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EMMA HILL & MULBERRY

the gentlewoman

EMMA HILL & MULBERRY

issue no5

up and coming artists. They also renovated the Mulberry logo to try and update the brand image. However, financially they still wasn’t making a profit, it was still just breaking even.

The relationship began in February 2008 when the experienced Emma Hill returned from consulting for Chloe in Paris to take on the job as Creative Director of Mulberry. Before Emma Hill joined the Creative team, the brand was slightly lost on how to move forward and which direction to move in after their financial and brand issues in the nineties. The collapse of the US dollar to the pound in the late eighties meant Mulberry’s exports were expensive, resulting in the company financially struggling and making a loss for numerous years. Not only did they struggle on the business side of the brand but also creatively. The shooting and hunting image that Roger Saul, founder of Mulberry (1971), promoted through publications like ‘Mulberry Life’ had become dated and stodgy. People could no longer relate to the “Mulberry lifestyle” with their large country manors and their jodhpurs; Fashion moved on and left quintessential British brand hanging on to their dated values.

Then in 2008 Emma Hill arrived, fresh from consulting for Chloe, and previously working as the accessory designer at Marc Jacobs, Gap and Burberry. Emma Hill came to the Mulberry with big ideas to revamp the fashion house without losing their values. She commented, “I’ve always loved Mulberry and look forward to lending my skills to build on the brand’s exciting recent achievements and secure its position in the international marketplace.” With her early collection in late 2009, there was already a more-defined style and direction in contrast to previous collections. To add to this, Mulberry’s shows and campaigns have fully evolved; with inspiration and stories behind them to create a different world for the consumer and a more well-rounded promotional campaign.

One of Emma Hill’s greatest triumphs has to be the creation of the Alexa bag. After seeing Alexa Chung with the vintage Elkington Mulberry bag, Emma Hill decided to design a bag for Alexa. The Alexa seemed to take over the ‘it’ bag name and also enticed a younger audience to the brand and put Mulberry fully into the forefront of the fashion industry. Younger consumers who weren’t around when Mulberry was first popular now saw this emerging One value that Mulberry stuck to through their brand which was fun, vibrant and exciting. troubling time was ‘quality’. They wouldn’t lose the quality of their product or slash their prices to save Since the Alexa, Emma Hill has designed money, as it would harm the luxury brand image. bags that have been on the arms of celebrities to editors to princesses. Mulberry is such a In the early 2000’s Mulberry tried to get back on classic brand that anyone, any age can use track by creating the ‘Bayswater’, that became a their bags, mothers and daughters alike. classic ‘it’ bag and a favourite of many celebrities To add to this their clothing and footwear from Kate Moss to Fearne Cotton. This slightly collections are growing in popularity as well. pulled Mulberry out of their deep slumber, however, the label wasn’t in the forefront of the Mulberry has come a long way since chokers fashion industry. In the next couple of years they and belts in Roger Saul’s kitchen in 1971. This tried a lot of collaborations to publicize Mulberry, has been achieved by keeping true to their core like their collaboration with Apple and many values and also a lot to do with Emma Hill.

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Emma Hill Article