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.

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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.

Olivia Palermo: Steal her Style

Olivia Palermo sauntered through London Fashion Week in her usual faultless style. Maybe I’m a little biased because I have a rather huge (and well documented) style crush on Olivia P.  Elegant and super stylish, Olivia mixes simple pieces with statement accessories to create a classic but contemporary look. If you’re going to steal, it may as well be from the best….

Olivia at Preen.

Olivia Palermo1. Whistles clutch, £80, ASOS. 2. River Island leather jacket, £60, ASOS. 3. Leather skirt, £60, ASOS. 4. Sam Edelman shoes, £73, Matches Fashion.

Olivia at Anya Hindmarch.

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 19.50.301. Bathhurst Bag, £1295, Anya Hindmarch. 2. Maxmara scarf, £68, Matches Fashion. 3. Isabel Marant jumper, £205, Matches Fashion. 4. Each x Other, £304, Matches Fashion. 5. Jewelled Brooch, £7.50, ASOS. 6. Blank NYC jeans, £20, ASOS. 7. New Look shoes, £15.99, ASOS. Sunglasses,

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.

V Day, Me Day.

Valentines Day GiftsTurn V Day into Me Day.

Valentines Day isn’t just for loved up couples, spend the day lavishing a whole lot of love on yourself….. go on, you deserve it. Being single doesn’t mean Valentines Day has to be a wash out because you’re a one woman show. Check out my gift guide above, any of which would make this girl very happy.

1. Kiss, kiss. Pucker up with a Charlotte Olympia, pink and red pouch.

2. Shine on with this sparkly, art-deco flower necklace from Jaeger.

3. Snuggle up on the couch wearing Swiss-dot pyjamas designed by former British Vogue assistant Raphaëllla Riboud. Stylish and cosy.

4. Valentines isn’t all about grand gestures and fancy gifts, sometimes a cute and quirky gift is just perfect. The Margaret Annie mouse pin cushion from Liberty London is utterly adorable.

5. Sometimes a girl needs a little bling… My Flash Trash have it covered with the Skinny Dip encrusted phone cover.

Happy Valentines Day all. xx

Fashion in 5 with Olivia Cavill

This week PR and marketing manager Olivia from Ciaté talks wish-list lust, Spring trends and which Ciaté colours you’ll find in her beauty box.

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

I’m forever building my wish list on ASOS and have a tendency to over-order; needless to say I am a premier customer! I love mixing high-street with designer accessories, my Celine handbag is my most cherished piece but I have had my eye on the Alexander Wang ‘Diego’ for a while now, so it will definitely be my next splurge.

Celine hanbag

2. Describe your own personal style?

I like classic styles with a bit of a twist! My go to is normally a pair of J brand’s, my current faves at the moment are my J Brand leather trousers, with a plain top, paired with my pastel banana and peaches ASH wedge trainers. I like to update classics with statement jewellery; I am a sucker for a killer pair of earrings or a chunky cuff. As a beauty buff I like to keep hair and make-up fresh and polished, Becca being my all-time favourite make up brand.

3. Which trends will you be working this season?

I adore the pastel trend which is back again for Spring ’14 and was all over the catwalks, so I can’t wait to wear my baby pink ankle-grazing skinny jeans once the warmer weather kicks in! I’m also lusting after the Pop Art print trend and will definitely be buying into this as a Spring update.

4. Tell us about your favourite nail polish and what you love about it?

I am probably biased but of course my favourite polish is going to be Ciaté for its good quality, high pigment and long-lasting manicure, and its vibrant array of over 120 colours. My go to is always ‘Iced Frappe’ for a mauve version of a nude. For a more vampy, evening look, I turn to ‘Dangerous Affair’ for the perfect rouge noir.

Ciate Nail Polish5. Your favourite under-rated brand?

I love AQ/AQ for instant ‘wow’ pieces – the brand is a stylist favourite, which I still don’t think has had its time in the spotlight yet. I am also really excited to see the first Whistles fashion show at London Fashion Week this spring, not just because it’s one of my favourite stores but it’s incredible to see a British high-street brand to be invited onto the global fashion stage.

I couldn’t agree more, I can’t wait to see what Whistles come up with to wow us at London Fashion Week.

Thanks Liv

#MyHandbagStory with Chic & Seek

#MyHandbagStory

Louis Vuitton, social media, affordable luxury and online prizes…. I’ve got your attention now haven’t I?!!

Chic & Seek the luxury accessory re-homing store is running an international campaign to win a vintage Louis Vuitton handbag. All you need to do to enter is, take a snap of your favourite bag and write a short piece about what you love about your arm candy. Upload your picture and story to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the Chic & Seek hashtag #MyHandbagStory. The prize is worth over £1000’s & includes a £50 voucher for Chic & Seek. So what are you waiting for? Here’s my entry for a little inspiration…

Jaeger Bag

This is my beloved Jaeger Bond bag, my very first grown up lady bag. It will never go out of style, works with pretty much everything in my wardrobe and I expect will be with me for many years to come. Every time I carry the sultry, black, quilted lovely with chunky gold hardware, I feel proud to own a future classic.

Fashion Sucks at Charlotte Olympia

Charlotte Olympia Halloween Clutch

Charlotte Olympia works her own brand of magic, injecting a selection of her cult classics with a dose of ghoulish spirit to celebrate Halloween. Kitty flats have real bite with devilishly red eyes.

Charlotte OlympiaThere’s a pumpkin clutch perfect for stashing candy in and red satin pumps complete with razor-sharp fangs…. all the better to bite you with! The limited edition collection will be available to buy in-store in the US but also exclusively online at Charlotte Olympia & Net-A-Porter. I think this could be a collection to die for….

(Images from WWD.com).

Saturday Catch Up…..

Matthew Williamson

Another designer/beauty collaboration is on the cards, Benefit and Matthew Williamson are teaming up on a limited edition ‘The Rich is Back’ disco inspired collection. Elle.

Cosmo hold their 2nd Blogging Masterclass this month, tickets are still available here.

Kate Moss wants Mulberry to name the Willow bag the ‘Mulberry Moss’ bag instead, who doesn’t want a Mulberry bag named after them…… Handbag.com.

Mango go bold and bling for A/W13. Eatsleepwear.

Fashionista Barbie has all the hot gossip on who will be wearing what at this years Met Ball. Fashionista Barbie.

 

Jaeger London Olympia City Bag

Jaeger London handbag

Apologies for my tardiness, I honestly don’t know how I forgot to tell you about the latest addition to my bulging Jaeger handbag collection. To be fair this not so little lovely is actually a swapsie- mum was given the Jaeger London Olympia City bag for Christmas but felt it was a bit on the big side for her diminutive frame. So I offered to swap for my Jaeger Bond bag (not much of a sacrifice really since we pool our respective collections anyway). That is how the Olympia City bag came to live with me and has become my everyday bag of choice.

My favourite feature is the fold over top and lock instead of a zip (I never seem to get on well with zips, always trapping something in them). Saying that the nifty side zips are quite handy when I’m carrying around this months Vogue and other goodies in a feeble attempt at multi-tasking. The dentist never has good quality magazines anymore, so I bring my own reading material- makes the whole experience much less painful! What are you carrying this month?