Johnny Coca shaking things up at Mulberry
Mulberry designer Johnny Coca is injecting his trademark edgy sophistication into the brand.
The Seville-born designer replaced Emma Hill as creative director at the British fashion house in July last year (15) and is in charge of the design team for leather goods, shoes, accessories, ready-to-wear collections and all creative aspects of the label’s image.
Before taking the feted role, Coca had pivotal roles at Celine, Bally and Louis Vuitton and is known for his expertise in leather goods, the major driver of Mulberry's sales.
Already, he has put his style stamp on their new handbag options, with the latest range available in striking colour combinations, such as navy and oxblood with pops of white or emerald green and yellow python.
"Colour is part of the branding,” Coca told British Vogue. “You'll recognise it as Mulberry from a distance - not in the first season but over a few seasons you will."
Coca, who studied art, architecture and design in Paris, was responsible - alongside designer Phoebe Philo - for Celine’s most successful bags - the Trapeze and Daria. His creations might look weighty but are remarkably light, with construction, functionality and weight equally balanced.
He's also focused on the price point and during the last round of orders for the pre-autumn 2016 collection he cancelled some designs because they were too expensive.
"I want to make sure that what we offer is accessible," he insisted. "It wasn't right for Mulberry and it wasn't right for me. I would rather start again and make something else entirely."
The stylish designer, who wears a kilt and Dr Martens to work, explains he will next turn his attention to revamping stores but doesn’t plan to stray too far from Mulberry’s classic style.
"I have too many ideas. I need to edit. I want to keep a sense of classicism but I need comfort too, nothing too dramatic,” he smiled.