LONDON — Shares in Mulberry Group fell 8.6 percent to 9.75 pounds, or $15.17, in midday trading on Monday, following confirmation by the company that its creative director Emma Hill is leaving.
Mulberry’s statement, issued to the London Stock Exchange on Monday, confirms a report in today's WWD.
"Emma Hill has informed the company that she wishes to leave after a very successful period at Mulberry, during which she has built a strong and talented creative team working for her," Mulberry said.
"The main SS14 collection has been completed, and Emma continues to work in the business finalizing the London Fashion Week collection which will be launched on 15 September 2013. The timing of her departure is currently under discussion and has yet to be finalized," the statement added.
Hill, who showed her first full collection for Mulberry in September 2008, is understood to be leaving following disagreements with management over creative and operational strategy. The designer brought a fresh energy to Mulberry, building up its ready-to-wear, outerwear, footwear, jewelry and accessories businesses, andchanneling the brand’s British heritage — and inborn irreverence. Her departure comes as Coach pursues its hunt for a successor to Reed Krakoff, the brand’s president and executive creative director who will relinquish his role next year. Hill could well be a candidate for that position.
During her six years at Mulberry, Hill launched new designs including the Willow Tote, which comes with a detachable clutch; the Alexa and Del Rey bags, named after Alexa Chung and Lana Del Rey, and added a feminine edge to the collections as well as a big jolt of color in the form of lipstick pinks, mint greens and buttercup yellows.
She channeled her production know-how into the collection, using techniques to make the leathers more lightweight and tempering her use of Mulberry’s famous metal hardware. “I can’t bear hardware that doesn’t feel real,” she told WWD in 2008.
A lover of the outdoors, she put dogs on her runway and designed collections around seaside fairground and enchanted forest themes. Hill also helped oversee the rapid growth of the brand — and its expansion into new markets — along with Godfrey Davis, the former chief executive officer and current chairman. Davis was replaced as ceo in March 2012 by Hermès veteran Bruno Guillon at a time when the brand’s runaway growth began to slow. Mulberry, which opened its first store in Vienna last week, has issued two profit warnings since September and is scheduled to report its results for the 2012-13 fiscal year on Thursday.
Revenues are expected to be slightly down from last year at about 165 million pounds, or $261 million, while pretax profits are expected to be about 26 million pounds, or $41 million. Last year, net profits were 25.3 million pounds, or $40.4 million. All figures have been converted at average exchange for the periods to which they refer. The company blamed the slowdown on a variety of factors, including reduced tourist spending in London, the culling of wholesale accounts and a slowdown in demand among Asian wholesale clients. The British-born Hill — a veteran of Gap, Marc Jacobs and Chloé’s accessories divisions — joined the label in February 2008 following her predecessor Stuart Vevers’ departure for Loewe.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews