Classic Bags Countdown #7: Mulberry Bayswater
Mulberry is one of a clutch of brands that has appeared several times in our countdown; which is testament to their consistent quality and innovation. The Bayswater is probably the most recognised of Mulberry bags worldwide, earning it a place in our top 10 as well as in our bag-loving hearts.
Handbag History: The Bayswater was one of the first Mulberry icons to break out of the label's roots in rural, rustic England and venture into the big city; its name being taken from an upmarket district of London. Released on to the market at the turn of the 21st Century, it marked a shift in direction for the brand, with its modest Somerset beginnings. With definite call-outs to the Hermes Birkin, but with a distinctive style of its own, it is the UK's answer to the ideal modern woman's bag.
In Our View: Unlike the Roxanne, which was released at around the same time, the Bayswater is first and foremost an Urban bag, which works especially well for professional women looking for a smart and practical accessory to accompany their suits and smart tailoring. But despite its very businesslike leanings, it hasn't lost the Mulberry sense of fun and experimentation, and continues to appear on the catwalk in all manner of colourful and extravagant guises year after year.
Recently, the Bayswater has appeared in a dazzling array of colours, patterns and finishes, including the 'loopy leopard' patent leather edition pictured above left, Gold grosgrain glitter and even denim (above, centre); a fabric that will feature heavily in next season's signature collection. For such generously sized, iconic handbags, Bayswaters are also (relatively) inexpensive for the investment buyer, at around £650 new.
Celeb Fans: Fearne Cotton, Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Gemma Atherton, Billie Piper, Claudia Schiffer, Alexa Chung, Rochelle Wiseman, Jennifer Lopez, Kat Deeley, Emma Roberts, Mollie King
Get the Look: The Bayswater is very much a current style and is available either through Mulberry direct or a handful of licensed retailers. In matte black or brown leather you can buy it for £650 from Net-a-Porter or Selfridges, and the shiny patent styles are available from £695 at Mulberry. Limited edition colours and fabrics come in higher, including the Champagne Moon Metallic and Plum Loopy Leopard versions at £850, and there's even a Bayswater for Macbook, which retails at £750.