NEW YORK, United States — Marc by Marc Jacobs has named Katie Hillier the company’s new creative director. Hillier, in turn, has appointed fellow Briton Luella Bartley as womenswear design director.
Hillier, who will continue to be based in London, has worked in a freelance capacity at Marc by Marc Jacobs for the last decade. Prior to today’s appointment, she oversaw the label’s watch, eyewear and jewellery divisions, all of which have grown under her supervision. “Her creativity and energy inspires me and everybody she works with. She is a great leader,” Jacobs told Women’s Wear Daily, where the news first appeared. The designer also described Hillier as “a great friend.”
On Hillier’s appointment of Bartley, Jacobs said: “She likes to work with the same type of person I like to work with.” Bartley wound down her own ready-to-wear label, Luella, in 2009, and has, in the past, worked with Mulberry. The two designers met when Bartley hired Hillier to design accessories for Luella.
Jacobs, who designs the main Marc Jacobs line and is currently creative director at Louis Vuitton, will still be involved in Marc by Marc Jacobs “as he wants to be, it depends on the season,” said Robert Duffy, president and vice chairman of Marc Jacobs International.
Marc by Marc Jacobs launched in 2000, before the rise of labels like Alexander Wang and 3.1 Phillip Lim, when the contemporary market was much less competitive, and Duffy admitted that Marc by Marc Jacobs was “getting a little stale.”
“The competition has become too great,” he said. “We have an issue with the ready-to-wear. I knew it because I pay very close attention to company-owned retail stores and I knew what was happening. We started out really strong in denim, and then we just let it go. We rested on our laurels and it hurt us.”