Mulberry bags chief from rival Hermes

Kasmira Jefford
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LUXURY handbag and leather goods maker Mulberry has poached Bruno Guillon, the managing director of French rival Hermes, to help drive the group’s international expansion into Asia and the US.

Guillon, 46, will become the brand’s first non-British chief executive, joining in March next year after 10 years at the family-owned fashion house Hermes, where he was responsible for the group’s French subsidiary.

“Hermes directly owns all of its operations, such as supply chain, making them in total control from beginning to end of all processes. It is this recognition and attention to detail that can be expected from Bruno at Mulberry,” said Lewis Alexander, an executive headhunter.

Guillon’s career spans across the luxury goods sector, having worked as international director of the watch and jewellery division at LVMH Group and at fragrance group Nina Ricci.

He will be working closely alongside creative director Emma Hill, who has helped the company triple its profits to £15.6m in the six months to 30 September, led by the huge success of its Alexa bag, inspired by television presenter Alexa Chung.

“[Guillon] brings an instinctive understanding of quality and an international perspective that will be invaluable in the next stages of our growth,” said Hill.

Internationally, Mulberry has seen sales more than double in the first half of the yearo n the back of strong demand from Asia, and has shrugged off concerns of an economic slowdown.

The group has opened 10 stores this year so far – including a third store in New York – while its partners in Asia-Pacific have launched stores in Singapore and Taiwan.

The group plans to open 15 more store in the next year.