Mulberry Explores Symbolism of Black Hair in Collection with Priya Ahluwalia

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

In an impactful ode to Black hair, luxury lifestyle brand Mulberry has tapped designer Priya Ahluwalia to create a capsule of small accessories and handbags. Full of symbolism, thoughtful silhouettes, and bespoke features, the collection explores the nuances of hair across the diaspora, while incorporating age-old techniques into bags that would look chic daily. The newly launched partnership is the latest in the lineup of Mulberry Editions, a series of collections celebrating five decades in business.

'We are thrilled to have collaborated with Priya as part of Mulberry Editions during our 50th anniversary year', Thierry Andretta, the British label's CEO, stated about the collaboration. 'Ahluwalia's bold creative voice and her innovative approach to sustainability is entirely aligned with our 'Made to Last' values and adds an exciting new chapter to our rich history of collaborations.'

The lineup, which consists of Mulberry's Portobello tote, in a range of sizes, and scarves, marks Ahluwalia's first venture into accessories, but you'd never be able to tell from looking at the intricacies of the pieces on offer. Featuring a custom wave print to channel a retro '70s feel, the bag designs are inspired by the techniques of braided Black hair with plaited seam and patchwork-effect details. Just further proving that it really is all in the details, the slouchy silhouette features proverbial badges of honorlike an embroidered Afro combthat represent the underlying importance of hair in Black culture. From a means of identity and pride to protest and expression, hair has always served as something much bigger than a style.

'Mulberry is a brand that I have memories of from childhood, ever since I used to borrow my mum's own bag, so this was an opportunity to collaborate with a brand that is very meaningful to me', Ahluwalia explained. 'I haven't yet had a chance to make accessories and I think with Mulberry x Ahluwalia, we've brought together our mutual values to create beautiful pieces that people can buy and cherish forever.' Shown as part of Ahluwalia's spring/summer 2022 collection during London Fashion Week, the capsule is accompanied by a new film, titled Parts of Me. The project is directed by BAFTA-nominated Akinola Davies Jr. as an homage to the role hair plays in Black culture.

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