A NEW DAWN

Meet Mul­berry’s new star

The Kit - - Thekit.ca - —Jil­lian Vieira

It was a case of “good things come to those who wait” when the cre­ative di­rec­tor po­si­tion at Mul­berry—iconic Bri­tish lux­ury brand, maker of the ubiq­ui­tous Bayswa­ter bag— re­mained va­cant for two years. The long-awaited suc­ces­sor? Johnny Coca, the revered Span­ish ac­ces­sory de­signer whose CV in­cludes ma­jor stints at Louis Vuit­ton and Cé­line. We caught up with Coca just hours af­ter his de­but fall col­lec­tion to chat about his fa­mous men­tor, his fresh vi­sion for the brand and what it takes to make women feel spe­cial.

What has been your ap­proach to re­defin­ing Mul­berry? “I wanted to bring some­thing more mod­ern, rel­e­vant and colour­ful. I’m try­ing to present some­thing quite Bri­tish in the at­ti­tude and try­ing to re­spect the coun­try through all my de­signs.”

What’s the most im­por­tant thing you’ve learned about de­sign­ing for women? “I was in a very fem­i­nine en­vi­ron­ment grow­ing up, liv­ing with just my mother and sis­ter. And when you don’t have much money, you take a piece of fab­ric and start stitch­ing dresses for your sis­ter. I be­came fas­ci­nated with mak­ing sure women looked el­e­gant. You need to love women to de­sign for them. If it’s not spe­cial, you haven’t tried.”

What has been one of your most re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ences? “Work­ing with [Cé­line cre­ative di­rec­tor] Phoebe Philo. She taught me to be strong, to be proud of ev­ery­thing I do and to never com­pro­mise. She’s so tal­ented and strong. It was such a plea­sure to make sure she was happy.”

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