Introduced by Mulberry’s creative director Johnny Coca at the autumn-winter 2017 show during London Fashion Week, the Amberley family of replica handbags was born out of a modern exploration of the luxury brand’s heritage and classic British style, where reinvention comes from tradition.
The new bag collection is named after Amberley Castle, an English country seat in west Sussex dating back to the 12th century. The shape draws influence from leather goods associated with countryside pursuits – a nod to the original Mulberry replica Trout and Poacher replica bags of the 1970s – to create a new family of quintessentially British accessories.
This new range features equestrian-tinged stitching, quilting details, raw-edged construction, and fine saddler leathers. It is adorned with the new signature hardware, the Rider’s Lock, reminiscent of the metal on horse bits and bridles. The Amberley family is both beautiful and utilitarian, a fundamentally British mix.
The collection is available in five different silhouettes – the Amberley, Small Amberley Satchel, Mini Amberley Satchel. Echoing the colours of the autumn-winter collection, the range is offered in a vibrant palette of colours including Rust, Castle Blue and Dark Amethyst, as well as the core shades of Oak, Oxblood, Clay and Black. In addition to Mulberry’s natural leathers, graphic snakeskin and croc print leathers complement the clean lines of the Amberley.
Luxury replica handbag maker Mulberry has signed a joint venture agreement that will see it expand further into the Japanese market.
The group has teamed up with Japanese firm Onward Global Fashion, with both firms holding 50% in a new company called Mulberry Japan.
Headquartered in Tokyo, it will manage all retail, digital fulfilment and wholesale distribution for the Japanese market.
Mulberry outlet chief executive Thierry Andretta described the Asian nation as a “significant growth opportunity” as he ploughs ahead with a strategy of entering “key international luxury markets while continuing to refine its positioning in the UK”.
Mulberry and Onward will each pump £2.8 million into the new entity.
Last month Mulberry replica reported rising full-year profits, helped by an increase in tourists taking advantage of the weak pound in the UK.
The company said pre-tax profits in the year to March 31 rose 21% to £7.5 million, while revenue was up 8% to £168.1 million.
The firm last year launched the first collection under recently hired creative director Johnny Coca, with nine new replica bags – including a revamp of its best-selling Bayswater design.
The “Zipped Bayswater” bag has become an immediate bestseller since its launch in October.
London Craft Week kicks off today, with numerous brands setting out to remind us all of the too-often-forgotten joy of buying things that are handmade and artisanal.
One of the headliners at this year’s event is Mulberry outlet, the heritage British fashion label with two bag-producing factories in Somerset, and the largest manufacturer of leather goods in the UK. Its craftsmen and women will be taking over the brand’s New Bond Street store all week, showcasing exactly how they make their glossy Bayswaters and next season’s hero style, the Amberley. Creative Director Johnny Coca tells us that he can’t wait to show customers how much effort it actually takes.
“I do want people to see that it isn’t so easy to make a replica bag,” he says. “It’s not a case of sketch, cut and stitch, it’s so much more than this. There are many processes; how do you enforce the shape, manipulate the leathers, work with linings, attach a closure? We consider the construction of the product outside and inside and getting this finish right is what makes the difference and adds value.”
Coca has been producing two collections per year since he joined the company in 2015, and says that the fact that replica Mulberry has honed skills at its Somerset plants was a key reason he accepted the job.
“The factories are the reason I decided to join Mulberry,” he says. “I would never change that, it is so good to work so closely with the people who make the replica handbags. The design team, we can take the train two hours down from London, make some prototypes with the team and come back the day after with first sample, it’s such a strong opportunity.”
Coca believes it’s a sign of the times that people want to know where their products have been made, and who by, and that being Made In Britain adds to the appeal. Several families are among the 600 staff working across the two Mulberry replica factories, with parents passing skills on to their children.
