Snob Essentials

Mulberry Bespoke Service


After all the debate over Kate’s Mulberry custom made (or bespoke) green alligator bag I thought we should look into Mulberry’s bespoke bag service for you guys. Basically you choose one of the core Mulberry styles in the skin and hardware of your liking, it is also personalized with your initials engraved on the postman’s lock on the front of the bag to further confirm its owner (you know, in case you are at the SoHo House and some bimbo tries to sneak off with your bag!). The lock-free Calder will be specially fitted with a Mulberry branded plaque on the back of the bag that can be engraved with your initials. In addition, leather initials can be ordered to hang from the handles of the bag and make it truly personal and unique.lettersbespoke.jpg As for Kate’s bag with the missing exterior front straps that confused so many of you, our Mulberry source said it was an aesthetic decision based on the alligator skin (just as I thought!). Though you are not actually designing a whole new bag, this customization (or bespoke) service allows you to choose the leathers and hardware that best fit your personality and taste! The cost is not that much more and you have to admit, having your own initials on a bag is quite appealing. (More info after the jump!)

See Mulberry styles online!

Bespoke service is available at Mulberry’s London stores (Bond St and Brompton Road)44(0)2072291635, the Rue St Honore store in Paris, as well as New York (Bleeker St and Madison Avenue).


Left: Ledbury In Violet Ostrich Right: East/West Bayswater in Cyprus Ostrich


1. The range of bags are from both women’s and unisex styles.

2. Customers can choose from six classic Mulberry styles: Ledbury,

East West Bayswater, Bayswater, Piccadilly, Brynmore and Calder.

3. These styles are available in a selection of exclusive leathers, including

ostrich and metallics.

4. As part of the Bespoke Service, you can choose to have up to

three initials engraved on either the Postman’s Lock on the outside flap

or on a metal plate fixed to the back of the bag depending on the

bag you choose.

5. For an additional charge, the service also includes the option to

purchase up to three leather initials that hang from the handles of the

bag and are made from matching material.

6. Each bag is made individually by hand in the Mulberry factory in Somerset.

7. The bags will be delivered within 6 to 8 weeks after the order has been

taken if the materials are in stock, and within 14 weeks if the leather has

to be specially ordered.

8. The bags can either be collected from any of the participating stores or

delivered to a home address.


Left: Bayswater in White Patent Right: Brynmore in Soft Tumbled Gunmetal


There are Six classic Mulberry styles you can choose from for this service:


LEDBURY– £495-1,500 / USD $995 – $3,415

EAST WEST BAYSWATER– £595-2,195 / USD$1,195 – $4,409

BAYSWATER– £850-2,700 / USD$1,707 – $5,424


PICCADILLY– £1,250-4,000 / USD$2,511 – $8,037

BRYNMORE– £595-2,195 / USD$1,195 – $4,409

CALDER– £850-2,700 / USD$1,707 – $5,424



1. You can choose from a selection of exclusive materials, including patent and ostrich.

2. All leathers are tanned in the UK, Italy or France for Mulberry from premium grade hides.

3. All ostrich leathers are sourced from certified farms.

4. The customer has a choice of silver or pale gold components



As part of the Bespoke Service, customers can choose to have up to three

initials engraved on either the Postman’s Lock on the outside flap or on a metal

plate fixed to the back of the bag depending on the chosen style.


For an additional charge, up to three initials can be made in the same leather

chosen for the bag. The letters are hung from the bag and are individually cut

and finished in Somerset by local craftsmen.

Photos and Source: Mulberry London



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  1. I don’t really understand you bagsnob sometimes. You are doing a lot of promotion of beautiful brands like Hermes and Chanel who have an incredible heritage and craftmanship knowledge, but at the same time you’re promoting a brand, in that case Mulberry who is mass-producing 90% of their bags in China and Turkey. Why? Mulberry is always talking about that factory in Somerset, but the reality is totally different…are the high prices justified?

  2. Anna,

    I was not aware Mulberry was producing in China… will look into this.

