Mulberry's leather handbags will get a fresh jolt of color and a more feminine twist this spring when the British brand’s new creative director, Emma Hill, unveils her vision for the house.
The British-born Hill — a veteran of Gap, Marc Jacobs and Chloé’s accessories divisions — joined the label in February, following Stuart Vevers’ departure for Loewe. “Mulberry is steeped in heritage, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously,” said Hill during a preview of her spring collection at the label’s sunny New Bond Street showroom.
To wit, her line features slouchy clutch bags in bright lipstick pink leather and roomy messenger totes in patent turquoise, which sit alongside Mulberry’s famous Roxanne and Bayswater bags in more subdued tan and black leather.
“We’re not reinventing the brand, but going back to basics,” said Hill. “It’s less about going after a new customer than offering versatility.”
She’s also produced oversize and shrunken versions of the house’s existing bags, such as a huge Mabel tote with zippered pockets and a soft clutch version of the Bayswater bag, called the Bayswater Pouch.
In addition, Hill, who served as vice president of accessories for Gap for three years until 2005, has introduced what she calls three new “families” of handbag styles to Mulberry: Jenah, a series of clutches and shoulder bags in contrasting panels of leather and suede; Mitzy, a collection of patent leather satchels and totes, and Shimmy, a structured leather tote bag with chunky metal hardware.
Hill has also channeled her production know-how into the collection, using leathers that have been skived down to make them lighter, which means metal hardware can be added to the bags without making them too heavy. “I can’t bear hardware that doesn’t feel real,” said Hill.
The house’s ready-to-wear collection has received a subtle update under Hill’s influence, too. She’s designed chic shift dresses in deep pink and neon yellow, worn with soft, cropped blouson leather jackets in coral and cream.
There are also some breezy A-line day dresses in khaki Radsmeer, a man-made fiber, worn with a paper silk parka.
“I like that pairing of outerwear with a dress,” said Hill, who added that her focus on leather and outerwear in the collection was designed to tie in with the brand’s heritage as a leather company.
“It doesn’t feel false,” she said. Dresses in the rtw collection will retail for 300 pounds, or $531, while leather jackets will retail for 495 pounds, or $877.
Hill has also worked up a collection of shoes to complement Mulberry’s bags, among them, the Bayswater buckled pump, a chunky stacked-heel shoe with a round toe in colors from patent eggplant to pale tan leather.
“This shoe will continue from season to season, it feels so Mulberry,” said Hill, adding she might produce the same shoe with cone or spike heels for forthcoming seasons. “We’ll take a heritage approach to shoes in the same way [we did for] bags.”
The footwear range also includes buckled ankle boots in patent and textured leather, and chunky-heeled Grecian sandals with straps that snake around the foot and ankle. Price points for the shoes will start at 300 pounds, or $531.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia