The Cara Effect

Cara Delevingne: a name that, in today’s climate doesn’t require much of an explanation. A model who broke into the fashion scene for Burberry in 2011, she has now made her mark globally. Whether you saw her striding down the famous Victoria’s Secret catwalk or just popped into Zara to be greeted by their huge posters (complete with the eyebrows) displayed with great glorification around the store, it’s become almost an expectation to see this twenty-one year old Brit modelling for oh, so many brands.

Perhaps it’s because the tabloids and social media seem quite obsessed with informing the public about Cara’s latest celebrity pal/wifie/bestie and now, even partner, before planting their most up-to-date picture of her leaving numerous parties looking slightly dishevelled. Maybe it’s the classic Cara ‘gurn’ that we have become so accustomed to seeing? And yes, ‘gurn’ was defined on Wikipedia as ‘a distorted facial expression.’

So unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past three years, this young, fun, and seemingly life-loving model is a pretty big deal.

However, the latest headline concerning Cara takes on a more serious tone. Amidst the buzz and glamour of London Fashion Week, an enormous amount of social media and press response was generated re: Miss Delevingne and her relationship with the esteemed British brand Mulberry. No longer will the model just be posing solely with the beautiful, traditional and popular designs of the Bayswater and the Alexa handbags, she has now become fully integrated into the brand itself, and here introduced was: Cara for Mulberry.

Mulberry has recently become the target of a vast amount of speculation, especially since issuing numerous profit warnings, which resulted in headlines emphasising the dangerous RED ZONE which the company could fall into. Arguably, the lack of sales could be explained due to the huge price increase which fans have noticed over the years. Indeed, the Bayswater has jumped in price by about £500. News has also emerged that less than fifty per cent of the company’s handbags are still made in the UK, and therefore once loyal customers are now exploring other brands, probably out of protest.

Is this a tactical move from Mulberry then? Cara Delevingne has almost 1.5 million Twitter followers, and her designs were proudly and repeatedly announced to her fans over the course of the day. One doesn’t need to be reminded about how journalism and broadcasting is changing; social media has become an outlet for the most recent news to be dispersed around the globe in a matter of minutes. The brand can use Cara in this way, designing trendy and pretty damn cool bags – including a backpack to new, younger customers who seem to admire everything she does.

Only time will tell if social media, and the mighty force that is Cara Delevingne can help Mulberry’s declining figures and reputation of late. A very minimal ‘#bigreveal’ (as it was called) sparked mass global attention to the brand. Those who aren’t the biggest fans of the model, easily irritated by her constant publicity and crazy antics…and faces, shouldn’t undermine her power so quickly. At the moment, she is one of the most talked about models. Mulberry isn’t the most talked about brand. Let’s just wait and see if this merged relationship will be a happy and long-lasting one.

Photo: Mulberry
Photo: Mulberry