Aspinal of London and Mulberry are two of Britain’s biggest leather goods brands, but which one is better for you? Let this article help you answer the question of Aspinal Of London vs Mulberry.
If you are looking for a luxury leather handbag which a touch of British heritage, then Aspinal of London and Mulberry are among the best brands to go for – both have years of experience crafting timeless leather bags.
Aspinal of London is known for its range of classic style men’s and women’s bags, small leather goods, journals, diaries, and a range of small accessories. This brand is also beloved by many members of the royal family.
Mulberry offers more trend-led women’s handbags and men’s backpacks and briefcases, as well as accessories, small leather goods, and a range of shoes. The Mulberry brand has famously had fashion icons like Alexa Chung as its brand ambassadors, which has helped fuel the brand’s popularity.
It can be a challenge to choose between these British brands if you are looking for a new bag, but that’s why we’re here to help. We are going to explore the histories of each of these brands, the key differences, and top products from each brand before coming to a conclusion on Aspinal of London vs Mulberry.
Aspinal of London vs mulberry
The history of Aspinal of London
Aspinal of London is a luxury leather goods company based between London and West Sussex, founded by Iain Burton in 2001. The brand was first established to supply a range of leather accessories and stationery to gift shops of many different museums, including The National Gallery in London, the Louvre in Paris, and the Vatican.
The name Aspinal of London was chosen as Aspinal is an old English name originating from the word ‘Aspen-well’, which refers to a group of Aspen trees, highlighting the natural world and strength within the brand. ‘Of London’ was added to the name to represent the British heritage which is reflected in the heraldic-inspired logo.
The brand quickly grew and in 2006 when Burton’s wife Mariya Dykalo joined the company. She was a key figure in designing the first Aspinal bag in 2007, named the Paris Bag, which is still a part of the brand to this day.
Aspinal of London has collaborated with many famous figures over the years to produce outstanding collections that have remained classics and stood the test of time. In 2010, there was a collaboration between Aspinal and actress Elizabeth Hurly, in which they created the ‘Elizabeth Hurley Bag’, which supported the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
In 2015, Aspinal collaborated with luxury womenswear brand Beulah, creating a clutch that was in support of the United Nations Blue Heart Campaign. In 2016, a collaboration with actress Michelle Dockery created the Dockery bag. Two years later in 2018, model David Gandy worked with Aspinal of London to create a capsule collection of men’s bags and travel accessories.
Aspinal of London has gained many famous fans, including several members of the royal family. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton was first spotted with an Aspinal of London Midi Mayfair bag in 2013 and has worn this bag many times since, including royal engagements as recently as January 2020.
The Duchess of Cornwall and Zara Tindall, the daughter of Princess Royal, have both also been seen with Aspinal of London bags for different special occasions.
The history of Mulberry
The British fashion brand Mulberry was founded in 1971 by Roger Saul and has become known for its wide range of luxury leather goods. Roger Saul, alongside his mother Joan, opened the first Mulberry factory in Somerset in 1973, an area well-known for leather goods production.
In this family business, Saul’s sister designed the now famous Mulberry logo, which was inspired by the Mulberry trees that the siblings would pass on their way to school.
Initially, Mulberry was known for their leather poacher bags, including a binocular bag, but the brand slowly grew and now predominantly sells gorgeous women’s handbags. The heritage of this brand is quintessentially British, with the first inspiration pulled from London’s dynamism mixed with elements synonymous with rural activities – this unique combination became known as Le Style Anglais.
With the company now based between Somerset and London, the mix of the city and the country still inspires the brand and allows them to combine traditional craftsmanship with new innovations and modern tweaks.
To improve the contemporary designs of the Mulberry brand, Roger Saul hired Scott Henshall as the creative director. Hensall created the jewel pieces and rebranded the Mulberry brand to make it more popular and embedded within the British fashion scene.
British actress Anna Friel was chosen as the face of the brand, and the Mulberry bag quickly became seen by many celebrities, including Kate Winslet, Victoria Beckham, and Zara Tindall. Henshall managed to achieve these big changes in the space of a year, as Scott Henshall left the brand to focus on his own collection in 2001.
