The Lakelanders

"Our recent campaign shoot, which we affectionately named ‘The Lakelanders’, celebrates romanticism and heritage and that natural high and freedom of spirit that we find in nature. "


The idea for RUSKIN was conceived by Alli Abdelal who grew up in the English Lake District, the daughter of a mountaineer. Following a conversation with a local farmer about the value in the wool of the rare breed Herdwick sheep, native to the mountains there, Alli decided that she would create a unique collection of artisanal bags that utilised this particular type of wool. RUSKIN was created in 2016 with the Herdwick tweed range. Since then, the collection has grown to encompass a full leather range that is defined by a luxuriously muted colour palette and softly structured silhouettes.


RUSKIN celebrates a design spirit that focuses on connection; human connection with formidable craftsmanship and with the natural nuances and texture of materials that engage the senses and reconnect us with our world.


Each RUSKIN begins as a hand drawn concept on paper and is then researched, developed and crafted by hand. With so much that is now volume and information driven, it is the kind of authentic, hand crafted work that has irreplaceable value, not for reasons of nostalgia, but because skilled human hands are capable of sensitivity and emotion that can never be replicated by a machine.


With the burgeoning dissatisfaction with throwaway culture and a concern for the effects of mass production on the environment, on design, traditional skills and the lives of people, RUSKIN’s approach and way of thinking about sustainability relates to how slow rather than how fast things happen: to the time it takes to innovate and produce new materials; to the time it takes to share the value and subtleties of these rare materials and to the time-intensive skill acquisition


RUSKIN opts to use smaller, more bespoke production that respects the rhythm of artisanal work and doesn’t succumb to the vagaries of trends. For this reason, RUSKIN bags are made in small numbers, using high-quality raw materials sparingly, without undue extravagance. They source the best leathers from Italian tanners who use millennia-old traditions of liming and dying and procure wool responsibly on behalf of farmers to maximise the return. Spurring innovation of natural materials is a priority for RUSKIN to extend the life cycle of each product. For this reason the tweed range will always remain the backbone of their collection because it is most successful in illustrating company priorities.



A Sensory Tale That Begins With Nature


Our recent campaign shoot, which we affectionately named ‘The Lakelanders’, celebrates romanticism and heritage and that natural high and freedom of spirit that we find in nature.

It also places a spotlight on the place where our story begins, where we source our rare breed wool from and where we find most of our inspiration. 


It was pure luck that we were able to shoot on a rare day that dawned bright and clear and remained like that for the subsequent twelve hours. The hills gave way to muted scenery and an irresistible colour palette, with reserved tones and beautiful light evoking a deep sense of place and vernacular details, adding texture and integrity to the shots. On the evening of the shoot, we worked until the last light slid off the hillside and eked out everything we could from the diffused light that lent a dreamy quality to the final shots.


It is hard to get the true measure and tremendous sense of tranquillity that you can find in the more remote areas of the Lake District but we hope that the imagery from this campaign will transport you and provide a little light escapism for a while.

Words by:


Photography by

Photographs courtesy of  RUSKIN

Photography by Laura Meek