Mulberry - premium British lifestyle brand
2011 marks Mulberry's 40th anniversaryby Victoria Gill
If there has been one resounding luxury fashion success story this decade, it’s Mulberry. Sales have leapt a sprightly 79%, pre-orders of their hero bags (past triumphs include the Alexa, Bayswater and Roxanne) continue to draw lengthy and sartorially savvy lines. April saw the iconic British brand – now headed by creative wunderkind Emma Hill – turn 40, and celebrating alongside it was the recently-opened New Bond Street flagship.
Leading from the cool, stone pavements outside and onto the gleaming white floors, tiny gold discs shimmer, the work of artist Jonathan Ellery, with every sphere a tiny, delicate, pithy pop homage to David Bowie’s ‘Maid of Bond Street.’ The theme is continued in the light-reflecting, gloss-lacquered, brass-lined service area and expansive dressing room – a super-contemporary take on the London of yore.
Inspired by the cool of the city and craft of the countryside, Mulberry has always represented a peculiar British juxtaposition. Established in 1971 with modest roots in Somerset, England (the epicentre for its headquarters and manufacturing today) Mulberry launched onto the shelves of iconic London fashion emporium Biba and quickly grew to become the first British lifestyle brand, creating the vogue for ‘le style Anglais.’ Forty years later, their distinctively crafted, highest quality leather bags, womenswear and shoes have achieved cult status, sold in over 300 stores worldwide.
The interiors of Mulberry’s new UK flagship stand at the cutting edge of luxury eco-consciousness. The bricks of the undulating stone wall – part of the intelligent, heat-sustaining architectural design that embraces daylight-simulating, energy-conserving light boxes – are plucked from a quarry in Somerset. The highly versatile, open plan layout incorporates sculpted oak and textured brass follies.
Mulberry’s Georgia Fendley explains: “We have sought out the best of British craft for each material and function and let the quality and authenticity speak for itself.” The New Bond Street flagship is designed to last, developing a patina over time. Indeed, like one of the Mulberry bag’s many feted virtues and “nearly all of the best things in life,” it will only improve with age.
Mulberry, 50 New Bond Street, London
Tel. +44 (0)20 7491 3900
Browse Luxos for
Mulberry Brand History