The next significant change came in 2007 when British designer Emma Hill joined the brand and created even more beloved handbags. Hill is credited with creating the Alexa handbag, inspired by Alexa Chung, which proved wildly popular and continues to be one of the brand’s best-selling bags still to this day.
Most recently, creative director Johnny Coca designed stunning handbags for the brand, putting his own twist on the classic Mulberry style. However, Coca left the Mulberry brand in 2020.
Mulberry puts strong values of quality craftsmanship, innovative design, and sustainability at the center of the brand. This luxury brand is committed to protecting the planet and creating bags that last, so you know these iconic designs will last a long time. Mulberry focuses on responsible sourcing of materials, quality and fair production, and the reduction of gas emissions to ensure the leather goods they produce are all sustainable.
Just like Aspinal of London, there are many famous fans of Mulberry bags, including Meghan Markle, Lana Del Ray, Cara Delevingne, and Olivia Palermo.
Differences between Aspinal of London Vs mulberry
There are several differences between these high-end labels that you should be aware of in order to make a purchasing decision – here are the most significant ones.
1. Price Range
We are going to begin with the price range of each brand as this is going to have a significant effect as to which brand you should go for. Aspinal of London bags range between $275 and $4,225, depending on the size of the bag, the material, and the intricacy of the decoration.
Mulberry, on the other hand, range of bags sell for between $380 and $2,275 – although there is a canvas tote bag available for $50 which is part of a limited edition collection. This displays how Aspinal of London has a greater price range, but the cheapest bags from each luxury label are pretty similar.
With this said, if you look at the most popular bags from each brand, Aspinal of London is significantly more affordable. You’ll find beautiful designs for around $500 and up, while Mulberry’s most popular bags retail for well over $1,000.
It is worth considering the craftsmanship and materials of any bag you are buying and finding out what it is made from – however, this information can be difficult to find.
Mulberry has been open about the fact that their leather goods are made in a range of locations. They currently have two factories in Somerset, where the brand was founded, in which they make some of their leather goods.
All Mulberry’s men’s bags are made in factories in Turkey, which is also used by brands such as Dunhill and Givenchy, while small leather goods are made in a factory in China. Aspinal of London, on the other hand, do not really reveal where their bags and leather goods are made, which makes it difficult to compare the craftsmanship of the two brands properly.
Both brands use a range of materials to create their bags, and these materials can give you an idea of the luxurious nature of these products. Aspinal of London primarily use full grain leather to produce their bags, which they then treat in a range of different ways to create different finishes.
In addition to leather bags, the brand also has a few velvet bags, embroidered bags, and raffia bags if you are looking for something a little different.
Mulberry, on the other hand, uses a wide range of leathers and other materials, including heavy grain bovine leather, small classic grain leather, silky calf leather, Nappa leather, and high shine bovine leather. Mulberry also offers bags crafted from canvas, suede, and regenerated nylon, which is a recycled nylon material that is more environmentally friendly than regular nylon.
Nappa leather, which comes from calves, lambs and young goats, is a little more expensive, softer and high-quality leather than other bovine leathers – a fact worth bearing in mind when you are deciding on a bag.
Top Bags from Aspinal of London Vs mulberry
There are so many incredible bags that have been created by both brands over the years that it is difficult to narrow down the choice and know which brand to go for. So, to help you out, we have picked some of our favorites that we feel you will love too!
1. Shoulder bags
The Aspinal Hobo bag is crafted from responsibly sourced full-grain leather to create this slouchy, relaxed silhouette.
The shoulder strap can be adjusted and there is also the option to add your initials to the strap to really personalize this bag. The top zip opens to reveal a spacious interior which is lined and fitted with a zipper pocket and two open pockets, perfect for your smartphone.
This bag is available in a range of different colors, but we love the timeless feel of this rich tan shade, perfectly finished off with gold hardware.
