I remember a time, around five years ago, my mums Mulberry bags were the last items I was interested in using without asking whilst she was on holiday.
I remember a time, around five years ago, my mums Mulberry bags were the last items I was interested in using without asking whilst she was on holiday. But over the past two years my heart was only one amongst the nations that pined for a luscious leather Alexa or a Bayswater. Now suddenly everywhere you look the first on anyone’s wish list is their very own ‘Mulb.’
Despite this, Mulberry has announced their wholesale shipments have fallen by 4 per cent and market revenues are predicted to be lower than previous expectations. In the meantime, Gucci, a good fifty years older than Mulberry, reveal profits are soaring at 30 per cent higher than expectations. We can probably guess which office will be cracking open the champagne and which one will be cracking out the whip then.
So what’s the problem if Mulberry is easily one of the most desired brands in the UK? One of the problems Mulberry stated is the demand weakened in Asian markets. The first and most obvious is the dark and sinister underworld of the fakes. China is a fashion capital, some of the best dressed style kings and queens can be found here. But if you go to China it’s hard to not notice the amount of designer bags being miraculously offered to you at under £50.
A fake Gucci bag is almost always sporting a large plastic ‘G’ with various, backwards, upside down and carelessly misplaced letters which are also supposed to resemble a ‘G’ on a discoloured green material. It’s one you can spot from miles away and one you don’t see very often.
British fashion house Burberry also announced weaker sales last month. Both Burberry and Mulberry are classically English—meaning less is more. Unfortunately for them, this also means they’re a lot easier to replicate. Obviously the plastic leather and the fact they will probably fall apart after a few months are more than noticeable close up, but from far away the sight is a lot less invading then your standard Gucci imposter. The Nations gone crazy for Mulberry, just as they did for Burberry around ten years ago but the extortionate price tags mean exclusive access that the majority of under 30s can’t get close to. As Mulberry’s profits fall, in one dodgy warehouse the boss will be beaming.
In terms of style Mulberry as a whole opens its doors to a select taste – generally pleasing the sophisticated, understated, business woman look. Gucci is famous for its emphasis on colour and patterns and is a little more daring with its designs. Mulberry sticks to its original ethos of classic, luxury and English. To be considered stylish in 2013 means a constant search for originality and its now encouraged to head more towards being an exhibitionist than ever before. More bold looks are now noticeable not just amongst the high fashion cat walk stylists, but in local town centres. Clearly Mulberry needs to keep its definitive, timeless look.
But maybe it’s time to welcome a little more extravagance with certain collections—circulate a wider following and make the public see there’s a lot more to Mulberry than handbags.