Price Wars: Mulberry Down, Coach Up.

Mulberry V's Coach

Two luxury brands with very similar identities, totally at odds on strategy, so which one has the right idea?

Mulberry announced earlier this month that following other luxury brands by rapidly  increasing prices as the brands popularity grew, has left them out in the cold with the British customer. While the Eastern European market in still buoyant in the luxury sector, it seems the loyal British customer has been priced out of the market- ironic as it was in the UK where Mulberry (carried by Sienna Miller, Kate Moss & Keira Knightley) initially found fame. A large proportion of customers sought out Mulberry for the unrivalled craftsmanship, quality and timeless design present in each handbag. Being on-trend was less important than owning a bag that works with everything in your wardrobe and doesn’t buckle at the first sign of wear. The product remained ‘right’ but the price was ‘wrong’. Acknowledging the error of judgement, Mulberry will be introducing a more affordable range (£495-£700) in June.

Mulberry Alexa

(Alexa Pickle Green tote £1,100)

On the other side of the pond Coach is also experiencing a downturn in profit. In a bid to step outside the shadow of its competitors, Coach plans to raise prices. Maybe the fact the luxury market is over-crowded isn’t a problem that can be easily solved by changing your competitor. Looking at why your competitors are succeeding would surely be a better solution? A brief look at Kate Spade’s fearless approach to design and quirky styling quickly provides the answer to why this brand is growing so swiftly. Michael Kors isn’t quite so radical in design but boy this brand has embraced social media in BIG way.

Hopefully Coach has studied the mistakes Mulberry made and has a fool-proof plan to convince loyal customers that the extra cost of owning one of their lovely handbags is truly worth it.

Olivia P: Splurge or Save?

Olivia P

Two years on and I’m still in love with Olivia P; her grace, style and beautiful manners… what’s not to love?!!

Here I’m stealing Olivia P’s style, looking at the way Olivia has teamed a stripe clutch with jeans and a sweater. A box clutch is usually reserved for formal outfits and show stopping evening wear, so seeing Olivia mix a formal clutch with casual jeans is great. I’ve selected a Lulu Guinness clutch and a ASOS clutch for those with more dash than cash (like me!).

Image from Olivia Palermo.

Fashion in 5 with Hannah Spicer from Monica Vinader

Monica Vinader

1. I chose a career in Marketing because….

I love mixing my creative and commercial sides. I was lucky enough to be involved with the very first ecommerce site build at Harvey Nichols, and since then have loved working in the digital world because it’s constantly changing. Last year I got to launch our cutting edge ring stacker tool online, which I’m really proud of. (which happens to be one of my fave online gadgets to play with!!)

2. What I love most about my job is…..

making customers happy. It’s great to work at a brand that values this above anything else, and every single person at Monica Vinader is measured on their customer service. When I read our customer reviews online, it makes me smile and I enjoy sharing them with my colleagues. I also love wearing the gorgeous jewellery!

3. If I could start my career again I would….

not change it. I really love the variety I have in my role, and have felt challenged throughout my career. The only thing I would change is to be more active. I sometimes feel like I am sitting staring at a screen all day long and I really enjoy exercise, so I have to make sure I find the balance by hitting the gym most evenings.

4. Above all else I value….

my family and friends.

5. This year is all about….

personalisation. I love being able to engrave jewellery with initials and dates that mean something to me, and it makes a great gift too.

Thanks Hannah.x

5 Things for a wonderful weekend

5 Things for a wonderful weekend

1. Mix yourself a raspberry rascal and head outside, soak up the first rays of Spring in the crisp April air.

2. Sandal season is right around the corner, give your tootsies a much-needed pedicure.

3. Spring clean your wardrobe, a nasty job but the smug satisfaction of a neat, de-cluttered wardrobe is reward itself. Bag up your unwanted clothes and send off to charity, then cash in your good karma points and indulge in some retail therapy.

Lulu Frost Earrings

(Lulu Frost Earrings Exclusive to Net-A-Porter).

4. It may have escaped your attention but here in the UK this Sunday is Mother’s Day. If your mum deserves a treat (like mine) and you’re stuck on what to buy, I can guarantee a Lulu Frost necklace or pair of earrings would be much appreciated.

5. April means open season for stately homes up and down the country. Fancy a snoop round Sandringham, the Queens country pad? Check out the National Trust website for country houses open in your area.

Have a wonderful weekend. x

A/W14 Fashion Week Fast Forward

Shop the Tough Luxe Meets Tribal A/W14 jewellery trend right now.

KTZ

Balmain

KTZ

Tribal and tough-luxe combine forces to make the most fabulous A/W14 trend. KTZ and Balmain showed a great selection at Fashion Week and I just can’t wait for winter to wear this one, so I’ve put together a little edit that you can shop to get the look today.

Tribal meets Tough LuxeTory Burch Necklace, Shopbob, £372.20. Gold Embossed Earrings, New Look, £4.99. Black Woven Earrings, River Island, £15. Tribal Collar Necklace, Monsoon, £45. Plaited Necklace, Accessorize, £8.

Anya Hindmarch Trolley Dollies at LFW

Anya Hindmarch A/W14

Anya Hindmarch takes us to the supermarket with her Counter Couture A/W14 collection.

A conveyor belt full of sleek models glided down the catwalk, styled as a super sized barcode. Bright yellow smiley faces adorned bags and scarfs, putting feel good fun back into fashion.

Anya Hindmarch

Anya HindmarchThe real talking point was the leather accessories embellished with everyday household brands like Tony the Tiger, the Corn Flakes Cockerel, Daz and Ariel.

Anya Hindmarch Custard Cream clutchA metallic Custard Cream clutch makes the perfect night-time accessory.

Anya Hindmarch Counter Couture Models pushed mini shopping trolleys down the catwalk and who could resist adding a packet of Anya Hindmarch Coco Pops to their trolley?! Having worked in a supermarket years ago, I’ve honestly never seen such a glamorous supermarket.

All images from Anya Hindmarch.

Mulberry, Cara & Me…

Mulberry Cara Delevingne

Mulberry launch the Cara Delevingne collection at London Fashion Week…. oh I wish I’d been there!

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned how wonderful a Cara Delevingne collection would be…. just putting it out into the fashion ether. Turns out Mulberry and I are in sync, perfect fashion harmony- today Mulberry presented the Cara collection. Whippets wondered the stage, as Cara swung elegantly, twizzling around on a wooden swing. The whole extravaganza had a Mulberry, enchanted forest feel with Cara playing a naughty but nice pixie.

Mulberry handbags

The collection designed by Cara works an urban vibe, practical but elegant. The signature Mulberry luxe continues with quality craftsmanship, lush leather and iconic hardware. The collection which features quilting and camouflage, is also functional too. Three styles which can be worn in three ways (backpack, shoulder and clutch) comes in three sizes. Cara has added her own rebellious touches; iron rivets and heart-shaped patches inspired by her own tattoos hide inside, waiting to be discovered. On the base of each bag ‘Made in London’ is embossed, just like the tattoo on Cara’s foot.

So to all those haters who wondered what would become of Mulberry without Emma Hill…. this is your answer.

Fashion in 5 with Julie Deane

Fashion in 5 with Julie Deane, the women who built The Cambridge Satchel Company from her kitchen table…

The Cambridge Satchel Company

1. What’s on your wish-list at the moment?

I’m not much of a shopper, I tend to buy things that I see and instantly love. I have to be super efficient with my time and I’d rather be doing other things! The only thing I’m lusting after is for my home and that’s a traditional Welsh bed throw, very snuggly at this time of year and absolutely beautiful. Continue reading