Behind Stefan Cooke x Mulberry

by Hetty Mahlich on 15 September 2023

The British design duo Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt are the latest to collaborate with Mulberry for their Editions series.

The British design duo Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt are the latest to collaborate with Mulberry for their Editions series.

You may have noticed more of Stefan Cooke’s diamond slashed knitwear on the street, or the braided accents of denim; the clever, now signature motifs of the British menswear brand. Since 2018, Stefan Cooke has continued to draw in rave reviews, whilst still marching to the beat of their own drum and refusing to be bent by the fashion system; in short, co-founders Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt remain an authentic pair.

Enjoying a career sweet spot that keeps on giving - in recent years they've created a collection for The Sims and shown a film as part of the GucciFest in 2020 - the brand have a cult following, and every season find something knew to explore, whilst still maintaining a signature undertone. So much so, that the heritage leather goods brand Mulberry invited them into the fold for a capsule collection.

Unveiled at the brand’s S/S 24 runway show as part on London Fashion Week this morning, the Mulberry X Stefan Cooke collaboration is a 27-piece collection of one-of-a-kind bags. Cooke and Burt selected a variety of styles from from Mulberry’s pre-loved stock, across a range of textures and leathers. ‘It’s already a perfect product in a way’, Cooke says when explaining their clever ‘reductive’ approach to using things like their slash signature which allowed for a deconstructive approach to the capsule - removing materials to replace them with others. The result is a quirky, intuitive and very British collection underpinned by the sense of the artisanal.

The Mulberry Bayswater, forever in the memory of noughties British style icons like Alexa Chung, turns 20 this year. It’s new look sees emblazoned with the Stefan Cooke bow motif sewn on in leather, and reimagined with a humungous extra ‘Swing’ handle - an Alice in Wonderland-style play with proportion.

Rope details swirl around the Millie Braid bag, and other reimagined styles include the lesser known Lily and Roxanne. The collection has been made available to shop immediately after going down the runway.

Ultimately, the brilliance of this capsule is that its very Stefan Cooke; it has their humour, irreverence, but also impeccable sense of design. The creative freedom they were evidently given, has been the reason for the success of the designer collaborations Mulberry has embarked on over recent years.

Collaborating previously with Nicholas Daley, for example, Mulberry allow their collaborators the creative freedom to put their spin on the archive, rejuvenating, reimagining and refreshing it for the audience.

The Stefan Cooke team has a history of using clothing archives to make something new; their S/S 20 and A/W 22 collections drew from theatre costume archives, often to trompe l'oeil effect. ‘When we’re designing I think we’re often referring to our own lives and what we were doing when we were teenagers’, Burt explains of their approach to updating objects of fascination. Having grown up with styles like the Bayswater being a mainstay in popular culture - again a source of inspiration the designers often pull from and subvert as with the FOAM PARTY t-shirt for S/S 23 - what a joy it must have been to get their hands on the IRL product, with all its past tales from a pre-loved live, and to recontextualise it for a new audience.

Mulberry x Stefan Cooke is available online and to view in-store for the next 10 days at the Mulberry pre-loved pop-up on Soho’s Poland Street.


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