Style & ShowbizFashion

Mulberry branching into more accessory categories

FashionBy Sunday World
Mulberry branching into more accessory categories

Mulberry designer Johnny Coca is looking to branch out into more product categories.

The Seville-born designer replaced Emma Hill as creative director at the British fashion house last July (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 position, 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.

But Coca is currently taking the heritage brand through a "big modernisation process" and in the future wants fashionistas seeking a head-to-toe look to shop at the label.

"We’re planning to move Mulberry forward by creating more of a lifestyle brand through expanding the product categories into jewellery, sunglasses and shoes, as well as concentrating on the ready-to-wear and, of course, bags," he told lifestyle website Luxuo. "There are lots of things to come. Watch this space!"

And unlike some fashion designers who are moving away from runway shows, Coca thinks the catwalk presentation format is still relevant, even for accessories-driven brands. The designer describes the brand's Fall/Winter 16 runway as a "defining moment" and feels he wouldn't have been able to create the same impact without a catwalk show.

The stylish designer, who wears a kilt and Dr Martens to work, also spoke about the fact that Spain and the U.K.'s biggest bag brands have swapped creative director nationalities, as Jonathan Anderson is revamping Spanish luxury brand Loewe. But he doesn't feel the creative directors' nationalities really matter as long as the designs speak for themselves.

"As long as you understand the personality and heritage of the brand, it should not matter where you come from. Mulberry is both a British heritage and an international brand and we want our collections to appeal to women and men around the world," he smiled.

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