Sir Edward Hudson, Founder of Country Life (Image by Country Life)
When Edward Hudson launched Country Life in 1897, he recognised the opportunities offered by new modes of travel. Only five years before, Frederick Bremer had built the first British petrol-fueled car and a new generation soon discovered the freedom of exploring the British countryside. Advances in marine technology, notably the innovative turbine-driven liners, such as RMS Virginian, Victorian and Mauretania, also created new possibilities further afield. Country Life fed this new curiosity by celebrating the pleasures of the British countryside, including its architecture, gardens, traditions and natural beauty, as well as its wealth of sporting activities. Hudson was quick to establish himself in the country, first with a new house in Sonning, Berkshire, designed by another visionary of the Edwardian age, Sir Edwin Lutyens, and then Lindisfarne Castle off Northumberland, the restoration of which the young architect oversaw.
Ettinger, founded in 1934, by the father of the firm’s managing director, also has an impressive provenance. On his arrival from Prussia, Gerry Ettinger established a leathergoods company on Vigo Street in the West End, supplying stores such as Harrods, Aspreys, Fortnum & Mason and Smythson. A keen skier and linguist, fluent in French, Italian and Spanish, he travelled on business by train, even after the arrival of commercial air travel. Echoing Country Life, the founder’s love of travel informed the evolution of the brand in its early years. Today, that spirit is alive and well in the hands of his son, Robert, also a keen traveller.
The Hudson Collection brings together the values of both brands in a collection that includes everything for travellers drawn to accessories that enhance the experience of life on the move, from luggage tags and shoehorns to hip flasks and jewellery rolls. Combining the verdant green of the English countryside and Ettinger’s signature yellow, the beautifully made designs in the collection are fine examples of British craftsmanship that will offer pleasure for years to come.