Mulberry has announced that creative director, Johnny Coca will be leaving the brand after five years, with effect from 31 March 2020. The upcoming S/S 21 collection will mark his exit from the label. The 44-year-old creative director came to Mulberry from Celine in 2015, where he had been head design director for leather goods, accessories, shoes and jewellery
Born in Seville, Coca studied architecture in Paris, finding a job as a window dresser for Louis Vuitton under Michael Kors soon after. The rest, as they say, is history!
Appointed following the abrupt departure of Emma Hill, with a two-year gap of Mulberry without creative leadership, Coca was tasked with tackling falling sales and breathing life back into one of Britain’s most loved accessories brands. He brought some Spanish flame into the British label by reworking the Mulberry logo, overseeing the launch of a number of new bag families including the Amberley and Iris, and introducing the eyewear and sneaker categories, as well as the re-launch of the men’s accessories and jewellery ranges.
In addition, Coca oversaw a successful international expansion programme, that extended Mulberry’s global presence across the UK, Japan, South Korea, North America, Europe and Australia. He also honoured Mulberry's longstanding commitment to sustainability and the circular economy. Under Coca, Mulberry urged its customers to send back bags to its Somerset factories to be repaired, and added a dedicated division that stockpiles hardware, leather and other materials so that even the oldest models can get a new life. Additionally, earlier this year, Mulberry’s 100 per cent sustainable leather Portobello Tote and the M Collection launched - a capsule of bags and outerwear crafted from a blend of econyl-branded regenerated nylon and sustainable cotton; making great steps into a sustainable future for the brand.
Thierry Andretta, Mulberry's Chief Executive Officer, stated: 'Johnny's creative vision has been a key element in delivering our strategy to develop Mulberry as an international luxury lifestyle brand. 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.'
The Spanish designer commented that he was proud of what he had achieved during his tenure, and added: '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.' After this announcement, Mulberry says it has begun the process of finding Coca's successor.