There are certain things in life guaranteed to put a smile on my face. One of those things is Mulberry. Another of those things is Harrods. Exclusive events held at fabulous venues also feature somewhere near the top on my list of grin-inducing happenings. So when the handbag brand extraordinaire decided to hold an intimate press breakfast in the aftermentioned department store’s accessory department, my excitement hit new and probably unhealthy levels. But of course, this stylish get together wasn’t merely an excuse to drink champagne (served even at 8am in fashion circles), feast on miniature poached eggs and mingle… At least, not entirely. This week saw the launch of Mulberry’s Brilliant Britain project and so we gathered in Kightsbridge at the crack of dawn to hear all about it.
Whatever way you look at it, 2012 has been a pretty fantastic year to be British. National spirits were already high following the Royal Wedding and what with the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics this Summer, I don’t think any of us can be blamed for coming over a little bit patriotic. Even that government got in on the act, launching the GREAT campaign to promote our tiny island on an international scale. But even when we thought the fun was over and the next few months held nothing but doom, gloom and a whole lot or rain, Mulberry refused to let the celebratory mood fizzle out, urging us all to keep the bunting flying with the launch of ”Brilliant Britain” – a project designed to pay homage to unsung heroes, undiscovered places, charming peculiarities and time-honoured traditions of the country it calls home.
My fellow early birds at the launch breakfast last week were treated to about as good an introduction to the project as it was possible to get, courtesy of Harrod’s Chief Merchant Marigay McKee, Mulberry’s Chief Executive Godfrey Davis and Henrietta Thompson, the woman responsible for pulling together a selection of the country’s most wonderful landscapes, architecture, craft, food, people, traditions and innovations into a tailored and ‘live’ guide at www.brilliantbritainguide.com. After half an hour’s mincing, handbag ogling and studiously avoiding the open bar (an early morning G&T does not make for a productive day of lectures) I grabbed a spot at the front of the crowd to hear what these three fashion industry big hitters had to say.
I won’t even attempt to regurgitate their rousing speeches but the overwhelming emphasis of the morning was on craftsmanship and modernity, with a healthy dose of British humour. That sounds contradictory I know but Mulberry is both a heritage brand and one which has embraced digital innovation more wholeheartedly than almost any other. Mulberry’s Brilliant Britain, and indeed the label itself, is about tradition, demonstrated that morning by the two knitters who had been brought down from their Somerset factory for the occasion and in the guide by the many hundred year old, family run, independent businesses featured. On the other, both are all for embracing technology and the many opportunities it presents. How? Well as we all know, Mulberry are a dab hand at social media, while the guide is live, all inclusive and interactive with a section where anyone and everyone can send in their own nominations for what, who and where makes Britain brilliant. Not forgetting of course, the fact that it’s online full stop.
It was with a spring in my step and a (British, maybe Adele) song in my heart that I left Harrods and headed in the direction of Oxford Street to further celebrae my country with a trip to topshop!
Love Ella. X