal bag for everyday use – as well as a fabulous Christmas present. Early in the new year I will be launching three phone bags – compact styles to fit your phone, a few credit cards and a key for when you’re just popping to the shops, out for a dog walk or are at a festival. As a member of CFA (Charity Fairs Association) I’ll be attending two Christmas events; one November 5th at Hatfield House AL95HX (10.30-4) in aid of Isabel Hospice, and one on December 6th, at Chelsea Old Town Hall SW35EE (12.30-9pm) in aid of Save The Children. A proportion of sales from these events will go to the charities.
Who would you love to see wearing your gloves?
I’m lucky enough to have my gloves worn by some incredible women and men including Sophie Ellis Bextor, Lisa Faulkner, Dawn O’ Porter, Sophie Robinson, Amanda Abbington, Jane Shepherdson, Paul Weller and Martin Freeman, but there are more on my list I’d love to see wearing them, including: Tanya Grace Moodie, Caitlin Moran, Anna Maxwell Martin, Mary Portas, Jenna Coleman and Noel Fielding – I’d love to make a unique pair especially for him!
Finally, do you have a personal favourite?
It changes every season. I do love the Metallic Ziggy Lightning gloves as they are great for daytime and evening, and also the Cherry and Black Retro Stripe gloves, both with their cosy knitted cuffs for colder days.
For more information on Mabel Sheppard online.