Word on the street is that there might finally be some good news in the pipeline for Mulberry. The struggling British brand, which has been without a creative director since fan-favorite Emma Hill left over conflicts with former CEO Bruno Guillon, is reportedly eying Johnny Coca, head of accessories design at handbag wunderkind Céline.
Coca’s been at Céline since 2009, and in that time, he’s overseen the design of handbags and shoes that have launched countless trends, from flared gussets to slip-on skate sneakers. He’s done it in the shadow of Phoebe Philo, though, and a mid-range, handbag-reliant brand like Mulberry would be a great spot for someone in Coca’s position to take the spotlight. Anouck Duranteau-Loeper, his colleague at Céline, left for Paco Robanne late last year.
No matter what the bags ended up looking like, such a move would certainly reinvigorate Mulberry; not only would it be a bright spot on which to build PR momentum, but it would ignite consumer interest in a way that few other hires might. Céline’s bags fly off shelves, even though it’s been a couple seasons since the brand introduced a bonafide hit, and Mulberry has plenty of fans remaining who would be thrilled to see the brand return to form.
According to Vogue UK, Blue Farrier, who recently left her post at Issa, and Hannah MacGibbon, who helmed Chloé prior to current creative director Clare Waight Keller, are also on the short list of potential contendors behind Coca. It’s unclear if Farrier has the accessories acumen that would be necessary at a brand like Mulberry, although MacGibbon’s tenure at Chloé did include several popular and profitable bags, like the Paraty and Marcy.
Who would you like to see at Mulberry’s helm?