Catherine & Jean is a luxury lifestyle brand which celebrates English eccentricity and Italian quality. Founded in London, the brand offers distinctive, elegant and creative accessories for fashion, home and travel.
Catherine & Jean is inspired by the two grandmothers of Jane Smedley, the creator of the brand. Whilst Catherine’s obsession with detail and perfection inspired a commitment to exceptional materials and craftsmanship, Jean’s vivacity inspired the expressive design. All of the handbags are handmade in Milan with Tuscan calf leather, whilst all other pieces are made either in England or Spain.
Encouraged by her grandmother Catherine, at the age of five Jane started her own fabric collection — initially spending her pocket money on cuts from markets and haberdashery shops and later collecting swatches from interior designers. Having gained an art scholarship to school, her love of fabric soon translated into a love of fashion and her wardrobe quickly became saturated with beautiful vintage pieces that had once belonged to her grandmother Jean. As a young adult she worked with a jewellery business for five years; however, the recession changed her plans to study design and she went on to gain a degree in literature from King’s College London and then studied at the University of Cambridge. In spite of this, a few years and a different career later, the lure of fabric and design became too strong to resist: after attending courses at London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins, she went on to create Catherine & Jean.