Emma Hill, the woman credited with turning Mulberry into the globally sucessful brand it's become, is leaving the company. So what has she achieved in the last six years? One hell of a lot!
‘Irreverent yet iconic. Warm and fuzzy.’ That’s how Emma Hill described Mulberry during her time at the helm as creative director. But after six years at the English heritage brand, the designer is hanging up her Alexa and heading off to stylish pastures new. One thing’s for sure, that Ms Hill can be very proud of her time at Mulberry, and here’s why:
1. The return of the ‘It bag’
Emma Hill showed she had her finger on the pulse by creating some of the handbags of the last decade. Realising the pulling power of celebrity endorsements, she named several of her most iconic designs after stylish stars, giving us The Alexa and the Del Rey. Other notable bags include the Tilly and, more recently, the Willow, which Kate Moss has said she wishes had been named after her.
Alexa Chung posing with the Alexa
2. Star-packed FROWs
As a result of this connection with of-the-moment celebrities, the Mulberry shows became the highlight of London Fashion Week with names as big as Kate Moss, Kristen Stewart, Samantha Cameron and Michelle Williams all taking a much sought after front row place.
3. Magical catwalk shows
Moving on from the celebrity-packed guests, the shows themselves were magical. Each season Emma Hill and her creative team would produce a spectacle inside the Claridge’s ballroom (think toadstools, giant gnomes and and exotic animals).
4. Industry recognition
During the height of Emma’s success with the fashion house in 2010, Mulberry won the Best Designer Brand prize at the British Fashion Awards. An accolade not to be sniffed at.
Kate Moss and Kristen Stewart at Mulberry’s spring/summer 2012 show
5. Money, money, money
As well as critical success, Emma Hill boosted Mulberry’s revenue and in December 2010 the brand posted record profits of nearly £45 million.
6. It’s not just about the bags
Although Emma Hill will most be remembered for her iconic totes, the designer can also be praised for putting a larger focus on the brand’s clothing collections, which have also been seen adorning some of the biggest stars in the world including the Duchess of Cambridge.
7. Royal stamp of approval
Emma was given a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last year, further cementing the role she has played in the success of the English heritage brand and British fashion in general.
WWD reports that Emma is leaving Mulberry after disagreements with management over creative and operational strategy, but whatever her reasons for moving on, she can look back at her Mulberry years with pride and that warm, fuzzy feeling she’s so fond of.