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. Be careful of anyone who wants to attribute that to global strife or changing travel patterns, though; Mulberry’s only got itself to blame.

In yesterday’s New York Times, Vanessa Friedman enumerated the issues at Mulberry that we’ve been talking about here for a while. Despite the departure of disastrous CEO Bruno Guillon, who came to the brand from Hermès and, in his short tenure, jacked up all its prices and alienated popular creative director Emma Hill to the point of resignation, not much has changed. The company has yet to name a new permanent CEO or creative director, although they do have Cara Delevingne on their payroll.

The problem with having Delevingne, though, is that so does everyone else, from DKNY to Burberry to Chanel. Although her line and campaign with the brand have received a moderate amount of press attention, reporters on the Delevingne beat are spread pretty thin; without ponying up money for an exclusive, her mere presence has limited value to a brand that’s trying to distinguish itself. Mulberry has a history of betting on the wrong celebrities in the wrong ways, though; remember Lana Del Rey’s bag?

There’s no short of beautiful, rich, young, British it girls-in-the-making for Mulberry to choose, but without a permanent CEO and a new creative director to guide the brand in a purposeful direction, expect to see Mulberry spinning its wheels for some time, no matter the state of the global luxury market.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Tiffany H

    Very interesting article by Ms. Friedman! I hope Mulberry can turn it around.

  • JHH

    I could be just me but Mulberry bags are somewhat boring and overpriced. So, the fix is simple to say but hard to execute — good/exciting design and recognizing your spot in the pricing structure.

  • michelle

    I love my new Cara bag, problem is, it is to hard to shop for Mulberry in the US….even their website- although you select US- still ships and processes overseas. Lots of hoops to jump through and not available in US store other than their few stand alone stores.

  • FashionableLena

    I love Cara Delevinge, but I just feel like she’s not as recognizable outside of the fashion set. Maybe someone like Emma Watson?

    • Jack Neill

      I think Cara Delevinge is so over rated. There are lots of other models out there with more charisma. I don’t think fashion brands necessarily choose models that represent characteristics of the brand, they choose them more on their popularity.Like Natalie Portman and Dior. Right now Cara Delevinge is the it girl in fashion and trend followers are all snapping her up. I think Mulberry would be far better off choosing someone who is more of an icon. Like Kate Moss, she just sells everything she advertises.

  • anon

    Maybe they should branch out, especially to the US. It’s pretty hard to get one of their bags or even look at them in person here in the US.

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  • MAT

    Jacking up the prices at the wrong time when they need to further cement their identity in the global luxury market is a wrong move for me. I hope they get someone to fix their business problem. The brand has a lot of potential. It’s a shame if it will turn out bad in the end.