THE ROKA+ORI STORY
ROKA is a story of two people, our founders Emma & Brett, and typical British weather.
Emma met Brett in 2014 while abroad with her family. After months of long-distance romancing, Brett moved to London to be closer to Emma. With 20+ years of experience in fashion and retail, Brett started thinking about what he could do in London.
Being from a country that is sunny nearly all year round, Brett took himself to Oxford Street in jeans and a t-shirt whilst the sun was shining, with his trusty notebook in an old backpack. What started off as a sunny day ended in a typical British downpour with Brett coming home soaking wet.
And it wasn’t just Brett who was drenched – everything he had in his backpack was wet too!
That day was the birth of Roka! After seeing people walk from offices to meetings, going out after work, children going to school, parents picking them up, tourists and walkers in all types of weather, Brett realised he needed to design a functional, weather-resistant bag for everyone, every day, for every occasion.
Brett designed the first bag, making sure it was sleek, stylish and simplistic, ensuring that it had the right compartments for everything. A bag that was comfortable to wear with weight distributed evenly, and handles to be able to carry it in a multitude of ways. Brett wanted these key features to work across a number of bag styles that could be easily recognisable and repeated.
After spending months looking for eco-friendly and ethically made materials, Brett took to work establishing the coatings to ensure the bag had the exact finish he envisioned, that was water-resistant, kept its original colour, and looked and felt right.
After many months he finally had it, the first bag, the Bantry – they just needed a brand name, one that reflected their values of trust, integrity and enjoying and living life with a positive outlook. And so, from Emma and Brett’s surnames, ROsenberg + KAtz, the name ROKA was born
Since then, the Bantry has gone on to be sold all over the world, in thousands of stores from USA to Sweden, and new products and styles have also been released using the original design system that Brett created. Oh, and Emma and Brett got married too!
In 2020, ROKA decided to bring their bags to the US under the brand name ORI, the name of their first child – with exactly the same ethos, values and quality as the parent brand ROKA.