Mulberry x Richard Malone Collection Fuses Sustainable Fashion with Functionality

In line with its celebrations and collections for its 50th anniversary, British fashion brand Mulberry has unveiled a new collection in collaboration with Irish-born and London-based Richard Malone.

For the limited edition Mulberry x Richard Malone capsule collection, Malone has reinterpreted two Mulberry bags that feature the iconic Postman’s lock – the Bayswater, one of Mulberry’s most recognisable designs, and the Darley.

Models holding bags from The Mulberry x Richard Malone capsule collection
The Mulberry x Richard Malone capsule collection. Image courtesy of AnOther

Unveiled during Malone’s SS22 show at the V&A Museum, during London Fashion Week, the collection blends Mulberry’s heritage with the designer’s own bold design language, taking the functional aesthetics of early and mid-century bags and stamping the ethics and values of both brands on them.

For example, Malone found out that, among other things, customers were returning 30 years later to Mulberry to get their bags repaired (the brand recently launched a service called Mulberry Exchange, where it buys back older models in return for an agreed amount off a new purchase). For him, this proved that the bags were not only highly functional, they were also of very high quality – two characteristics that mark a business as sustainable, and a value that is at the forefront of his own label.

The Bayswater amd Darley models from the Mulberry and Richard Malone collection in green
The bags combine the savoir-faire and values of both brands. Image courtesy of AnOther

It was these two characteristics that formed the starting point of this capsule collection, as well as Malone drawing inspiration from Mulberry’s archives where he was struck by “the pragmatism, purpose and quiet confidence of the designs,” and the way they could effortlessly adapt to fit the demands of a busy lifestyle and blend seamlessly into a wardrobe for decades.

For the collection, Malone has deconstructed the Bayswater, transporting interior design details, such as pockets, piping and serial numbered fobs to the exterior of the bags. By reworking this classic, it gave way to two new silhouettes, the Triangle Bayswater and a cylindrical version, the Barrel Bag.

Ronan Mckenzie with the Barrel Bag
Ronan Mckenzie with the Barrel Bag. Image courtesy of AnOther

Malone also puts his own stamp on Mulberry’s signature hardware, the postman’s lock, which is found on both the Bayswater and the Darley, encasing it in leather for a subtle, modern update.

Keeping the major theme of sustainability in mind, Mulberry’s signature Scotchgrain material which has been a part of the brand from the beginning was remade into an eco-friendly version from inedible cereal waste into a hard-wearing, lightweight material that looks and feels the same as the original textured leather. Any leather used, for instance, on the straps and handles, is from Gold standard, environmentally accredited tanneries.

The Bayswater and Darley models from the Mulberry and Richard Malone collection in blue
The leather used to make the bags is the eco-friendly version of Mulberry’s signature Scotchgrain material. Image courtesy of Jing Daily

Mulberry has described the collection as a “celebration of function as much as form,” that is “pared-back yet impactful,” while adding that the geometric shapes echo the architectural silhouettes that Malone is renowned for in his own collections. The colours themselves – red, green, blue, accents of white – are utilised for their immediacy with Malone likening them to the bottles of poster paint you have in childhood.

The Mulberry x Richard Malone capsule collection consists of a Bayswater, Mini Bayswater, Small Darley and two new styles The Triangle Bayswater and Barrel Bag, as well as accessories including a Coin Pouch and Key Fob. The collection launched digitally on Mulberry’s website on September 19 and in stores globally on September 20.

Source: Fashion United

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