“Many fashion brands want to lead with design and they don’t care about how or where manufacturing is done,” he says. “But people care more about this than they ever have before, particularly for millennials, who make a decision based on history and the quality behind something.”
Mulberry slipped into the red during the first half of the year but toasted the attractiveness of London after tourist shoppers drove a 10pc jump in sales.
The luxury group swung to a loss of £500,000 for the six months to the end of September after investing £1m in its new range by creative designer Johnny Coca who joined last year from Celine.
Mr Coca has been under pressure to replicate the success of Mulberry’s sell-out Alexa handbag. He has so far won plaudits for his studded Clifton designs and a lightweight revamp of the brand’s classic Bayswater replica handbag, which the company said was selling strongly.
Mulberry outlet, which makes half of its leather replica bags in Somerset, England, said that the weaker pound had increased the cost of its imported materials and running its overseas operations, which would result in a £1m hit.
Despite a number of luxury groups warning they will have to raise prices to cover the sterling slump, Thierry Andretta, Mulberry replica chief executive, said that the company would not return to his predecessor’s strategy of hiking prices.
“We are all totally committed of ensuring that 70pc of our replica handbags are between £500 and £995,” said Mr Andretta. “We are really happy about this and think we offer the best value for price out of any of our luxury rivals.”
The Mulberry boss said that with the macro environment being so uncertain Britain was becoming even more appealing to foreign visitors. “There is the level of the pound but I think there is less risk of London being a terror attack [compared to other European cities] and that is making it more and more attractive,” he said.
UK retail sales rose by 12pc during the period to £55.4m with like-for-like sales up by 7pc. During the last 10 weeks sales have risen by 4pc versus the same period last year but domestic demand has softened.
Mulberry also announced that is taking a majority stake in a new joint venture in North Asia with China’s Challice Limited to exploit opportunities in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The company said it would invest £3m in marketing costs over the next two years and would expect the entity to be loss-making for the first two years.
Forget sugarplums, its visions of Mulberry’s magical designs that are dancing in our heads.
We’ve been experiencing this blissful state of mind ever since we gazed upon the Brit fashion behemoths autumn/winter collection, which subsequently became the toast of London Fashion Week.
Marks & Spencer Vs. Mulberry
While some of the pieces were out-there (quilted horse jackets, anyone?), it was the divine separates that had us practically skipping back to our waiting car- and thank goodness for that; our clothing-induced lightheadedness would have made for an interesting tube journey home. Anyway the clothes! Of them, we were instantly drawn to the sateen stripes (of course we were) but don’t be fooled; they ain’t no Breton. Instead, creative director Johnny Coca made school uniform stripes the order of the day, giving us something brand new to covet.
Now, considering the fact February shows tend to be six months ahead, we assumed the high street would take just as long to follow suit. That, however, is not the case.
Right now, Marks & Spencer is harbouring a secret haven of suitably striped staples that were, in fact, already hanging on the rails before Mulberry outlet LFW show. That ruffled dress? Inspired. The longline shirts? How did they know? Those responsible at M&S HQ can now add clairvoyant to their respective CVs as far as we’re concerned.
Save on the homages or splurge on cheap Mulberry’s must haves either way, it’s high time you enrolled in this style class.
The replica handbag maker’s new Tessie range has yet to embraced by the style set, but it is simple and simple works
In the noughties, London fashion week was awash with Mulberry’s distinctively shaped replica handbags. From the pouchy-pocketed Roxanne, wildly popular in 2004, to 2010’s satchel-shaped Alexa, they were perennially tucked under the arms of fashion editors, buyers and celebrities.
Mulberry’s new Tessie bags have received a more muted response. Though it’s early days the range has only been on sale for a couple of weeks – they haven’t been popping up on street style blogs, nor have celebrities been conspicuously carrying them into fashion events.
Available in oak, oxblood and black colours with truly broad appeal – the Tessie range is inspired by classics from the Mulberry outlet uk archive, and the designs don’t scare the horses.
