#CNI Lux Day 2: Johnny Coca’s Vision for Mulberry
Alice Newbold, Vogue Daily Editor, reporting live from the CNI Luxury Conference in Lisbon
Born in Seville and educated in Paris, Johnny Coca has an international perspective on the Britishness that is inherent to Mulberry. Since taking the helm as creative director in 2015, he has taken the brand’s Somerset heritage and craftsmanship and given it a fresh, fashion-conscious personality. The praise for the Céline alumnus has been palpable, with press consistently surprised at how Coca is reinterpreting quintessentially British codes with a Spanish twist.
“When you are not British, you see Britishness in a different way. What is banal is super playful,” Coca told Eugenia de la Torriente, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue España and Suzy Menkes. His mission at Mulberry is “to keep the Britishness and protect its heritage, but bring strong individuality and take risks.”
His architecture training means he considers the cost of every creative decision. “I am passionate about physical mathematics, so I expected to be an engineer of planes, but I fell in love with fashion,” he explained. “The two are similar, because everything is related to proportion – the technique, the process, everything.”
This meticulous methodology drives his passion for consistency within the brand. “Everything need to be consistent with the message – the stores, the packaging … I want to design to design, not for the show, I am here to represent a brand and make it successful. Design is not related to a product, it is related to the entire environment.” Thus, visual merchandising becomes retail theatre.
“When you come from a family of culture, you just try to inject a part of yourself into what you see.” From the fields in Somerset – which he describes as a series of “villages working together” – he is spreading Mulberry’s theatre, one luxury product at a time.
The fourth annual Condé Nast International Luxury Conference is in Lisbon, on the 18th and 19th April. For more information, visit the website