Luxury leather-goods chain Coach (NYSE:COH) may be the next stop for designer Emma Hill, who resigned as creative director from U.K. handbag maker Mulberry on Tuesday (June 11). Coach is hoping to broaden its line into fashion and jewelry and might make a play for Hill, according to Quartz.
Hill has spent brief stints at Gap (NYSE:GPS), Marks & Spencer and Burberry, but she made her biggest impact at Mulberry, where she started in 2007 and turned a staid British wallet and briefcase maker into a cult global label. Hill reportedly resigned because of differences over "creative and operational strategy."
That bland phrase—and what it doesn't explicitly say—holds the key to whether or not Hill and Coach are a good fit.
Coach is primarily known as a handbag and accessory company. More than one third of the chain's floor space is in outlet malls, and it's not a brand that celebrities are likely to wear. Hill's reputation could change that, since at Mulberry she was able to get her designs on singers and television personalities.
But at Mulberry, Hill also introduced a wider variety of less expensive products intended to draw in younger, less affluent customers. Hill may have decided to quit at Mulberry in part because the company wanted to go upmarket. If Coach is also interested in moving up from its current "accessible luxury" reputation, Hill might have problems with Coach's strategy, too.
- See this Quartz story
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