It's sometimes up to later generations to revive family businesses -- Rick Hilton was a failure as a hotelier, but his daughter more than made up for it with her commitment to room service. Bringing back the family name: Grays of London.
Grays was launched by the scion of a family that, through Grays Taylors, enjoyed couture preeminence from 1927 until the last store closed in the mid '90s; after bouncing around a bit, Grays the Younger brought the name back with a lineup of impeccably crafted bags, none of them named Joan Rivers. The latest of the five collections -- which are distinguished by materials and some variation in pieces -- is the all-leather 2012 Sport, marked by navy bases, red accents, and ivory highlights; then there's the Monaco (dignified yet flashier with brown canvas, black leather straps, and high-contrast ivory trim), the Savile Row (black-trimmed royal-purple leather), the Moorehead (navy leather trim over black leather to rep London's conservative financial district), and the black canvas/leather Kings Road, which just like Arsenal, has been known to run through the heart of Chelsea. Flush with practical details, specific models include the twin-buckled fold-over "Commercial Confidence" laptop case with padded lining and a zip pouch; the "Monaco Times" messenger with snap-pockets and a single buckle; the main-and-six sub-compartments "Dream Ticket" int'l travel bag; and the lined, quad-pocketed "Controlled Substances" tote, de rigeur when shopping on High Street.
On the smaller end, Grays crafts bi- and tri-fold cash and card carriers to go along with an assortment of leather folios and journals, something Paris might use to record her enthusiasm over hotel-business milestones, e.g., "Salomon just made me a very tender offer!"