From handbags to sustainable farming, the incredible journey of Brit-chic fashion brand Mulberry – and beyond!
Mulberry-man Roger Saul has been announced as London Packaging Week’s headline speaker for the 2023 show.
At London’s vibrant home for packaging, which takes place on 21 & 22 September at the ExCel in London, Saul will recount his journey from founding luxury fashion brand Mulberry to farming organic spelt.
Saul, who turned a 21st Birthday present of £500, into one of the 20th century’s most iconic British brands, will be on-stage from 1 pm to 1.30 pm on the show’s Luxury Stage on Thursday, 21st September.
Saul will spearhead a line-up packed with eminent thinkers, one which event organisers Easyfairs believe is their best to date.
“Saul’s entrepreneurial instinct was to go for quality to make him money,” said Parisa Maleki, Community & Content Manager. “After founding the fashion label Mulberry in 1971, Saul turned the small start-up into a multimillion-dollar luxury brand before being ousted in 2002. He went on to form the organic-food label, Sharpham Park.
“During the 33 years, he ran the business, it became one of the world’s most successful British fashion brands and exporters.
“From founding luxury fashion brand Mulberry to farming organic spelt, when Roger Saul has an idea, he runs with it.
“A natural storyteller, Saul will take us on an incredible journey from the early origins of Mulberry, the growth, the adversity, the highs and the setbacks along the way.”
Saul is best known for founding Mulberry, which he set up with his mother, Joan, in 1971. All design and production took place in Somerset, and he sold belts and handbags to trendy boutiques of the era, such as Biba.
He quickly became known as the accessory designer du jour making collections for Ralph Lauren and Burberry, to name but a few. By 1979, Mulberry had won the Queen’s Award for Export, and Roger became chairman of the London Designer Collections.
During the 1980s, Mulberry went global, opening retail shops in Europe and Japan selling womenswear, bags and leather accessories.
In 1990 Roger launched the Mulberry Home collection, and Mulberry was again awarded the Queen’s Award for Export. Roger was voted British Classic Designer of the Year in 1992; in 1996, he floated the company on the stock exchange.
In 1996, Roger and his wife Monty opened the award-winning Charlton House Hotel in Somerset, which became the flagship for showcasing the Mulberry Home collection. Within its first year of opening, Charlton House was awarded a Michelin star and over the 13 years Roger and Monty owned the hotel, it was recognised as one of the 25 best designer boutique hotels in the world (Hip Hotels).
In 2004, Roger bought Sharpham Park: a 1,000-year-old deer park which he restored to productivity by creating an organic spelt farm. The spelt is used in a host of Sharpham Park branded products, including breakfast cereals and flour, sold nationwide through retailers such as Waitrose and Sainsbury’s and delicatessens throughout the UK, Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.
London Packaging Week is renowned as one of the premier exhibitions for sustainable and stylish packaging solutions worldwide. LPW’s credentials in breaking down what the next 12 months and beyond have in store for the world of package design, branding, and material innovation, are second to none.
You can explore the full speaker programme for London Packaging Week, 2023, by clicking here.