by Lucy Korn
Emma Hill Is Back
Most notably known as the individual who breathed new life into the English brand, Mulberry as Creative Director Emma Hill is one of those people you hear about and wonder how they got to be so awesome.
Hill began her career right out of college as an accessories designer for Burberry. She then moved to New York for a bit, working for Liz Claiborne, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs and Gap. In 2006, she worked freelance for Temperley and Reiss, moved to Paris to consult for Chloe before settling in for a career defining six-year stint at Mulberry’s creative helm. Most, if not all of Mulberry’s best sellers can be attributed to Hill. Might you remember the Alexa phenomenon of 2010? The bag named after style icon Alexa Chung that dominated sales. Or the Del Rey, which did the same.
Since she left in 2013 Mulberry has struggled to keep momentum Hill helped to create. Then-CEO Bruno Guillon wanted to move the brand in a more up-market direction but his plan, one that reportedly drove Hill to leave, caused sales to plunge and shares to collapse. (Guillon left the company last year because what other option is there after you’ve driven your best employee to quit and sent it into a freefall?) Hill, however, seems to be doing fine. So fine in fact that just last week WWD announced she is launching a new accessories line, Hill & Friends. The line is a collaboration between Hill and former brand director at Mulberry, Georgia Fendley (yay!) and will be unveiled during London Fashion week in September. Not much is known at this point but going by the website, I’d say it’s going to be something to look forward too.