Mulberry links with Axel Arigato for bags, shoes and RTW capsule
Monday sees the launch of the latest Mulberry collaboration after a succession of interesting designer brand link-ups. This time the collab capsule is with Swedish lifestyle label Axel Arigato.
Mulberry said the limited-edition capsule (priced from £45 to £1,950) “marries Axel Arigato’s effortless Scandinavian minimalism and Mulberry’s timeless British aesthetic, in a wear-forever collaboration that celebrates both brands’ shared values of community and engagement with contemporary culture”.
Since it axed its own Johnny Coca-designed RTW line from the SS21 season, Mulberry has continued its links with runway designers and RTW labels.
It has launched bag/accessories capsules with designers including Richard Malone, Alexa Chung, Priya Ahluwalia, and Nicholas Daley. Last runway season, its Paul Smith collab bags also featured in Smith’s catwalk collection.
But this Axel Arigato partnership is much deeper dive than simply a bag collab with an RTW label as a wider range of pieces will be carrying the Mulberry logo, including bags — of course — plus unisex ready-to-wear, footwear, and other accessories.
The starting point for the 35-piece offer was a plunge into the Mulberry archives, “and an exploration of memorable pop culture moments from the past 50 years,” we’re told.
The result, product-wise, is a range of “fashion-forward” leather bags “inspired by three archive Mulberry designs”.
The company’s world-famous Bayswater is one of them and this time the companies have come up with a play on the scale of the Oversized Bayswater.
Meanwhile the Top Handle bag takes the Maddison silhouette and reworks it as a versatile, multi-wear bag, while the Shoulder bag is a contemporary evening piece, “inspired by the timeless Westbourne”.
The trio comes in a selection of bold colourways, from vibrant emerald green and bright azure blue to monochrome and classic black.
For RTW, there are split-colour trenches, relaxed-fit denim and embroidered varsity jackets in neutral tones. And the capsule also includes Axel Arigato’s Area Sneaker, inspired by vintage basketball references. In this instance, it comes adorned with Mulberry’s well-known Postman’s lock and custom strap – which is a first for the Axel Arigato label.
Featured throughout is a collaborative badge that combines Mulberry’s tree emblem and Axel Arigato’s insignia, “to create a crest that reflects the collaboration’s collegiate and community spirit”.
Mulberry’s hardware has also been reinterpreted with the Postman’s Lock appearing not only as a functional feature on bags but decoratively on hero RTW styles, as well as on the aforementioned footwear.
The bags have all been made in the UK at Mulberry’s carbon-neutral Somerset factories with environmentally accredited leather. Also with an eco edge, the shoes have been handmade in Portugal from a combination of leather and polyester produced using recycled PET bottles. And all the cotton used is Global Organic Textile (GOT)-certified.
Mulberry and Axel Arigato are pulling out all the stops for the launch with an event in London celebrating their shared affinity with music and culture. And in Sweden, there will be an immersive pop-up in the atrium space at NK Stockholm, running from Monday until 7 May.
Max Svärdh, Axel Arigato co-founder, said the launch marks “an exciting chapter in Axel Arigato’s story to forge a collaboration of this scale with a long-established brand such as Mulberry. Our aim is to bring the youthful, percussive energy which informs our design language by reinterpreting Mulberry’s heritage silhouettes through a unique Scandinavian lens”.
And fellow co-founder Albin Johansson added that “although founded in Sweden, since its inception Axel Arigato has been particularly welcomed by the UK, and so to launch a collaboration with Mulberry, a brand firmly embedded in British fashion history, feels like a naturally intuitive partnership to roll out”.
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