One of The Queen's signature style secrets is hitting the marketplace. Cornelia James, the design house responsible for keeping the Royal Family's hands en vogue since 1947, has announced plans to expand business outside of Buckingham Palace by launching a modestly priced line of accessories (small leather goods, pashminas and scarves round out the collection). The Cornelia by Cornelia James collection will be carried at Britain’s luxury department store House of Fraser.
In 1939, a young Austrian design student named Cornelia James arrived in England and made a name for herself by designing the colourful leather gloves that quickly became a must-have accessory among the upper class. She soon found herself in the company of couturier Norman Hartwell, who asked her to design a few pairs for his chief client, the Queen. Cornelia’s crowning moment came in 1947 when she was asked to craft the bespoke “going away” gloves that then-Princess Elizabeth would wear on the occasion of her wedding to Prince Philip. The relationship between Cornelia and the Queen was solidified in 1979 when Her Majesty honoured the design company with the exclusive royal warrant, making it the only glove company that has the monarch’s approval.
After Cornelia passed away in 1999, her daughter Genevieve took control of the company and is hoping to build on her mother's success with its new line. In addition to royal fans, including the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Anne, Cornelia James has found admirers in A-list stars like Rihanna and Taylor Swift. The latter wore a pair of fingerless Maria lace mittens in her music video for “Blank Space” and Rihanna rocked a set of black, lace Antigone gloves during her performance at the 2014 Victoria’s Secret fashion show.