When I first passed the Mulberry flagship on Bond Street two weeks ago, I was a bit surprised to see the overly busy windows: it basically looked like a visual merchandiser had raided a prop store and decided to randomly fill the space with everything he or she could find. What I soon realized, thanks to a speech bubble and a few familiar items on display, was that this was Mulberry's way of celebrating their 40th anniversary and also advertising their celebratory book to mark this occasion. The seemingly random elements of the store windows were actually props from previous displays - all jammed into one giant hotchpotch of a showcase. In a way, Mulberry created a store window version of a scrapbook or collage, culled from past campaigns and displays.
Though what I saw initially made my head spin, once you focused on specific sections - the charm of Mulberry windows past revealed itself...
Cute cut-outs of illustrated girls, surrounded by large Scrabble pieces and image collages of teddy bears.
Sparkly scorpions on a giant apple and around pink flowers, which were part of the current SS11 windows.
Of course, the actual Mulberry 40th anniversary book is the real highlight. Conceived and designed by the London-based studio Construct, the book holds an impressive 480 pages, has an embossed full-color cover, is bound in linen, has two silk book markers and comes with a set of stickers and picture cards. Mulberry's history, dating back to 1971 is recounted in the introduction, while the predominant portion is dedicated to captionless photographs of the brand's factory, shops, fashion shows, behind-the-scenes footage and towards the back - obligatory shots of their iconic bags, such as the Bayswater or the Alexa. According to Mulberry's brand director: "Rather than a dry historical round up of the past, the book is a glimpse inside our world, a fly-on-the-wall, warts and all journey through the past two years of the brand's life. It shows our public and private life, the highs and lows and the extraordinary Mulberry 'family' that work so hard to make it all seem so effortless."
Two photos from the book: a hilarious shot of a giant Bayswater balloon trying to hail a cab (top) and stamps used to emboss the Mulberry logo on bags (bottom). Both images via The Guardian.
A look at the beautiful packaging and details of the book, which comes with stickers, picture cards and full-color double page photographs (images via Creative Review UK).
If you love the Mulberry brand or simply have a weakness for beautiful coffee table books, you can pick up your copy (for £55) at select Mulberry stores or online via their website. I'd also suggest visiting their homepage if you wish to see more of the book: a cute video allows you to virtually flick through some of the pages.