Mulberry dreams

10/07/2014

Mulberry Fall/Winter 2004 campaign
What does a normal British girl buy when she is in Paris? Something French, obviously, and maybe a little Zara and a box of macaroons. I returned with a soft burgundy drawstring pouch hiding a precious content. It was a Ledbury in Darwin oak leather, a small robust beauty that became one of my most treasured bags. It wasn't a planned purchase, oh, no, not at all. In fact back in those times I favoured large and roomy totes that housed pretty much my entire life and a few little souvenirs picked up on my travels. 

Paris was different. Everything was smaller in Paris, more dainty, more feminine, more... compact. The city of lights made my hobo look too bulky and space-consuming. I needed a replacement. Besides I wanted a present. Just because...

And so off we went to the Galerie Lafayette where I marched through the isles of Fendi's, Gucci's and Celine's (oh it was a beautiful season for Celine bags!), trying hard not to admire them too much for my heart would be broken by any close encounter.

Then suddenly I saw the Mulberry corner, the proud little Ledburys, the elegant Bayswaters and the classic hues of tan, chocolate and black. As soon as I held one of them, I knew it would be coming home with me. It was 2007 and the price of a Ledbury was 450EUR or just under £300. Expensive, of course, but realistic. "An accessible luxury" as Mulberry called it.

Designed by Stuart Vevers (the brand's creative director at the time who's impressive CV includes such names as Calvin Klein, Bottega Veneta, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and the most recent - Loewe and Coach) that sweet bag with its simple timeless appeal, handcrafted body, warm hue of a clover honey, made me fall in love with Mulberry and, as a result, eventually lead to a dream of acquiring a classic Bayswater, too.

I almost made it mine once, the Baywater, you know. It was around £500, which meant that I had to put some cash aside for a few months (call it a year, lets be honest) in order to make it happen. As painful as it was, the waiting game felt exciting... What I didn't account for was the changes the company decided to introduce. Emma Hill became its creative director bringing fresh ideas and attracting celebrity clientele, and the prices began creeping up... The numbers on the tag attached to my dream bag were changing... £495... £550 (in early 2009)... £595 (a few months later)... £695... £895... £1100... The shareholders rejoiced at the fivefold profit increase while I filed my dream in a memory box and put it away until further notice.

I've loved Mulberry, always have and always will, but those prices were intolerable for my mind and made me feel alienated, almost as if I didn't deserve to be a part of the Mulberry world. I know that the company simply played on consumers desperate need to own a piece of Alexa or Del Rey design at any cost, and they made the most out of it. That's business. 

Then, after dedicating six years of her life, talent and several gorgeous collections, Emma quit her job and left the company - a sudden move that made Mulberry bosses revaluate their tactics and current affairs, particularly with Bruno Guillon, the French executive who moved to the British quarters from Hermes and was partially responsible for the whole idea of taking the brand to the fashion universe made of £1000+ bags. At the end it was clear that he failed to deliver,  and so Guillon became the past of Mulberry in March 2014.

Often a drama like this means bad news, but for Mulberry it was the beginning of a very interesting chapter starting with a brand new collection of Tessie bags priced between £495 and £595 depending on the design. 

Mulberry Tessie tote bag
And what a beautiful addition it turned out to be! Freed from oversized hardware, sleek and modern, the Tessie family oozed the quintessential British charm and looked so very elegant and grown-up! The satchels, hobos and totes in tan, black, red and oxblood small grain leather retained their functionality and structure, but were sensual, tactile and darling. I doubt there will be anyone able to resist these new classics because they are meant to last, make us happy and are such a joy to hold!

Now I know I will be taking that memory box of mine out of storage... Yes, I still love the Bayswater, but I want a Tessie, too, especially the mini satchel. Lets see what happens next... 

What about you? How do you feel about the latest Mulberry adventure?

Photo source:  Mulberry Fall/Winter 2004 campaign, mulberry.com

15 comments:

  1. I'm loving those new bags. It's gonna be interesting to see the new direction the brand takes without Emma at its helm... And the Bayswater was always in my top bag too.

    xx Hélène
    www.FashionOverReason.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. amazing bags ^^

    Kisses
    http://www.mademoisellemode.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Honestly I love Mulberry also and I'm thinking already since a very long time if I should buy a Mulberry bag or not ... therefore I like this post really!

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    www.dressedwithsoul.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amazing!
    kisses
    http://www.milanotime.net

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the new collection, i think. I will buy one of these!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Восхищению нет предела!...
    Сумки от Mulberry,ну что тут можно еще более того сказать,Наташенька более того что Вы уже сказали?!...
    Высокий стиль,комфорт и безупречное качество-это то о чем мечтают пожалуй все девушки т женщины:)))
    Теперь бы еще и цены,которые устраивают!

    :)*

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mulberry has had such an interesting ride over the past few years, growing from a line that none of my girlfriends in Canada had heard of to a line they covetted but could no longer afford... and now, with Tessie, it seems, there has been a bit of a return to the roots of the brand. I must admit that it's only a rare Mulberry piece that catches my eye. But the pieces that do are truly magical, and I'm happy to dream about them at a more friendly pricepoint :)
    xox,
    Cee

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love the bags, Mulberry do some lovely items!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. That is so true! When I went to Paris I felt like my Gucci hobo was waaaay to big for that town! And to be honest I lost interest in Mulberry around 2009 or something like that, I did own a satchel one that was all the rage, Alexa maybe? I can't remember the name and I forked out quite a bit for it mostly because all those celebs were carrying it around otherwise I wouldn't have really looked twice lol. My interest has spiked a little these days though, mostly with the Bayswater. I'd love to add it to my collection...

    SDMxx
    www.daringcoco.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love your style of writing. This was a great read :) X

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love the tote and satchel Natalia! Both are gorgeous. I really like Mulberry bags. I love their campaigns. These are timeless. They will always look good. The prices on handbags are astronomical! I was looking at some clutches from Anya Hindmarch ... Over $1700 (USD)!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have to be honest, when Mulberry raised their prices so dramatically, I found it a turnoff--- but I am interested to see where they go from here!

    ReplyDelete