Mulberry names its new creative director
Johnny Coca will lead the British label from July next year
Mulberry has named Spanish designer Johnny Coca as its new creative director, effective from 8 July, 2015.
Coca joins the British luxury label from Céline, where he was Head Design Director for leathergoods, shoes, hard accessories, jewellery and sunglases. In his new role, he will be responsible for all of Mulberry's collections, and will report to Godfrey Davis, the label's chairman and CEO.
"We are delighted that Johnny is joining us," said Davis. "He has a wealth of international luxury and fashion experience that will help us bring new innovation and energy to Mulberry."
By the time Coca joins the company next July Mulberry will have spent two full years without a creative director, a situation that apparently led to agitation at the most recent shareholder meeting. Emma Hill, who was credited with reinvigorating the brand by introducing now iconic bags such as the Alexa, departed in 2013 after six years. Mulberry is currently fronted by model of the year Cara Delevingne.
Although he was publicly touted as a frontrunner for the role, Coca is in many ways an unknown force to those outside the industry. Born in Seville, he later moved to France and studied art, architecture and design at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Ecole Boulle in Paris. A press release from Mulberry says the designer has a longstanding interest in British culture and style and is looking forward to developing a new design aesthetic for the much-loved label. He currently teaches in the UK at central St Martins and says he intends to ensure Mulberry continues its tradition of encouraging new young talent.
Mulberry is the largest luxury leathergoods manufacturer in the UK, with a turnover of approximately RM865 million and 122 stores around the world, but has faced a torrid time on the share market since the departure of the hugely respected Hill. Coca has a big job ahead of him; we look forward to seeing what he comes up with.