This won’t be shocking news to anyone who saw the results of both our handbag-themed March Madness and World Cup brackets (Chanel won both without much trouble), but the French brand has taken another Internet crown.
Fashion News(Page 4)
The past 18 months have been a long, strange trip for Mulberry, and at least one part of that journey got an equally strange ending last week. On Thursday, while every sector of the American fashion industry (including the press) was roasting turkeys in their hometowns, the brand named Céline’s Johnny Coca as its new creative director.
Over our years of covering men’s bags, we’ve noticed two things. First, when most designers have a super-popular women’s bag, they modify it into a more traditionally masculine version for their menswear audience. Second, those bags generally seem like a better deal than the women’s alternative, even though they’re usually bigger and feature nearly identical finishing and hardware.
Mansur Gavriel bags are already incredibly hard to get your hands on. The tales of wait lists and eBay hunts for the accessibly priced line are well known in fashion circles at this point, and now the brand has introduced something even more rare and special: four of its most-loved bags in silver saffiano leather, available only at Opening Ceremony.
The central paradox of luxury handbags has always been that brands need to sell as many as humanly possible while still convincing every customer that he or she is getting something exclusive and sought-after. Until now, a cheap-and-easy way to do that was to eschew online sales in favor of forcing customers into brick-and-mortar boutiques, but according to Businessweek, the effectiveness of that strategy might have come to an end.
The Hermès Birkin has been an iconic art object for fashion lovers for decades, but now uberartist Jeff Koons is intent on turning the sought-after bags into actual art. Koons has sourced bags from the likes of Sofia Coppola and Diane von Furstenberg and incorporated them into sculpture to benefit Project Perpetual, an arm of the United Nations Foundations that helps at-risk youth the world over with the help of powerful artists.
Word on the street is that there might finally be some good news in the pipeline for Mulberry. The struggling British brand, which has been without a creative director since fan-favorite Emma Hill left over conflicts with former CEO Bruno Guillon, is reportedly eying Johnny Coca, head of accessories design at handbag wunderkind Céline.
Despite debuting a line of more accessible bags to win back old customers and signing on Cara Delevingne to do a high-profile capsule collection and campaign, Mulberry’s fortunes still haven’t turned around. Earlier this week, the company issued a profit warning to shareholders after a 17% decline in sales in the first half of 2014, according to Women’s Wear Daily.
If you’re regular reader of the blog, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a pretty hot secondary market for handbags right now, especially when it comes to brands with tightly controlled product supplies like Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton, which don’t sell their wares through third-party retailers.