    Also, a bespoke Hermes bag starts at $12,000, not a price point that every Bag Snob reader can afford. I try to offer options for everyone. A custom (bespoke) Mulberry bag starts at $900, so yes, there is a huge difference.

    I have no problem with well made and well priced bags made in China as long as the brand is honest about it (like Coach, not my cup of tea but it is a good price point for most people and they don’t pretend the bags are made in Europe). I only have a problem with counterfeit bags made in China.

    That said, I will look into your Mulberry claims. This is a major issue that bothers me about European luxury goods, they do not have the same regulations as we do in the US. If a bag says it’s “Made in USA” – it is usually 100% made here. Often times you will see a “Made in USA with Italian leather” label. In America, you have to distinguish where it is made and where the materials come from.

    This means Louis Vuitton’s labels should read “Made in China, Finished in France with a strip of Cowhide”

    But in Europe, you only have to sew one stitch to qualify for the “Made in Italy” “Made in France” or “Made in UK” label….

    I believe Hermes is the only brand that is still 100% made in France.

  3. Dear Tina, I await your word on the Mulberry where it is made

    etc. As I do not want to support in anyway child labor abuse etc.

    As you said, finding something made in “Europe” is next to impossible

    these days, and a sad thing that is.

    Thanks for all your work

  4. It’s really disappointing that Mulberry have outsourced so much of their production. I would be really interested in some more information about this…

  5. To my new bag-

    Made in China doesn’t automatically mean an abuse of child labor. I know Marie Claire has done articles on certain factories that do employ children (who would other wise starve or be forced into prostitution. If you speak to them, they are proud of their work) and I do not approve of nor would I support these factories.

    But many manufacturers, like Coach, have nice factories that gleam like Gucci retail stores and employ skilled adult leather craftsmen.

    Again, I do not have a problem with bags made in China by legitimate manufacturers.

    Anna- it seems case is closed. as long as Mulberry has labels for the bags made in china or Turkey, I am cool with that.

    if they were to manufacture in UK or Italy, the leather bags would probably start at $2,000, not $900.

  6. For the sources, you just have to walk in a mulberry store and look inside the bags…they all have a «made in china» or «made in turkey» tag (except probably the exotic one since they still have a somerset factory) Even a sale associate in New Bond Street (in London) told me she hasn’t seen an item made in England for a long time… I do agree with Tina that there is no problem with a legitimate factory in China, but the thing is that Mulberry is constantly talking about their english craftmanship and their traditional somerset factory…I think this is hypocrite…and you will probably admit that their bags aren’t exactly cheap..

  7. Tina,

    Some Mulberry are made in China and Turkey. I am not sure whether it is just certain percentage of the overall work or entire production, at least it is exactly what it is stated/stamped on their products!

    Yes, if the brand is honest about it, I see no problem with made in China product as long as it is still up to the same high standard of craftsmanship as their Europe made coutnerparts and WELL priced.

    By the way, wouldn’t you be surprised to see Hermes that is made in India ????

    Hermes ” Ahmedabad ” tote bags are made in India !!

  8. Before Mulberry bags were known in the USA (about 10 years ago) they were often made (depending on the style)by Renouard Maroquinerie in Plancoet, France. See their website and products at I have been vacationing every summer about 30 minutes from Plancoet for the last 21 years. I buy a Renouard bag every year and have special ordered (Bespoke style) from the wide color and leather selection that is really unique in France, especially at their prices. My sister-in-law who lives in Rome does a similar thing with her leather car shoes. She gets them from a handmade leather atelier in some mountainous place not far from Rome. The point is that Savoir Faire can be anywhere in Europe or in China and in the USA and not just in the hands of a few highly expensive European brands. I’m sure most of you are true experts and can look at a bag and see for yourselves the quality in the leather, the stitching, and the hardware. I don’t advocate labelling “Made in China” as made in “Inferior Land” otherwise why would some of these illustrious design houses trust their brand name to Chinese artisans? By the way my latest love affair is with my black croc-embossed Lancel Premier Flirt, (made in China, I believe) For summer they have come out with a red, matte, real alligator model, beautiful, made in Italy, 5000euros

  9. Sam I Am,

    The Ahmedabad was made as a tribute to the city it is named after.

