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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mulberry for Target - A Reluctant Review

Mulberry for Target

After looking forward to the Mulberry for Target release for a few weeks, I must admit that I'm slightly disappointed in the collection as a whole. Perhaps it began with my failed attempt at buying the large denim satchel during the Gilt Groupe sale, or when I glimpsed the hot pink leopard satchel in a print ad and lamented its somewhat cheap-looking fabrication. After browsing the collection on Target's website at midnight, I knew I wouldn't be trekking to Target at 8am on a Sunday morning, especially after a late night out. When I did make it to the store around 2pm, I noticed that the smaller handbags and crossbody styles were selling well. I have no doubt that a handful of women arrived early at my local store to shop the collection first.

Back to my disappointment in the collection. To begin with, handbags aren't a huge draw for me when it comes to personal adornment, however, shoes are. Furthermore, I'm neither a fan of patent materials nor crossbody bags, so the only pieces that appealed to me were the large Bayswater-inspired satchels. (I often find patent bags too dressy for my daytime looks, and crossbody bags draw attention to areas where I don't want extra "baggage.") Although I gravitate towards animal prints, in this instance, I found the leopard print bags to be too flashy and shiny for my taste, and the mini crossbody bags for $14.99 were just that - ultra mini. So small that they can only fit a lip gloss and some keys. (I have pockets and clutches for that.) I also found the satchels priced at $34.99 to be awkwardly small. They're the type of bags that you can't wear on your shoulder, so you have to rest them on your forearm or carry them in hand, which I prefer not to do, since I like to have my hands free.

While I appreciated the use of decent fabrics, hardware, and multiple pockets on the interiors of the bags, I found the "Mulberry for Target" branding on the exterior components to be too conspicuous. Hey Target, how about "Mulberry" in large letters and "for Target" in tiny letters, or no "for Target" at all. The floral Tucker for Target dress I'm wearing right now has "Tucker" printed on the front buttons - no mention of Target. Part of the appeal of these masstige collections is in the brand image and recognition, and the "for Target" takes away from the Mulberry prestige. While it's asking too much for the Mulberry for Target collection to incorporate leather, I would prefer more of the pebbled faux leather instead of the cheap-looking patent material that predominates.

My top three picks for this collection are: the large pebble tote in black, the large denim satchel in blue, and the velvet satchel in black - each priced at $49.99. They're big enough to carry on your shoulder, they can accommodate your daytime essentials, and the silhouettes are true to Mulberry's aesthetic.