LONDON, United Kingdom — Mulberry Group Plc, the troubled U.K. bagmaker, named Céline accessories designer Johnny Coca as creative director, ending a protracted search for a replacement for British designer Emma Hill.
Coca will join Mulberry July 8, leaving his position as head of design for leather goods, shoes, hard accessories, jewelry and sunglasses at LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA’s Celine brand, the Somerset, England-based company said today in a statement.
Hill quit Mulberry last year after then-chief executive officer Bruno Guillon sought to move the brand up-market. Guillon left the company in March when his plan, which included raising prices, alienated customers and failed to attract enough new ones, causing earnings to tumble and the shares to slump. Last month, Mulberry reduced its profit outlook for the third time this year after first-half sales declined 17 percent.
The company is also searching for Guillon’s successor. Chairman Godfrey Davis said in June that Mulberry would pick the new creative director before naming a new CEO.
Coca will be responsible for all of Mulberry’s collections.
By Andrew Roberts; editors: Celeste Perri, Paul Jarvis.