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Saturday, 21 June 2014

The Mulberry 'Cara'.

In 2012, I was sixteen years old and working for Starbucks. I loved that job almost as much as I loved having an income. Unlike most of my friends, who stilled relied on the good ol' bank of Mum and Dad, I was able to fuel my shopping obsession with my own hard-earned cash. Like any sixteen year old girl obsessed with fashion and beauty, I was spending a lot of that income on Topshop and ASOS orders didn't really consider saving... which would have been helpful a bit later on! Somewhere amidst all my spending, I realised that I wanted to commemorate my first job - something that would satisfy my shopping desire. That's when I decided on the Mulberry Alexa. The It-bag of 2010 had been plastered all over the internet and my favourite magazines - I remember looking at it on Alexa Chung's arm wistfully. It just seemed so out of reach back then. However, I spent about half a year saving up and when I finally had enough, my Mum accompanied me to Liberty London to pick it up. I earned her about a million points on her Liberty loyalty card too. Only a shopaholic can understand the thrill of finally owning that sought-after item that you've been pining for. It was an amazing feeling knowing my hard work had paid off. I still love this bag unhealthy amounts. I was very close to tears when I had to sent it in for repairs earlier this year...
Ever since my purchase, I've been an invested follower of the Mulberry brand. I remember the launch of the Del Rey bag and thinking this was a pop star to watch. It is, however, no secret that Mulberry has been in financial trouble of late - the price of my original Alexa bag has risen considerably since 2012. Chief designer, Emma Hill, who reinvented the brand's image and thereby made it appealing to younger audiences, announced her departure in 2013 citing 'creative differences' as the reason for the split. As a result, the company has been under financial strain. Yet in February this year, Mulberry announced its first collaboration with model-of-the-moment, Cara Delevingne - if this doesn't capture customers' attention then I don't know what will. Like the Alexa and the Del Rey, the Cara bag has been designed in response to the model's incredible popularity. These days you can't flick through a magazine without seeing one of her advertisements. The young model also fronted two Vogue  covers last year, which is unheard of - unless you're Kate Moss, in which case you can have as many as you like! This collaboration has the power to pull the brand out of trouble and place them back at the forefront of handbag design. 
The designs are unlike the safer options Mulberry has created in recent years. The green, blue, and camouflage prints push boundaries and provide the bags with a more masculine edge. You can instantly see Delevingne's influence in the design process as the brand has really captured her 'cool girl' flair. The tan bag (upper right hand corner) even has a golden lion embellishment to resemble her Instagram-famous tattoo. Despite this, I love how they've preserved the standard Mulberry shape - this collection pays homage to the company's classic Bayswater bag yet given it a 21st century twist. Like Cara herself says in the company's promotion video, we all 'have some many different interests and hobbies going on [our lives], [our] bag has to match that.' The Cara collection therefore offers great versatility; all the bags have backpack straps but can also be used as a classic handbag. 
Before Emma Hill, Mulberry was a traditional English brand providing quality handbags for women with a more conservative style. Since 2007, however, its begun to shed its conventional image and placed itself in the fashion spotlight and paying homage to the media's most stylish young women.  By collaborating with a character such as Cara Delevingne, Mulberry is diversifying its brand image. Even the company's advertisement for the Cara collection is risqué. This collection also perfectly captures Delevingne's personality. Having grown up in a wealthy family, lived in London but attended boarding school in the countryside (as she herself describes in Mulberry's promotional video), Cara represents Mulberry's past and future. She describes her love for the first Mulberry bag she owned as a teenager and yet, here she is, some five years later fronting their new cutting-edge collection. Although Delevingne is undoubtedly a posh London girl, she subverts her stereotype rather than conforming to it. Just like Mulberry itself, Cara has a traditional, conservative background and yet completely breaks the status quo. How many models are there nowadays who wander round New York in a Bart Simpson sweatshirt eating McDonalds? The Cara collection therefore not only reflects the model's unique style, but also her gives insight into her individual character.
Mulberry had very publicly fallen upon hard times in the past year or so. This fantastic collaboration with fashion's It-girl seems to be the perfect remedy for placing the brand back in the fashion forefront where it absolutely deserves to be.

P.S If you're hoping to get your hands on a Cara bag, you'll have a while to wait yet. The pre-order list doesn't open till August. Goodness knows how long it'll take to arrive in stores... 


  1. Ohh I would love one of these Cara bags! so beautiful xx

    1. Absolutely! Love that you have the option of using it as a backpack. Mulberry targeting hipsters haha xx


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