When Lana Del Rey launched onto the scene in a big way earlier on this year, it didn't come without its fair share of controversy. Her sudden catapult to fame made many question what she had done to warrant so much attention, especially as her music continued to go down badly with critics. The fashion industry, on the other hand, decided to embrace her with open arms and Mulberry created a bag in her honour. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that her relationship with the fashion industry was one of the key areas of discussion in her cover interview for Vogue Australia's October issue.
'It's funny because now people in fashion kind of came to my rescue when other people said they didn't like the record but that was unexpected for me because I was never really [into fashion],' she told the title. 'I never expressed myself through fashion. I loved flowers in my hair. I loved guys who wore leather but I didn't get creative. From the age of about seven I had really specific tastes and that never changed.' What is set to change, though, is her career path because in the interview she confessed that music isn't actually where her heart is. 'When I was starting I had a vision of being a writer for film and that's what I am doing now. I'm so happy,' she explained. 'Hopefully I will branch into film and stay there. That will be my happy place,' she said before adding that, 'I said everything I needed to say before I wrote this record.'
Is it me or does the whole Lana Del Rey music thing suddenly feel a bit shortlived? I wonder how Mulberry feel, especially since they've done a lot to promote her bag. Surely it's not going to help sales now the singer's decided to go behind-the-scenes compared to the always visible Alexa Chung.
Since June is in full swing most of the biggest campaigns for Fall 2012 have already dropped and so far they are looking good. This week Mulberry released all of the images of their campaign, in what has quickly become one of my favourites, and stars Lindsey Wixson alongside a furry friend shot by Tim Walker.
Equally good are the Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott-lensed Gucci ads, which stars very sultry looking Karmen Pedaru and Nadja Bender. For Jean Paul Gaultier, Karlie Kloss appears again and joins forces with Willy Vandeperre who shot her for those Bally campaigns a few seasons ago. Stella Tennant, who has been clocking up quite a few editorial appearances recently, has also bagged a big campaign this season fronting the Givenchy ads.
A few weeks ago everyone was up in arms after Tyler Shields released that attention-seeking image of a $100,000 Birkin that he sent on fire. While it's not hard to under stand what people were outraged, especially in these trying times, for years there has always been a talk that brands have done this to stay in control of their brand image.
In a recent interview with Telegraph Fashion, Mulberry's Emma Hill named Hermès as an offender:
“No one can touch them in terms of quality. A friend who was working at Hermès said that if there was even the most minor imperfection on a bag they would take it out the back and burn it – no compromise.”
While it's important to point out that that Hill's information is hearsay, it's not too far-fetched. Anyone that read Imogen Edwards Jones' 'Fashion Babylon' will know that such acts done by brands is a lot more common that you would think. The logic behind it is said to be that it prevents their cast-offs being sold off in a way that is out of their control and which therefore cheapens the brand.
This morning the list of the Queen's Birthday Honours list dropped and as many had expected, Sarah Burton was one of the names in the mix.
To say that she's done a great job since taking over the reigns at Alexander McQueen would be an understatement and of course, last year she became a household name across the world after designing Kate Middleton's wedding dress. If there was ever a person to receive the OBE (Order of the British Empire), it's her.
But she's not the only creative director receiving a big nod this year. Mulberry's Emma Hill also made the list, being awarded a CBE and the timing couldn't be better. Last week the brand announced that profits were up last year by 54% and ever since she joined the brand back in 2008, it had continued to go from strength to strength.
Mulberry are on a roll. Last year Bloomberg confirmed that the British brand was the best performing fashion house due to the success of their 'Alexa' bag and things seem to be going from strength-to-strength. Today the company announced that they experienced a 54% rise in profits for the year to March 21, taking in £36 million.
The 'Del Rey' bag, which launched last month, has been doing well but the brand still attributes their success to the 'Alexa' but that's not the only thing that's helped. This year they opened a new store in New York and London's Westfield Stratford and also saw sales rise by 30% in Asia.
Many people were on the cynical side when Mulberry announced that they had named a bag after Lana Del Rey. After all, the timing seemed to tap into the singer's notoriety at the time and her sudden catapult to fame made many question what she had done to warrant the big stamp of approval. None of this has stopped people from getting exciting about the bag to drop though. This week the brand confirmed that the demand has been so huge that they're dropping it in stores early.
Rather than allowing pre-orders and the waiting list to grow, Mulberry announced that as of this week a limited number of the black and brown styles have been made available in their New Bond Street store in London and Spring Street store in New York. If you're not lucky enough to get your hands on the bag then, don't worry because you haven't got long to wait as the full range will hit stores on May 14th.
Mulberry always have a strong front row but the front row line up at their show this morning was particularly interesting. After Rihanna made an appearance at the Stella McCartney presentation last night, many assumed that she would appear at Mulberry today but instead, all eyes were on Lana Del Rey.
In a twist of marketig genius, the brand dropped a press release first thing this morning announcing that they have created the 'Del Rey' bag in the singer's honour, which they confirmed would debut at the show. Naturally then, it became pretty clear that the 'Video Games' singer would be in attendance and that she was. Sporting the white ostrich skin bag, Del Rey sat front row with Pixie Geldof and rapper de jour, Azealia Banks.
The 'Alexa' bag named after Alexa Chung made sense. Whatever you think of the presenter, her innate sense of style is undisputed and more importantly, it is quintessentially British which matches Mulberry's heritage. Del Rey on the other hand seems to have catapulted to fame over night simple for being an antidote to the pop songs we haven't been able to get a break from recently rather than for anything else. While her debut track 'Video Games' was everywhere last summer, her album continues to get panned by critics and Alexandra Schulman was forced to defend choosing her to cover British Vogue's March issue earlier this month. It therefore begs the question - why would Mulberry honour a celebrity who doesn't have a strong link to the brand and whose credibility is the subject of much debate?
Around the end of 2011 there was a real buzz around Lana Del Rey. The 'Video Games' singer has quickly gained a fashion following having been dressed by everyone from Antonio Berardi to Prabal Gurung and back in September, she performed at the Mulberry S/S12 presentation in New York.
If recent reports are anything to go by, indie singer will be working with fashion a lot more in the coming year. Next Model Management has reportedly signed the singer under the talent branch of the agency joining a rooster that already includes Alice Dellal and Alexa Chung. So if you're still not convinced that 2012 is her year, just watch this space.
The February issues are hitting newsstands so the final round of S/S12 ad campaigns are out. The latest to the addition are Toni Garn for Ports 1961, Alice Dellal for Ermanno Scervino, Karmen Pedaru and Abbey Lee Kershaw for Gucci, Frida Gustavsson and Lindsey Wixson for Mulberry and Gisele appears in her third campaign this season for Salvatore Ferragamo.