Mulberry’s new designer Johnny Coca on why he’s reinvented the iconic Bayswater bag
Comparing the sleek revamp of the Bayswater, Mulberry’s best known, most loved louis vuitton copy bags uk , most copied and still best selling bag, with one of the original versions is an instructive lesson in how far 1:1 replica handbags we’ve all raised our game and expectations, bag wise.
Millions of us loved that bag when Nicholas Knightly, Mulberry’s then creative director, launched it in 2003. The appeal of its chunky, semi structured frame, gently distressed leather and chuck it all in interior was so broad that as Emma Hill, Mulberry’s Creative Director between 2008 2013 and no slouch herself when it comes to minting It Bags, said, “I have a Bayswater, my son’s grandmother has a Bayswater, Kate Moss has a Bayswater.”
“I remember suddenly seeing this bag everywhere,”says Johnny Coca, Mulberry’s new creative director, “and thinking how clever it was. It had an attitude. You could put everything in it, throw it around. It was obviously well crafted, but it didn’t seem precious. Every brand tried to reproduce something like it.”
Working out what made it so right a decade ago, and what would make it right now, has been, he says, “a bit like redesigning the Mini”. The analogy isn’t so far fetched. Like the Mini dolabuy high quality replica handbags china , the Bayswater is an exemplary, cute, anti bling design that replica louis vuitton handbags becamean emblem of Britishness. So why mess with it? Because as Coca is currently deftly demonstrating, draping an original over his shoulder and twirling around his airy, oak floored 1:1 replica handbags south Kensington replica designer handbags studios to give me a 360 degree view, the older versions are not without faults.
“Look,” he dips a hand inside, “The internal pocket is at the back, so you can’t reach into it so easily. The straps make it heavy and a bit clumsy at the sides and what do they do?” (Ostensibly they can be undone to adjust the size of the bag but Coca’s right, no one uses them), “The hardware is dull looking, the padlock is unnecessary, the straps always flop down to show a join that isn’t very elegant” There, aaa replica designer handbags in an almost bullet point paragraph, you have the nuts and bolts Fake Louis Vuitton Replica Bags of Coca’s approach to design, where form co exists with function.
Raised in Seville, in Southern Spain, he studied architecture and interior design in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and the Ecole Boulle, which two centuries earlier had made furniture for high quality replica handbags china the court at Versailles. In the mid 90s he worked on the interiors of Caf Marly a modern incomer to the Louvre museum, which became a template for so many Parisian caf make overs. And then he found himself window dressing at Louis Vuitton. A few weeks later he was hired to design bags while still completing his two courses.
One of his first hits, aged 24, was the Vuitton Musette, a messenger style bag, designed to hold vinyl records. He later moved to Celine, first under Michael Kors, when he worked on the Boogie bag, a huge hit in the late 90s, then under Phoebe Philo, where he worked on bags such as The Trio, which became as copied as the Bayswater.
He’s been tweaking every detail at Mulberry from the packaging, which is now green, to the typeface. Given his architectural training, it can’t be long before he turns his attention to the stores’ interiors? And he loves maths. “I know the minute I start sketching a bag how much it will cost I like numbers”.
Shopping recently for a present for his sister after she had a baby, he found some of the bag prices startling and wouldn’t pay for them. Most of Mulberry’s high quality designer replica handbags wholesale will sell for around 595 995. Not cheap by normal criteria, but a bargain in the luxury market and importantly, high quality designer replica handbags a fair price for the workmanship, half of which is carried out in its two Somerset factories (the rest is in Turkey, an increasingly popular workshop for global luxury brands, including some you might assume only to manufacture in France or Italy).
He’s refurbished the Bayswater, which is available in itsnew incarnation now, from the inside out literally. “Look”, he says, unfastening a charcoal model to reveal a burgundy suede lining that had everyone oohing in the office when I showed them photos. Unlike the old Bayswater interiors with their ridged seams, the new ones are bonded which makes them seamless. The offending pocket on the inside back is now at the front. The straps have been removed the Bayswater redux is sleeker and replica louis vuitton bags lighter and the sides automatically extend, in the vein of Celine’s Trapeze (which, after all, he worked on). The brass plating is shiny the perfect amount of bling. The pointless padlock has gone. The leather is softer, thicker, more expensive looking, although he says it’s the same quality Mulberry has always used. The handles replica louis vuitton don’t flop. He’s added a dinky, but practical, on trend smaller version (22cm x 35cm x 12cm) with sporty chic white top stitching. These tweaks, which don’t cost more, are the product of a refined eye and “of knowing how to roll leather, not stretch it, how thick to make it for different parts of the bag.”
I haven’t heard anyone talk about a British smell for years. Since he’s in his seventh year living here (he moved when Phoebe Philo relocated the Celine design studio from Paris London, just behind that most hallowed of British institutions, the John Lewis flagship), I was intrigued to know more. It turns out he’s not referring to hygiene, but to attitude. “There’s playfulness in the culture here, but also something that encourages independence of thought and a certain punk element.” It’s that old conservative versus anarchic paradox which may seem a clich to Brits. Yet it holds such sway over the rest of the world, it must contain some truth.
His first Mulberry catwalk show in March avoided the glaringly obvious British tropes, while still, charmingly, playing homage to many of our traditions from military coats and cloaks to Dr Martens esque chunky soled footwear, floral prints, glossy leather gilets and mini kilts and a slew of new bags, some sleek, others have sprouted punkish chains. The line upincludesthe Selwood, a smooth skinned saddle bag with a striking metal clasp, and theChester, a very grown up two sided tote.
For the Bond Street customers the same styles will come in exotic skins that may cost several thousand, and a luscious palette of oxblood, navy, khaki, green” I love green”. So much so, he’s changed the colour of the packaging. “It’s a very British colour. That’s the thing that always hits tourists when the come here how much green there is and how intense it is.”.