Look alike of the week: Proenza vs. Mulberry


It’s fairly clear to me who inspired the knock off but I’m going to give both brands a fair trial here and open this up for discussion.  Before you guys go off, however, here’s my two cents:

Proenza Schouler launched its PS1 bag line back in 2008 and quickly became one of the most sought after bags for the fashion forward set.  In the last few seasons, the duo at Proenza have showed the PS1 silhouette in everything from quilted leather to python (to die! Just saw a turquoise python today at 4510) and single handedly jump started the recent messenger bag craze.  Needless to say, there is a strong argument for PS bags being the inspiration.

In Mulberry‘s case, the boxy shaped flap tote has been a mainstay for the brand for many years so it does make sense they’d decide to tweak on the Bayswater with a top handle and two straps, or does it?  Mulberry is definitely the more established bag brand here, which makes it a shame that they’d resort to copying a designer who is new to the arena.  But then, I’m not judging… or am I?

Both bags are around 12″-13″ wide and 9″ high.  Not much difference in the price, either.  $1,595 for the Proenza Schouler PS1 Medium Satchel  and $1,150 for the Mulberry Alexa Leather Bag

Now, what say you, my snobs?  Who copied who?


  1. Kirsten
    January 27, 2010 / 12:22 pm

    I love them both – probably the PS1 a little more – but I just recently read an article re: Emma Hill having been inspired by Alexa Chung carrying a vintage Mulberry men’s briefcase and updating/feminizing the shape (and of course then naming it after her). Not sure this is the case of one designer ripping off another??

  2. gpc
    January 27, 2010 / 12:46 pm

    Tina,you are spot on. I saw the Alexa Mulberry featured on another blog and almost commented regarding how it plagiarized the PS1, but I just didn’t have the energy…

  3. Metsy
    January 27, 2010 / 1:20 pm

    I can see why the two are similar… but am I the only one to read this and think… It’s not revolutionary to add a handle and two straps so why would Mulberry be the copy cat? Many bags are adding top handles and the wrap around straps these days. Oh well, doesn’t really matter because I like them both. 😀

  4. JCM
    January 27, 2010 / 1:29 pm

    Whoever copied who, I would definitely get the one designed by Alexa Chung, in the next few months it is almost sure to be a top hit! And the color is more original too, isn’t yellow this summer’s black? ^^

  5. Lori
    January 27, 2010 / 1:47 pm

    I think the Proenza looks the best overall. The Mulberry looks like the buckles were an after thought.

  6. Jan Wallace
    January 27, 2010 / 1:47 pm

    I like these designs equally as well, but it’s probably unfair to intimate that Mulberry “knocked off” Proenza S. My understanding is that the Alexa has been in the design process for quite some time, and frankly, YSL has a similiar design in the Besace (albeit not quite as close as the Alexa and PS1) which I believe came along first in this equation. However, all handbag designers have gained inspiration from one or the other — some form of the Birkin can be seen in most every line (look at Ralph Lauren’s Ricky, etc. and I could go on to name many more). I do love Mulberry’s understated philosophy and superior construction though.

  7. Anonymous
    January 27, 2010 / 4:12 pm

    I don’t like these bags at all. It must be a pain to open and close them every day!!

  8. Sherry
    January 27, 2010 / 5:45 pm

    I have the PSI in black. It’s a great functional bag, with lots of pockets. The medium size holds a lot, without being oversized. I just close the front, never close the straps. It also gives it an effortless look, by leaving the straps unbuckled. I think the Mulberry is a copy of the PSI of sorts,

  9. jus
    January 27, 2010 / 7:28 pm

    in all honesty, I think they are two separate bags. Having seen both in real life, they are both distinguishable on their own and I never got confused between the two. So I would have to disagree that either of them ripped the other off.

  10. Terence
    January 27, 2010 / 8:47 pm

    Personally i prefer the alexa but then again doesn’t these two bags look like the YSL MUSE 2?

    yes the design is not revolutionary and its not really fair to say who copied who when the design is pretty much a tried and tested design that has stood the test of time.

  11. Patty
    January 28, 2010 / 5:58 am

    God, I want those two bags so badly. They’re great in their own ways, IMO. Although I like the PS1 more in that picture. The yellow Alexa looks cheap.

  12. Katalicious
    January 28, 2010 / 1:53 pm

    Question:Can anyone tell me which bag is lighter in weight? Mulberry bags are generally thick leather and after hauling my Bayswater around with everyday items, it feels like it weighs a ton.

  13. August 29, 2010 / 1:21 am

    I hate the PS1. The bag looks too bland, the make is high quality but not to the extent that would justify the price. Proenza is getting a big push by Anna Wintour but I find the bag’s style too reminiscent of her days as an English school girl. Likewise Mulberry is worse off as it’s a travesty to misshape their classic style in such a boring design. I rather spend the money buying a classic understated bag from BV rather than a pretentious boring bag like the PS1.

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