Last week, whilst I was joyfully ensconced in Browns‘ Shop 24, stroking the lovely Club Monaco clothes & planning my fantasy SS wardrobe, (that’s the problem with Browns: you end up wanting EVERYTHING), LLG Editorial Associate Briony hopped off to meet Mulberry’s Emma Hill for LLG…
To celebrate its 40th birthday, Mulberry – in collaboration with photographer Venetia Dearden – has launched an exquisitely luxe coffee table tome (and we do mean tome – it weights about 5 kilos!). In honour of this fabulously fun and decadent storybook, we were very excited to sit down for a cup of tea and a chat (exclusively for our divine LLG readers) with the always beautiful and lovely Creative Director of Mulberry, Emma Hill, to talk books, bags and sack races:
What did Mulberry mean to you growing up?
EH: I was a child of parents who always bought staunchly English brands, so that was always in my counciousness. When I was a college student, I used to go and stare at the croc-print bags in the Mulberry store on St Christopher’s Place (always convinced they could tell I didn’t have enough money to actually buy the bags!). It’s incredible now to be a part of a brand with that English history that I grew up with. Joining Mulberry felt almost like I was coming home.
What is your iconic Mulberry moment?
EH: Winning the Best British Brand award (LLG: Mulberry took out this top honour at the BFAs last December) was obviously incredible! But also, for me, it’s the fun, silly moments with my incredible design team who are like family – things like having sack races and egg and spoon races at team away days are just as special to me here.
Who is the Mulberry girl to you?
EH: Whereas some brands say things like ‘her name is Penny and she lives in Lancashire’, there is no single person who personifies Mulberry. She could be anyone – she crosses age groups and lives all over the world. She’s clever and likes to play and have fun, but most of all, she doesn’t take herself too seriously.
Other than being a anniversary celebration, how did the book come about?
EH: Venetia had done the book Glastonbury: Another Stage, which we had supported. It just sort of formed naturally from there – she became an honorary ‘Mulberry’ and started following us around two years ago taking lovely pictures. She had amassed the most enormous amount of images and it made sense to put them all together in a book. Mulberry is never about minimalism (it’s always more, more, more!), so it was never going to be a skinny, dull book. (LLG: we love this!)
What do you see as the next step for Mulberry?
EH: Mulberry has experienced phenomenal success in recent years, and I’m looking forward to the brand growing up. But while I’m keen to expand globally, it is incredibly important to me that we stay true to what Mulberry is about, and not lose any of that in the process. Business if obviously an important consideration, but I want to treasure and uphold the impeccable English craftsmanship, our incredible customer service and the fun, silly feel that are so much a part of what Mulberry is about.
Thank you, Emma! May the world always be filled with beautiful Mulberry bags and your special brand of whimsy that we love so much.
– Words and photos by Briony Whitehouse (first image via Mulberry)