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Photograph of a paper Orla Kiely shop tag

I am someone more excited by the wrapping than the contents. Paper things: bags, labels, small catalogues, fold-out promo cards. And, glory of glories, hang tags.

Hang tags often have a hole punched thorough them (eyeletting), a string attached to them and a little bit of information printed on them. Or perhaps a logo. It’s a good and satisfying combination, makes a lovely object. The ephemeral nature of the things makes them even lovelier. Does this pleasure in small things make me a cheap date? I fear so.

In Heal’s in Manchester at New Year I was cooing over the Orla Kiely products. She has designed a set of furniture, bed wear, towels and other bits for them. It’s not revolutionary stuff; drawing heavily on 1950s and 1960s Scandinavian designs and the paler Ercol designs so collectable now. And why not? But despite that it is covetable. Useable. Understated. Tasteful.

This hang tag was attached by a nice small brass safety pin to a face flannel. There isn’t enough thought about this level of retail detail in my opinion. It really makes the offer so much nicer. Of course, I thought the hang tag much nicer than the actual flannel.

Kiely designs handbags too. They are a sort of right of passage for many of my friends. Ideal for the woman who has grown out of Accessorize and Top Shop but can’t yet afford a Gucci, Chanel or Hermes. They are well made, distinctive, big enough for keeping all that stuff in. Just different enough.



You are describing me! I am continuing on my right of passage with a purchase of my second Orla Kiely bag! And a few other little extras!X


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