With its weighty leather, soft interior and signature padlock, the Mulberry Bayswater has a clarity of design that puts it up there with the most iconic of bags, says Sarah Halliwell …
At the beginning of a new season, there’s a lot of talk about decluttering and spring-cleaning and getting rid of things. But what about the things we treasure and that last for ever? Seeing the new Mulberry store open on Duke Street in Dublin made me think about a bag I invested in more than 20 years ago that has really stood the test of time.
Main image: Jason Lloyd Evans.
I remember interviewing the designer of Mulberry’s Bayswater bag back in 2003, when it first launched. It was immediately clear that this bag was here to stay – a future classic, a million miles away from momentary fads or designer label-flashing. With its weighty leather, soft interior and signature padlock, it has a clarity of design that puts it up there with the most iconic of bags, transcending fashion. No extraneous details, no fuss, just great quality. You could see it was going to age wonderfully well – and indeed it has looked better and better as it has worn in and weathered the years, in spite of the knocks and scrapes along the way. Few things, in fact, age quite so well as Mulberry leather. This bag kind of epitomises my approach to ageing in general – it wears its laughter lines well.
The Bayswater has remained a core of the collection ever since its inception, with various design twists, colours and sizes keeping it current (there’s even a limited-edition Miffy range at the moment, in joyfully bright primary colours). For me, this bag epitomises the argument for investing in less, but better: the quality of the leather sets it apart, and I love the way that, two decades on, it still holds strong and looks great.
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