LONDON — British accessories and ready-to-wear brand Mulberry is branching out.
Mulberry's goal is to be recognized as a full-fledged luxury brand rather than simply the accessories company that makes the Roxanne and Bayswater bags. "Our mission is to convey the brand and build the company on an international level," said Godfrey Davis, chairman and chief executive of Mulberry. "In the U.S. in particular, we've sold a lot of Roxanne and Bayswater bags into department store chains. But customers have been buying into the bags, rather than into the Mulberry brand."
Over the past year, the company has trimmed its U.S. wholesale business, and opened four freestanding stores in Manhattan; at the Americana Mall in Manhasset, N.Y., and in Los Angeles and Atlantic City.
The company has boosted its U.S. marketing budget this year to more than $3 million from $500,000, and is planning a multipronged campaign, including ads on New York taxicabs, public relations events and advertising in titles such as Vogue and The New York Times.
On July 4, the company will host a party at the Hotel Marais to mark the opening of its Paris store on Rue Saint-Honoré, near Colette, which will stock the full range of accessories and rtw. Mulberry design director Stuart Vevers will DJ along with Giles Deacon. Models Agyness Deyn and Lily Cole will cohost the party.
In September, during New York Fashion Week, Mulberry will join forces with the CFDA and Vogue to host a party on the rooftop of the Gramercy Park Hotel. The party will take place before the Marc by Marc Jacobs show. A few days later in London, Vevers and Julie Verhoeven, who has designed a capsule clothing and accessories collection for Mulberry, will host a tea party to kick off London Fashion Week. That party will take place at the Julie for Mulberry pop-up store on Westbourne Grove. The temporary store, which Verhoeven will paint and design with her whimsical prints, will remain for six weeks, after which it will revert to being a Mulberry store.
The pop-up store will sell Verhoeven's capsule collection for fall, which includes a chiffon dress, a quilted shopper with a gold chain strap, a cotton T-shirt, a scarf and a ring-pull key chain. On an environmental note, Mulberry will give out 5,000 biodegradable, Made in England bags featuring the Julie Verhoeven for Mulberry print, which features a woman's face, a rose and a mulberry leaf.Mulberry's total worldwide expenditure on marketing will be $10 million this year. "Our main marketing push has just begun," said Davis. "What we really want is sustained growth in the U.S. and foreign markets."
The company also has been focusing on building its retail presence and reducing wholesale accounts, both in the U.K. and U.S. The company plans to open a flagship at the Hong Kong Elements shopping center in October, and a Glasgow unit in the fall. The U.K. generates about 51 percent of Mulberry's sales, and Davis said there is scope for good penetration around the world. Although accessories account for 90 percent of revenues, Davis said rtw is still very important.
"We now have a successful design team in place," he said, referring to Amy Roberts, who was formerly at Ghost and Galliano, and Keith Warren, a designer for Louis Vuitton men's wear.
Mulberry's latest financial results, released Thursday, show a company in steady growth mode. Sales in the fiscal year ended March 31 grew 4 percent to 54.1 million pounds, or $108.2 million, from 43.4 million pounds, or $86.8 million.
Retail sales in the U.K. for the first 10 weeks of the current financial year are up by 31 percent, the company said in a statement.
Profits for the 2006-07 fiscal year dipped 17 percent to 3.9 million pounds, or $7.9 million, from 4.8 million pounds, or $9.6 million. Davis said the drop was due exclusively to one-off tax charges. Pretax profits rose 1.2 percent to 6.2 million pounds, or $12.4 million, from 6.1 million pounds, or $12.2 million.p;
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty