Two titans of British craft and heritage style, Mulberry, celebrated for its timeless and immaculate luxury leather goods, and Paul Smith, a label synonymous with joyful striped pieces, have partnered for the first time to produce the Mulberry x Paul Smith bag collaboration.
The limited-edition range, which was first revealed in January on the runway of Paul Smith’s AW23 men’s show in Paris, centres itself around ten reworked iterations of Mulberry’s feted Antony bag, a compact, hands-free accessory that originally riffed on traditional leather postman’s satchels and eventually went on to be a signature for the label for over two decades thanks to its elegant lines, unisex style, and now iconic Postman’s Lock hardware.
Available within the collection are three sizes of the bag, as well as a pair of new designs made specifically for the collaboration – the Antony Clip (a bijou crossbody bag) and the Antony Tote – with all products not just using a neutral Mulberry silhouette on which to illustrate Paul Smith’s hallmark penchant for punchy hues and patterns, but also emphasising both label’s commitment to UK-based manufacturing, with production for the range taking place in Mulberry’s carbon-neutral Somerset factories.
Divided into what the brands call ‘two distinct stories’, the collection makes use of either a classic black heavy-grain leather, which is given an injection of vibrancy via striped webbing straps and a lining of pop colour; or a smooth calf’s leather that features a bold-colour blocking theme that showcases Paul Smith’s new Shadow Stripe motif, which is defined by a textured look created with a new embossing technique.
Further bolstering both companies’ firm dedication to sustainability – a spirit evident in Mulberry’s Made To Last manifesto, which focuses on transforming the business into a regenerative, circular model; and Paul Smith’s Path to Sustainability, a set of targets that includes responsible sourcing and emissions reduction – is the fact that the collaboration is produced from carbon-neutral leather, a commitment across all Mulberry bags since 2022. The material at hand is achieved through offsetting with the World Land Trust and is procured from tanneries that have been certified to the highest gold standard by the Leather Working Group.
“Paul Smith and Mulberry were founded within a year of each other in the 1970s, so you could say our brands grew up and came of age together,” says Smith. “I think that’s at least partly why we share such a similar approach to creativity and craft – that and our Britishness. Working together to ensure the collection was created in the UK was something we knew we wanted to do from the beginning, and the results speak for themselves.”
Meanwhile Mulberry CEO, Thierry Andretta, states: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with Paul Smith on a collection that celebrates our shared values of creativity, craft and British heritage.”
Representing the apex of contemporary creativity and craft and the best that these shores have to offer, the Mulberry x Paul Smith collection launches 4 September, 2023.
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