Mulberry launched four different Alexa handbag designs in 2009 and today they account for more than 30 percent of the label’s sales. The Alexa handbag range has also helped make Mulberry the world’s best performing fashion house.
Prices for the luxury handbag - manufactured in the UK - start at £525 for a Mini Alexa, rising to £3,750 for a large version made from ostrich leather. The standard handbag, with a price tag of £785, sold out in shops from Beijing to New York.
However despite its scarcity, the Alexa handbag has helped cement Mulberry’s reputation as a fashion leader and turned it into a stock market star.
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In the last 12 months, Mulberry’s value has risen from £166 million to an astonishing £1.3 billion. In investment terms, this means anybody who bought 1,000 shares in Mulberry for £2,800 last July is now sitting on shares worth £17,470. The stock has risen 527 percent in the past 12 months – according to financial data experts at Bloomberg; this makes the luxury label the best performer among any retailer selling high-end apparel.
Experts say the success of Mulberry, which also sells jewellery and clothing, is partly due to expansion into the growing Chinese and Latin American markets. The high demand for the Alexa handbag, however, has been the major influencing factor.
The Alexa satchels, which each take around five hours to make by hand, have created 60 extra manufacturing jobs at the company’s factory in Somerset, UK, taking the total number of staff to 740.
The design was inspired by pictures of Alexa Chung carrying a vintage Mulberry men’s briefcase as a handbag. Since the handbag was launched, it has been seen on the arms of fashion conscious women across the globe, from celebrities to business women.