Mulberry eyes Celine designer Johnny Coca as creative director

Kasmira Jefford
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Fashion brand Mulberry has been without a creative director since June last year
Mulberry’s year-long search for a new creative director may soon be at an end after it emerged this weekend that Celine designer Johnny Coca could be in the frame for the post.

The luxury group is thought to have asked Coca, Celine’s head of leather goods and accessories, to become its new creative director, according to The Sunday Times.

Mulberry has been without a creative boss since June last year, when Emma Hill quit after six years with the brand. Hill is credited with helping to turn the firm into a globally recognised brand.

Her departure was the beginning of a turbulent year for the Somerset-based group as it struggled to deal with weakening demand and issued a string of profit warnings.

In March, Mulberry parted ways with chief executive Bruno Guillon after his disastrous attempt to move the brand more upmarket, which seemed to alienate core customers.

Mulberry’s share price slumped to a four-year low last week after it issued its third profit warning of 2014. It warned that trading had been worse than expected due to tough conditions in the luxury sector and falling tourist shoppers.

Barclays has slashed its profit forecast by 60 per cent to £4m for the year to 31 March, down from £14m the previous year.

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