The cheapest of the range – the Small Satchel is a dinky cross-body pouch reminiscent of Celine’s cute Box Shoulder bag. The Tessie is simple and sleek, occupying a similar space to Michael Kors’s relatively affordable designs. The slouchy Hobo is an unstructured soft leather sack that tucks subtly under the arm. All are shapes that customers will feel vaguely familiar with already; they speak of quality and long-lasting appeal rather than boundary-breaking high fashion.
For years, Mulberry’s quirky fashion shows and starry front rows where Kate Moss would sit beside Alexa Chung and Lana Del Rey were a key part of the brand’s identity, and naming specific replica handbags after celebrities was a key motif. But the world has moved on from tribute “It” bags, as the success of more anonymous products by Kors, Coach and Celine attests.
As a brand, Mulberry replica hasn’t entirely kissed glitz goodbye. At the most recent London fashion week, for example, the company launched a collection of youthful, idiosyncratic bags with Cara Delevingne, featuring brightly coloured camouflage-print rucksacks and quirky lion rivets.
The collaboration was a good move for stardust, pizzazz and publicity, but the company well knows that the business cannot rely on purple quilted rucksacks costing upwards of £1,000 to thrive. In current fashion, simple works and the Tessie range is wilfully simple. The style set may not be obsessed, but commercially, pandering to the familiar and classic makes a lot of sense.
Once-thriving Mulberry warned investors Wednesday that it will not meet profit expectations for 2016. Since the announcement, shares in the company fell a significant 28 percent.
What’s more, Mulberry is failing to sell the product that put it on the map: replica handbags. The company has enjoyed years of issuing one It bag after another, but says it suffered over the holiday season due to pricing competition and a significant number of cancelled wholesale orders from Korean customers. Total retail sales were 3 percent below last year for the 17 weeks leading up to Jan. 25, and wholesale sales for the year ending on March 31 are expected to be down 10 percent compared with the same period last year.
“Due to tough trading conditions over the Christmas period which saw significant discounting across the market, Mulberry has experienced lower than expected UK retail sales which, together with wholesale order cancellations from Korea, will adversely impact our profit this year,” Bruno Guillon, Mulberry’s CEO, commented. “Despite this, the company continues to be cash generative and to invest in the ongoing process of transforming Mulberry replica from a domestic to a global luxury brand, the progress of which is demonstrated by the continued growth in international retail sales.” International retail sales, which the company has put much of its resources into in 2016, are expected to be up 40 percent compared with last year, Mulberry says.
Despite the projected international growth, the fact remains: Mulberry’s sales are lagging. And this isn’t the first time the company has reported it: Mulberry issued profit warnings earlier last year and late in 2015, as well. But why?
The problem may be in the pricing. Since Guillon joined the company from Hermes in 2015, he’s focused on taking Mulberry more upmarket, resulting in more expensive replica handbags. Now, Mulberry is selling bags in the $80 range, which doesn’t quite hit the all-important “hyper luxury” category, but still might be too expensive for the status that a Mulberry proffers its wearer.
The disappointing news comes amid Mulberry’s search for a new creative director. Emma Hill left earlier this year after six years with the company. Her departure from the company could have contributed to the lagging interest in Mulberry replica bags among shoppers this year. She’s known for attracting celebrity clientele and it has been a while since we’ve seen any of those British It girls toting around a Mulberry bag. Plus, Mulberry’s seasonal handbag releases have yet to come close to matching the buzz or success of the Alexa, which hit shelves in 2010.
Mulberry could definitely use the reinvigoration that typically comes from the hiring of a new creative director. And if expansion in the U.S. is of interest, perhaps Mulberry could stand to name a fake handbag after an American celebrity with a bit more staying power than Lana Del Rey. Though, if we had to put our money on the name of the next celeb-nammed purse, we’d bet on The Cara.
