The replica handbag maker’s new Tessie range has yet to embraced by the style set, but it is simple and simple works
In the noughties, London fashion week was awash with Mulberry’s distinctively shaped replica handbags. From the pouchy-pocketed Roxanne, wildly popular in 2004, to 2010’s satchel-shaped Alexa, they were perennially tucked under the arms of fashion editors, buyers and celebrities.
Mulberry’s new Tessie bags have received a more muted response. Though it’s early days the range has only been on sale for a couple of weeks – they haven’t been popping up on street style blogs, nor have celebrities been conspicuously carrying them into fashion events.
Available in oak, oxblood and black colours with truly broad appeal – the Tessie range is inspired by classics from the Mulberry outlet uk archive, and the designs don’t scare the horses.
The cheapest of the range – the Small Satchel is a dinky cross-body pouch reminiscent of Celine’s cute Box Shoulder bag. The Tessie is simple and sleek, occupying a similar space to Michael Kors’s relatively affordable designs. The slouchy Hobo is an unstructured soft leather sack that tucks subtly under the arm. All are shapes that customers will feel vaguely familiar with already; they speak of quality and long-lasting appeal rather than boundary-breaking high fashion.
For years, Mulberry’s quirky fashion shows and starry front rows where Kate Moss would sit beside Alexa Chung and Lana Del Rey were a key part of the brand’s identity, and naming specific replica handbags after celebrities was a key motif. But the world has moved on from tribute “It” bags, as the success of more anonymous products by Kors, Coach and Celine attests.
As a brand, Mulberry replica hasn’t entirely kissed glitz goodbye. At the most recent London fashion week, for example, the company launched a collection of youthful, idiosyncratic bags with Cara Delevingne, featuring brightly coloured camouflage-print rucksacks and quirky lion rivets.
The collaboration was a good move for stardust, pizzazz and publicity, but the company well knows that the business cannot rely on purple quilted rucksacks costing upwards of £1,000 to thrive. In current fashion, simple works and the Tessie range is wilfully simple. The style set may not be obsessed, but commercially, pandering to the familiar and classic makes a lot of sense.