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Creative Director of Mulberry, Johnny Coca to leave after five years

Sadiyah Ismailjee
17 March 2020

Luxury British handbag brand, Mulberry has announced Johnny Coca is leaving his role as Creative Director after five years, at the end of March 2020.

He will be exiting his role as Creative Director at Mulberry on March 31, with his last collection for the brand launching in spring/summer 2021.

In 2015, Coca joined Mulberry from luxury French brand Céline where he lead as Head Design Director for leather goods, accessories, shoes and jewellery, replacing Emma Hill, who left the British fashion house in 2013.

He was responsible for developing the luxury lifestyle vision for the brand, and also leading Mulberry’s design team on women’s and men’s leather accessories, shoes, ready-to-wear and soft accessories, as well as overseeing all creative areas of the brand’s image.

During his time at the creative helm of the brand, Coca oversaw the launch of a number of new editions to the Mulberry collections, including the Amberley and Iris. In addition, he introduced eyewear, sneaker collections and relaunched the men’s accessories and jewellery ranges.

Mulberry’s successful international expansion programme coincided with his time as Creative Director and helped the brand extend its global presence, supported by a programme of consumer events across the UK, Japan, South Korea, North America, Europe and Australia.

Mulberry said that they have started the process of finding a new successor and highlighted that Coca’s last collection for the brand will be available in spring/summer 2021.

CEO of Mulberry, Thierry Andretta, said in a statement: “I would like to thank Johnny for everything he has contributed to the brand over the past five years. Johnny’s creative vision has been a key element in delivering our strategy to develop Mulberry as an international luxury lifestyle brand. On behalf of the Mulberry board and entire team, we wish Johnny every success in his next venture."

“As we head towards our 50th anniversary in 2021 we continue to focus on our strategy to build Mulberry as a global luxury brand. We remain committed to developing responsible, innovative products, underpinned by a strong in-house creative team and our international direct-to-customer omni-channel business model.”

Johnny Coca added: “I have loved my time with this iconic British heritage brand and would like to thank the amazing teams and everyone who has supported me during my time here.

“I am proud of everything we have achieved and the collections we have created. The passion and dedication I have seen at Mulberry has been incredible and I am honoured to have been part of the brand’s history.”

Coca was recognised for incorporating Mulberry's heritage brand DNA into his collections through featuring the label's original 1970s logo that he found in the archives, with the iconic tree logo and redesigned it using a iconic gold font. He also re-branded Mulberry’s image through introducing lower price points to reach out to a wider customer demographic.

Clifton Bags

His first signature bag release was the ‘Clifton’, a classic over-the-shoulder handbag with a chain strap that was available in a number of colours, with prices starting at £595. However, it was the ‘Iris’, a modern and feminine bag with a choice of a braided top handle or a long shoulder strap and the ‘Amberley’, a satchel bad inspired by equestrian styling that was designed to be worn on the shoulder or hands-free across the body that really caught the attention of Mulberry fans.

Coca has also shown a commitment to sustainability with the launch of Mulberry's first fully sustainable leather bag, the ‘Portobello’ tote, made from heavy grain leather sourced “from a gold-rated tannery” and which is a by-product of food waste, along with EcoVerde thread, and a recycled polyester fibre. 

He continued to be at the forefront of Mulberry’s sustainability push, through also launching the M Collection, a capsule of bags and outerwear made using a blend of Econyl-branded regenerated nylon and sustainable cotton.

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