Ever since Reed Krakoff announced that he would be leaving Coach after a 16-year tenure, there has been a lot of speculation about who would succeed him. Considering that Krakoff transformed the company into a $4.76 billion brand, he’s leaving some pretty big shoes to fill. This morning brings the announcement that Mulberry’s creative director of six years, Emma Hill, would be leaving her post due to disagreements with management over creative and operational strategy (via WWD), and we can’t help but think that the stars are aligning for Hill to take the reigns at Coach. Here are five reasons we’re sure she’s the right women for the job:
1. She’s got the cool factor:
Let’s face it, while Coach has been wildly successful in the States, within the fashion industry it catches flack for being too commercial. The brand has made strides towards changing that by riding along the digital revolution. For example, this past November they tapped Rachel Zoe to style viral sensation Karmin for a music video. Hill launched a number of musical initiatives during her time at Mulberry, giving Mulberry more millennial credibility and proving she’s got her finger to the pulse of what’s hot.
2. She brings the star power:
Considering that Coach is so popular with the masses, elevating its image with celebrity makes a lot of sense. If Hill has proven anything, it’s that she has an eye for stylish talent. Case in point: Lana del Rey. During the pop sensation’s rise to fame, the British brand jumped on her bandwagon by designing a handbag named after the star and declaring her a Mulberry icon. Other It-girls who have served as poster children for the label include Kate Moss and Alexa Chung. Not too shabby.
3. She’s knows a thing or two about “It” Bags:
While Coach bags are so ubiquitous you see them being trotted around New York City, as well as slung over the arms of mall-goers in the Midwest, Coach has never seemed to successfully launch an “It” bag. Mulberry has been churning out coveted styles since 2002 with the ‘Gisele’, and Hill carried on the legacy with the smash success of the Chung-inspired ‘Alexa’ in 2009. Not too long after its launch, Mulberry won the Best Designer Brand prize at the British Fashion Awards and in the same month, boasted profits of nearly £45 million. Hill could bring some of that distinguished class to what is, let’s face it, everyone’s favorite outlet shop.
4. She’s quirky:
It was just a year ago that Hill described Mulberry to the Telegraph explaining, “We’re not tea and crumpets – we’re bonkers.” And she’s got the collections to back it up, with A-listers lining the front row to get a first look at the tongue-in-cheek garnishes on her utterly wearable clothes. Her campaigns are also buzz-worthy, if you recall her Fall 2012 ads in which Lindsey Wixson entered the Where the Wild Things Are world. Hill also closed her most recent runway show with “The Mickey Mouse Club” theme. A little irreverence goes a long way when it comes to fashion and that’s just what Coach is missing.
5. She’s got the resume:
Hill is British-born and Mulberry might be the quintessential British heritage brand, but the designer has also had her hand in the American market. Previously, she designed accessory collections for Marc Jacobs, as well as launched sectors within Marc by Marc Jacobs and the Gap. If those brands don’t carry commercial clout, we don’t know what does.
While the decision for who will take the reigns at Coach remains very much in the air, with even Marc Jacobs’ name being tossed in the ring, we stick firmly to our prediction and are eagerly awaiting the day that a Coach bag rivals the popularity of the Birkin — if anyone can make that happen, Hill can.
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