It is nothing new from designers to business executives, people love to collaborate. Maybe it all goes back to the saying, “two heads are better than one”? It doesn’t really matter why collaborations happen because I have to say, they always intrigue me – for better or for worse. There are always pairings that excite me while others make me go “hmmmm”. This time, Mulberry has collaborated with FRED (one of East London’s most influential contemporary art galleries) to design a series of artist designed, limited edition tote bags. FRED selected five British artists to reflect Mulberry’s individuality and identity. In the way any amazing collaboration should be conducted, Mulberry designers worked closely with the artists to ensure the vision at hand was captured.

Each tote has a noticeably different design which to me is great because that guarantees there is probably a tote out there for just about anyone! The tote to the right was designed by Kate Davis. At first glance you get a romantic vibe from the tote. I guess red does that, huh? Beyond that, the red rose on top of the black background offers a bit of softness and elegance which drew me in. Davis drew inspiration from a romantic moment she had in Rome and felt the design depicted a sense of pulling away from everyday life and focusing on romance and love. Whether romance driven or not, it is so important to be able to take a step back and simply, enjoy life and love.

Have you ever looked at those inkblot cards psychologists/psychiatrists have? Are they supposed to mean something specific? Even though trained, I find it fascinating that they are able to draw inferences from the thousands of things they could potentially hear from a given patient. Artist Paul Hosking made mirror, laser cut images that resemble the famous Rorschach inkblots. I definitely did not notice this at first glance (however thanks to the press release I am able to provide insight), but the inkblots are a portrait of the artist’s profile. The black background makes the vibrant colors pop. I could see the tote appealing to an array of people. From hipsters to psychology enthusiasts this tote is fabulous.

This next tote reminds me of my Aunt Mary Jean, the artist of the family. It’s not the design itself, but instead the first thing that came to mind when I saw the tote – “this must have been done by an artist”. For those of you artists out there, if you disagree, don’t be mad; I, in no way, have an artists eye. However, the artist behind this tote, Simon English, has made a series of six unique drawings that interweave images from his life and other drawings. This tote is brilliant. I love the individuality behind it and how each image looks separate from the others while essentially tying the entire bag together.

Artist, Phillip Jones is known for his large-scale oil paintings where he usually depicts characters he then develops over a series of works. In this tote, it is clear where his inspiration comes from – a deck of cards! The idea behind the expressively painted tote goes further, it continues the theme of fate an chance found in many of the artist’s larger oil works. I love the thought that Jones makes an effort to weave a theme throughout many facets of his work – whether it be an oil painting or a handbag, the same theme is visible. The theme behind this tote is one that influences every day life. To me, life really is a delicate balance between chance and fate. But, it really is this delicate balance that makes us all who we are today!

And last but by no means least, the tote by artist Peter Jones. I have to say, this tote is Megs’ and my favorite! I personally have always had a thing for monkeys – they are just so precious. So, when I came across this tote, I have to say, I instantly wanted it. For the most part I lug my stuff around in a tote (Megs thinks it is absolutely hideous) and I know I am due for an update. Jones takes an Andy Warhol inspired background and has the famous images of a monkey in three poses: hear no evil, speak no evil, and see no evil. The monkeys are captured fantastically against a blue backdrop. On top of everything else, notice the playful expressions on the faces – love it! Perhaps it is a good thing I’ve waited this long for a replacement.

Now that you’ve seen all five, which tote would you pick?

So, the only downside, these wonderful totes are only available for purchase from the Bond Street Store – in London, England. If you are in the area, lucky you! Either way, I think this collaboration was a tremendous success and I hope to see more like this in the future.

P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Kaytey

    Okay, i know this seems to be a recurrent theme of mine, and I suppose it says more about me than the bag, but….

    Don’t the drawing on the Simon English bag look like anatomical drawings of vaginas? I’m sorry, but I really think they’re no two ways about it… That’s a bag covered in drawings of vag.

  • Well now that you have said that….

    YIKES! :)

  • me

    I would pick Kate Davis’ tote- I would, if I lived anywhere near London. They are all beautiful but this one matches myself and my style.

  • LOL!! It bothers me too.
    I don’t find any of them too wonderful..

  • Thistle

    My favorites are the red Kate Davis and the Simon English totes! When I got to the end of the post, the sold @ part, my smile just drooped. If they sell well enough on Bond St, maybe they will sell in more spots!

  • Merve

    Hahahaha Kaytey totally agree with you about the anatomical resemblance. I wouldnt buy any of these bags but London’s my second home if anyone is dying for one..can help.

  • RascalCat

    hmmm i would probably pick the deck of cards one… it has a slight gothicky feel ..
    LOL @ Kaytey – i see what you mean!

  • Stephanie

    I actually work for Fred… if anyone needs any help getting a bag, do let me know!

  • black bacarra

    These bags are actually corny! I love mulberry bgs but not this one. And yes Kaytey, it’s not just you. The Simon English does look very vag!

  • Ellen

    Hahaha, It wasn’t the first thing that came to my mind but on second look they really do look like vaginas, the one on the right being the scariest vagina EVER!! Totes aren’t really my thing but I’m loving the Phillip Jones, the splotchy ink on the card suits is a really fresh take on a classic, that’d be my pick.

  • TAMI

    I’ve ended up seeking all over for this information. Luckily I noticed this at Google.