My hubby and I don’t argue; well not usually, in fact the only times I can think of when we have had a little exchange of words is when I come home rather guiltily clutching a new Mulberry.
Mulberry has easily been my favourite handbag brand for a long time. As soon as I was earning enough money to purchase a special handbag, I have been hooked.
When Andy was first introduced to my habit, (and habit it is, I’m currently the proud owner of a number of Mulberry handbags, cosmetic pouches and purses) he asked me how much they were. I may have been slightly economical with the truth. It brings to mind that joke
When I die, my worst nightmare is that my husband will sell all my designer bags for what I told him I paid for them.
To be fair to him, I think he gets it now…he has even remarked on the solid (British) workmanship of a Mub and though he can’t believe that anyone would pay in excess of £1000 for a handbag, he can understand why I adore them. (I have never paid that much, most of my Mubs have been purchased at their outlet stores or in sales. )
Mulberry began in 1971 and was founded by Roger Saul and his mother Joan. They opened a factory in Somerset in 1973 and they still have a factory shop in Shepton Mallet which you can visit (more about that later). In the early days it was about British craftsmanship and became known for its famous poacher style bags. The style was quintessentially English. The brand was given further kudos by Scott Hensall who, though only with the company a couple of years, 2000-01, adapted Mulberry to appeal to a wider customer base.
However in 2007 things really took off when Emma Hill was appointed as Creative Director and she literally transformed the brand. Clever use of advertising and celebrity endorsement meant that the Mulberry soared to the enviable heights of such names as Gucci and Prada. Hill used celebrities Alexa Chung and Cara Delavigne to design and promote their own ranges. My Mini Cara – designed by the Delavigne herself – in poppy red is probably my favourite purchase:
Hill left Mulberry in 2015 (and not surprisingly its share price dropped.) Johnny Coca was appointed Creative Director, and though I’m sure he is a designing marvel on the clothing side, ( I can’t comment as I don’t own any Mulberry clothing ), he has, in my very humble opinion, rather downgraded the bags.
Mulberry bags were all about fine soft leathers, beautiful soft gold hardware and clever detailing. The most famous Mulberry icon, the Bayswater is styling perfection. The cross body Antony was great for days out and the Lily was a perfect evening bag. Cocoa has taken all these styles and reinvented them, which I don’t think really needed doing whilst coming up with other designs, which look more downmarket high street than “Mulberry”.
Coca also thought the bags too heavy in weight, and has designed the latest versions with a lighter leather which unfortunately looks shiny and has swapped the lovely soft gold hardware with a garish yellow that looks cheap and nasty.
Hubby is delighted by this turn of events as now when we venture into a Mulberry shop, there is very little left that appeals to me. Of course I look out for the “heritage” designs on eBay and at the outlet stores (Bicester and Shepton Mallet sell a range of styles categorised as “subs”in that they have been deemed to have a (usually) very slight flaw, or are discontinued lines,) but my Mulberry buying days are probably over… at least until they replace Johnny. Sorry Johnny.