This month marks a first year’s successful trading for Newcastle’s Handbag Clinic which has seen more than half a million pounds worth of replica designer handbags repaired, restored or re-coloured.
Over 500 bags have been bought or sold by the store over the last 12 months, with customers travelling from as far afield as Edinburgh .
Handbag Clinic opened in Mosley Street in November 2016 and offers all the usual Handbag Clinic services, including cleaning and restoring while also selling vintage replica bags from designers such as Mulberry replica bags.
Ben Staerck, managing director of Handbag Clinic, said: “The Newcastle outlet represented a significant investment for the company but has really paid dividends.
We have created jobs for local people and brought something new and exciting to the city’s retail offering. Word of mouth has been a huge part of our success in Newcastle and it is rewarding for our dedicated team, both at the Burnopfield repair centre and in store, and testament to their hard work.
Stephen Patterson, Newcastle NE1 director of communications, said: “I’d like to congratulate Handbag Clinic on its first anniversary. It is a welcome addition to Newcastle, which improves the diversity and quality of the city’s retail offering. It is through its unique range of shops and businesses that Newcastle is able to attract so many visitors.”
New creative director Johnny Coca has redesigned the Bayswater. But can the brand strike gold again?
Launched in 2003, the Bayswater bag, with its utilitarian, business-like appeal was credited with turning around Mulberry’s financial fortunes. In 2004, the group posted a pre-tax profit of £41,000, against losses of £2.3m the previous year, and the bag went on to become one of the British brand’s core assets, despite the financial woes which saw its profits plummeting under its subsequent chief executive Bruno Guillon.
Now, the bag has offered a creative opportunity for Mulberry’s new creative director Johnny Coca. The Spanish-born 40-year-old arrived at the house 10 months ago, and his first runway collection, unveiled in February, was punky, young and studded with lots of new, acid-bright accessories. But alongside these, he’s also got designs on the archive. And next week will see the launch of the Bayswater 2016 — Coca’s reworking of the house classic.
So how did he improve it? “I was looking at the leather, I said, ‘this is nice leather, but I can do better’. In terms of construction, I knew I could do better. In terms of weight, better,” he says, from his studio in Paris.
Coca’s Bayswater is a sleeker and chicer model. The heavy metal hardware has been pared down — the padlock fob and metal feet are gone and the postman’s lock-plate smaller. The distinctive tree logo has been replaced with embossed gold lettering spelling out the company name in an archive script from the 1970s. The replica bag has become more structured, and given a reinforced lining strong enough to carry laptops and tablets without altering its shape. “It’s very practical,” says Coca. “You have to adapt the design around women’s lifestyles today. Women are different: younger, older, working. They have a different attitude to 10 years ago and it was really important to adapt that bag for modern life.” iPhone pockets have also been added.
Coca has introduced fresh new colours: canary yellow and candy pink will sit alongside the classic burgundy, black and clay. He’s also played with the existing shades — the traditional oak hue is now much deeper and richer than before.
He’s confident and controlled in his vision for Mulberry outlet. “I want to push the boundaries and give a more modern feel for the brand, but keeping all the DNA and authenticity,” he says. “I’m not here to completely change it. It’s really important to respect where it comes from.” Keen to not alienate the traditional customer, Coca’s Bayswater will sit alongside the existing style, and both will retail for £895 (a new, smaller version will also be available for £795). Coca has been mindful of price in this redesign: some of Mulberry’s recent problems were attributed to the decision to reposition the brand, subsequently driving up accessories prices, and the company are now focused on creating fake bags within the £500-£900 bracket.
“Sometimes people say ‘you know what, I’m going to redesign’, and the price is double. It’s not right. If you’re a good designer and you know what you’re doing, you don’t have to,” he says. “It is important for cheap Mulberry to be honest about what we create, the quality and the price. We are not a brand that says we want to make masses of money.” Then again, he’s deadly serious about his ambitions. “I’m not here just to play,” he concludes. “I’m here to make a success.”