KEMPTON & CO
Fiona Kempton was born and raised in a house by the sea in the countryside of southwest England, setting the stage for a unique childhood and a lifetime connected to the ocean--and horse riding.
Her father, John Kempton, was an eminent racehorse trainer and jockey, winner of England's famous Grand National in 1967.
Growing up around the distressed leather of her old riding boots and the heavy waxed canvas of the horses' rain rugs, leather straps and buckles inspired Fiona's designs. Her bags are made with gorgeous soft leathers and textiles, combining the utility of equestrian hardware. Fiona also wanted to build a company that could give back, so Kempton & Co. collaborates with Kenyan artisans to make their handcrafted zipper toggles. All work on them is done entirely by hand with simple tools and machinery, using locally sourced materials. These up-cycled materials are used to generate income for small artisan groups working mostly in Kibera, one of Nairobi’s largest slums. This work has afforded the artisans to build homes, support up to ten family members and pay for their children to attend school. In purchasing Kempton & Co.’s products you help sustain our work with them to further their quality of life.
Fiona studied fashion design in London's Kingston University and moved to New York after graduation, spending the next ten years designing for major fashion companies. In 2009, she started to design on her own, creating a tech-friendly bag with a built-in protective sleeve for a laptop. Well-received, she launched Kempton & Co. in Brooklyn in 2010.
After 18 years living in NYC after her move from the UK, Fiona now lives on the north shore of long island with her husband and daughter. Her designs reflect her surf and turf lifestyle; an avid polo player, kiteboarder and sailor she spends summer weekends afloat her sailboat in the Hamptons or on the polo field, which naturally led to the creation of her urban beach bag collection - styles that work just as well, on the beach or the street.