Review of Mulberry ‘Bayswater’ Spring 2023 Ad Campaign with Photographer Ronan McKenzie with models Lily McMenamy, Alva Claire, Laura Morgan
2023 marks the 20th anniversary of a Mulberry icon: the Bayswater. A definitive bag of the early noughties, today it continues to be one of Mulberry’s most loved styles, synonymous with the brand’s Made to Last ethos.
But let’s rewind for a minute, to 2003. We keep in touch via Blackberry (Facebook won’t launch for another year). Denim is perilously low slung. The Black Eyed Peas’ Where is the Love? is on every music station. You can smoke inside. Madonna, Britney, and Christina kiss on stage at the VMAs. Dawson’s Creek ends, The OC begins. And the bag everyone wants? The Mulberry Bayswater.
A lot has changed since then, but despite the ebb and flow of trends, the Bayswater has stood the test of time. Reflective of the brand’s emphasis on quiet luxury and style rooted in function, it remains one of Mulberry’s best-selling styles, both new and pre-loved, and fans who bought their bags 20 years ago continue to love and wear them, earning the Bayswater the reputation of an icon.
Taking its name from the west London neighbourhood, the Bayswater became an instant hit with the noughties style set. Sienna Miller, Alexa Chung, Rihanna, and Kate Moss – whose personal Bayswater was included in the 2020 V&A exhibition Bags: Inside Out – were just a few of the fans who helped propel the bag to hero status. It was also immortalised in pop culture, cameoing in the original Gossip Girl. In recent years, the bag has found popularity with a whole new generation discovering Y2K fashion for the first time: today they scoop up heritage Bayswaters through The Mulberry Exchange, the circular economy initiative designed to give further mileage to pre- loved pieces.
Immediately recognisable thanks to its refreshingly understated look and signature Postman’s Lock, the Bayswater’s timeless design has evolved over the years with Zipped and Mini iterations joining the family. Concurrently, the Bayswater’s sustainable credentials have also progressed and developed. Since 2022, they have been crafted exclusively from environmentally accredited and carbon neutral leather, a requirement implemented across all Mulberry bags. Continuing the brand’s 2022 commitment to conduct Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) on all its core styles, this year the Bayswater has undergone a comprehensive LCA with the goal of understanding and identifying areas of potential improvement to further reduce its carbon emissions.
Always innovative, Mulberry continues to look to the future with reenergised takes on the classic. As part of the 20th anniversary, three new styles are introduced: the compact East/ West Bayswater, a distinctly Mulberry take on the noughties renaissance; the North/South Bayswater Tote, a go-anywhere shoulder bag; and the contemporary Zipped Bayswater Tote, a roomy hold-all that is adaptable thanks to its multi- zip detailing. Other newness for the season includes a poppy palette of Geranium Pink, Acid Green, and Pigment Blue. The Mini Bayswater is reimagined with a set-for-summer attitude, handmade in Raffia.
The campaign, starring new and pre-loved styles from the Bayswater family, was shot by Ronan McKenzie, styled by Eliza Conlon, and features personalities who reflect the Mulberry spirit including Lily McMenamy, Alva Claire, and Laura Morgan. Launching May 10th, the campaign breaks the fourth wall, capturing honest moments between the subject and image makers behind the camera in a series of uplifting short videos.
“At the heart of Mulberry are timeless collections that champion contemporary British design, quality craftsmanship and competitively priced luxury. It is always wonderful to see a bag capture the public interest, but our ultimate goal is to make bags that will be used for a lifetime and passed onto the next generation. The Bayswater embodies our Made to Last ethos, which is one of the reasons why after 20 years it remains an emblem of enduring style and continues to be one of our best- loved designs”
— Thierry Andretta, Mulberry CEO
Photographer | Ronan McKenzie
Models | Lily McMenamy, Alva Claire, Laura Morgan
Stylist | Eliza Conlon