    PJH- I am actually enjoying this conversation! I do not own a Mulberry bag and though I’ve admired them at stores I’ve never had the urge to buy one. The bespoke customization service, for an ostrich one, is the first time I’ve entertained getting a Mulberry bag. And I would not mind if it was produced in China as long as they were upfront about it.

    Lastly, I have seen beautifully handmade leather bags out of China (legitimate ones). The Chinese have over 5,000 years of experience in leather craftsmanship and it is Wal-Mart that has given Chinese produced quality a bad name. But the Americans want everything at Wal-Mart for a dollar, what do they expect? I for one do not shop at Wal-Mart. I walked into one once and was horrified at the things in there. They should pay people to take the items home.

  10. There was an interesting documentary shown in the UK this week about the fake trade. The boom in designer fakes is partly due to the big brands having factories in China – the designs fall into the wrong hands and… bingo, you have fakes that are nearly indistinguishable from the original. As for Mulberry, I chose to buy from them because I wanted to support a British brand and now I feel kind of naïve! I sincerely hope that my recently-purchased Bayswater really is “Made in England” like the tag suggests, and not finished in England…

  11. Dear Stars,

    I understand how you feel about supporting british brands. If you really wanna do that, check LIBERTY OF LONDON, SMYTHSON OF BOND STREET or ASPREY. Smythson and Asprey might be a bit mature, but Liberty is awesome!!! Check them out before they get too popular, they are planning to open a store in the USA i think.


  12. My darlings,

    I just heard back from the Mulberry rep, she will be releasing an official statement from the brand shortly!

    I have to say I love Mulberry more and more. Not only for the hip bags but for their dedication to their customers. They want to assure you that they do not mis-label as other brands. I guess the UK also has very strict label laws. Kudos to them! I look forward to their statement and will share it with you asap.

    I am definitely going to order the metallic gray Bayswater, either in ostrich or tumbled leather. I love the longer straps to sling over my shoulder.


  13. We’ve really enjoyed reading your comments and are impressed by both your knowledge of brands and your deep interest in ethics.

    Mulberry is proud to be the one of the only British luxury brands to retain and invest in its UK factory. To ensure that the tradition of craftsmanship continues in our Somerset factory, Mulberry launched an apprenticeship scheme in 2006 to encourage a new generation of skilled craftsmen and women and offer employment opportunities to the local community.

    We are also proud that our Bespoke Collection is made in our Somerset factory and at the moment, our entire Early Autumn 2008 line is currently being produced in Somerset.

    For several years we have been working towards increasing production at our main factory, part of this has resulted in its expansion. This will aid us in continuing to increase the number of bags “made in England”. It is extremely important to us to produce as much as we can in England, but in order to keep up with the popularity and demand for our products, some have to be made outside the UK. We can assure you that not only are these goods produced with exactly the same materials and components, but our Quality Teams oversee all locations in order to ensure that high standards are maintained throughout the process.

    Ethical behaviour is very important to the brand and to our customers – and we are constantly looking for new ways to produce ethical luxury products and give back to the community.

    With Love,


  14. Anna – I saw the Liberty of London Fall/Winter bag collection during fashion week in Paris. I stumbled on their open house for the trade that was in the Palais Royal. The rep told me the bags are made in Italy. They were gorgeous colors, especially the greens and purples. I love the traditional stamped peacock inspired styles. I am going to buy from Le Bon Marche where they have a corner if I can’t get to London this summer.

  15. “I am definitely going to order the metallic gray Bayswater, either in ostrich or tumbled leather. I love the longer straps to sling over my shoulder”.