The Lily bag is a favorite bag among the Mulberry cannon, because of its paired back ye practical design. The bag is made from heavy grain bovine leather which has a textured finish and supple feel, gold hardware embellishes this handbag.
The compact size of this bag means it is perfect as an evening bag, or take full advantage of the organized interior and use it as your everyday handbag.
The front flap and postman’s lock open to reveal a pink structured interior with a slip pocket. The gold chain strap is woven with leather and can be fully extended to form a crossbody bag, or the chain is doubled up and worn as a shoulder bag.
We love the curved, sleek shape of the Aspinal of London Stella Satchel. This super handy bag will quickly become a go-to in your collection because of its versatile design that would suit a whole range of outfits.
Available in tan or black leather, this bag just features the Aspinal of London brand name in small gold lettering on the front flap.
The inside of the bag is lined with a contrasting bright red lining and fitted with a large slip pocket – the exterior also features a slip pocket too. The adjustable shoulder strap can be worn on the shoulder or across the body.
The Mulberry Alexa Satchel is a cult classic that really is a must-have. This bag is available in a range of different colors, all made from grained leather and finished with gleaming gold hardware.
This satchel features a braided top handle and a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap for endless styling options.
The magnetic closure on the buckles and postman’s lock on the front flap opens to reveal a spacious interior, fitted with a slip pocket, perfect for all your everyday essentials. This bag is available for the price point of $1,495.
3. Tote bags
The simplicity of the London tote from Aspinal of London makes it a timeless, classic bag that you will love forever.
The London Tote has rolled leather top handles, to which attach an A letter charm and Bee charm, as the perfect minimalist decoration on the exterior.
The magnetic closure opens to reveal a roomy interior, which is fitted with multiple pockets, and divided by a zipper compartment so that you can keep everything organized. This tote is also available in loads of different colors, as well as in a pebbled leather finish or croc-effect leather finish.
The Bayswater Tote bag is another famous Mulberry bag, which you really need in your life. This timeless bag has a chic silhouette and is fitted with leather top handles as well as a longer shoulder strap meaning you can style this bag in multiple different ways.
The tote itself is crafted from grained leather which has a gorgeous textural finish, while the shining hardware provides the perfect embellishments.
The zipper closure at the top ensures easy access to the suede-lined interior which features a wall pocket – so handy. This bag is available for just $1,495.
4. Clutch bags
If you are looking for a clutch bag with a striking design, then you need the Aspinal of London Mayfair Clutch in your life.
This patent leather croc-embossed clutch has a compact and sleek silhouette, which is perfectly finished off with a gleaming gold shield turn lock and an optional delicate gold chain strap.
The lock opens to reveal an interior lined with a grosgrain and moire silk and is fitted with four card slots and a zipped coin purse, as well as an exterior slip pocket. This clutch bag really makes a statement and would be the perfect accessory to any formal look.
The buttery soft silky calf leather that creates this Mulberry Amberley Clutch has a very fine grain and a supple feel to make a totally luxurious clutch bag.
The exterior of this sophisticated clutch is decorated with a very small, silver Mulberry logo, while the eye-catching feature is the Rider’s Lock closure.
The clutch is fitted with a fine silver chain strap that can be worn over the shoulder, or tucked inside to carry as a clutch. The interior has a main compartment, zipped pocket, and card slots, with a suede and Nappa lining.
Both of these British brands produce a whole load of gorgeous handbags and stunning small leather goods that it is really difficult to choose between Aspinal of London vs Mulberry.
If you have a slightly larger budget and are looking for a timeless, high-quality bag that will be an heirloom piece, then Aspinal of London is the brand to go for – why wouldn’t you want to pick a brand beloved by the royal family?!
Whereas, if you are looking for a more instantly recognizable name and would like a stylish leather bag that would make the perfect everyday handbag, then Mulberry is the brand for you! With loads of beautiful bags on offer in a range of sizes and colors, you are bound to find something you love.
In the end, it really comes down to what style and silhouette of bag you are looking for, and the price you are willing to pay.
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