Cultural representation in Mulberry X Ahluwalia’s London Fashion Week show

This Fashion Week witnessed the collaboration of one of the UK’s well-known luxury brands, Mulberry, and the Nigerian-Indian designer Priya Ahluwalia. They brought together the perfect mix of cultural referencing and sustainability. 

Directed by Akinola Davies, the campaign film featured four models of colour alongside a remarkable capsule collection celebrating Mulberry’s 50th anniversary. The hair-ography of the Afro-Carribean hair was truly a sight for sore eyes in context to the need for representation and diversity in fashion. The 2019 H&M Design Award-winning designer put forward her own experiences of hair and showcased through the visual how it has helped express her own identity.

By choosing to represent the stories of Afro-Carribean hair, Ahluwalia wanted to push aside Eurocentric hair and pave the way to celebrate diversity. She wants the viewers to be able to feel confident and celebrate themselves without a pinch of insecurity in mind. The designer’s sustainable practices are not only showcased through her design process and garment development but also through her inspirations drawn from her dual heritage. The capsule collection as a whole brought Mulberry’s iconic Portobello Tote bag and Ahluwalia’s vibrant vision with the use of an aesthetic colour palette to the digital space. The beautiful scarf prints and detailed hair accessories added to the life of the narrative.

Mulberry also announced their decision to sign up for Halo Code – a campaign pledge that promises members of Black community the freedom and security to wear all Afro hairstyles without restriction or judgement. This initiative is signed and supported by many schools and businesses all around the UK making it an important step in the brand’s growth of cultural awareness. With multiple luxury brands looking into establishing transparency for consumers, this decision has earned Mulberry some brownie points during this fashion season.

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