    I have an East-West Bayswater in gunmetal (which presumably is the metallic grey colour) and it’s a very wearable colour. It seems to change slightly depending on what you put it next to, which some might find off-putting but I have decided is evidence of versatility. The bag fits over my shoulder or on my arm, even though the straps may be slightly shorter than the Bayswater and I’m about the same height as you. My sister has told me to leave it to her if I pop off which is flattering and pragmatic, if not all that cheerful. It’s the ultimate seal of sisterly approval on seeing a new purchase: ooh, can I have it when you die? All in all, one of my better bag purchases. (Let us not speak of some of the others that live at the back of the wardrobe).

  16. Hi all, I hope the response from Mulberry answers your questions.

    I was told that all bags from the made to measure service – (just for you Pam, or bespoke as they call it) will be produced in Somerset. So if you want to ensure your bag was made in the UK, you should order from the service.

    If you do not want to wait and would like a Bayswater like right now, you can rest assured that it will be properly labeled according to its place of manufacture.

    You all should be proud of yourselves for being so knowledgeable on your bags! Mulberry is one of the largest bag brands in the world- and not only are they reading each and every one of your comments, they care enough to take time to respond!

    In our experience, most brands of this size would just ignore our little blog. Thanks, Mulberry.


  17. I bought a pair of espadrilles from Hermes recently and they were labelled “made in Spain”. The SA explained to me that Hermes do not necessarily make all their stuff in France but rather they make them in the country that has the best craftsmanship for that particular product.

  18. Miffy,

    that makes complete sense! I was referring to leather bags in this case though I did not know Hermes espadrilles were made in Spain. I actually buy my espadrilles straight from Spain 🙂

    Thanks for the info! xo

  19. It has been very interesting to read the comments listed regarding countries of origin for handbags etc. To be honest, it is frightening to know how many brands on the high street are made in the far east. However, please note this is not all bad! The media has blown things out of proportion (like the current economic climate!). I have been all over the world looking into manufacturing accessories all over the world, and to be fair, all countries certainly have the capability.

    The reason we manufacture in Italy is as follows:

    1. We are a small British based company and Italy can turn around samples and our designs very quickly. They are very skilled and there are hundreds of excellent factories.

    2. The wealth of materials and leathers surpasses any other country.

    3. Some of the artisan craftsman we use are 3rd/4th generation bag makers.

    4. The quality of leather we use can only be found in Santa Croce near Tuscany (the home of vegetable tanned leather).

    5. Made in Italy

    Many of the huge world renowned brands have exceptionally large overheads when it comes to marketing, advertising etc. If they can cut costs shifting production elsewhere for the same quality they will – remember, at the end of the day these companies are run by business men and women, and have shareholders to answer to. Consumers are becoming more savvy and want to be aware of where there products come from…..however, if you spend over a £1000 on a handbag, I would want to know where was made and what justifies the cost… it just the label inside?

    I hope this information has helped. Please email me if you would like to discus further:

    I would love to hear your comments.

  20. I have just bought an oak bayswater from the Mulberry Store in Glasgow and it is made in Spain, I also thought all their bags where made in England but to be honest I took a bayswater bag that was made in England because it wasn’t perfect! I love the one that is made in Spain and as long as I know it is ‘real’ that’s good enough for me.

  21. Really interesting to read the comments re customizing a bag. I love the Mulberry style but there are other options available for those on a budget ( I have been making bags in Scotland (leather sourced mainly from Germany and the UK) for the last 20 years and have always offered a total customization of the styles that I do(including matching leather initials as tags!) There are other designer/makers around who offer this service, the fun is in the hunt!

  22. I went to the factory in somerset. they are very good quality bags made very well, mainly the bayswater is made in Chilcompton but i asked about the conditions of the other factories. The guy made it very clear that they had to move abroad to stay competitive. He showed me pictures of the factories and they are good conditions.

    Just make sure you waterproof your bag as soon as you get them otherwise they get ruined.

  23. Hi Monica,

    A quick question if I may (off-topic, though it may be!)

    What do you think of the name “Premier Flirt”? Do you have any idea what it could mean?

    Merci in advance,