UPDATE: Mulberry Speak Out
Following this morning's news that Emma Hill is set to leave Mulberry, the luxury brand has released the following statement: 'Mulberry confirms that Emma has informed the Company that she wishes to leave after a very successful period at Mulberry during which she has built a strong and talented creative team working for her. The main SS14 collection has been completed and Emma continues to work in the business finalising the London Fashion Week collection which will be launched on 15 September 2013. The timing of her departure is currently under discussion and has yet to be finalised.'
Emma Hill on the Mulberry catwalk in February 2012
Shock news this morning: Emma Hill is parting ways with Mulberry. WWD reports that the designer is leaving her position as creative director due to disagreements with management over creative and operational strategy.
Rewind to 2007 and after designing accessory collections for Marc Jacobs, Hill was appointed creative director at Mulberry, taking over from Stuart Vevers. She showed her first full collection for the Brit brand in September 2008 and just two years later, Mulberry won the Best Designer Brand prize at the British Fashion Awards. Later that month, the brand posted profits of nearly £45 million - phewf! But Mulbs has most recently issued two profit warnings since September with revenues expected to be down from last year.
Some of our favourite Mulberry bags
Perhaps most memorably, Hill created an array of lust-worthy bags during her six year tenure. Who could forget the sartorial storm that the Alexa created? And the world went seven shades of crazy for the beautiful Del Rey, named after singing sensation Lana. Most recently, we fell in love with the Willow Tote complete with a detachable clutch - as did Kate Moss who told us she wished it was named after her.
As for the incredible catwalk shows, will they be the same without Hill at the helm? The Mulberry extravanganza has always been a highlight of London Fashion Week, held in Claridge's glitzy ballroom decked out in toadstools, giant gnomes or cheeky animal balloons. We've been taken to the seaside, the fairground and an enchanted forest thanks to the designer's quirky imagination and you can guarantee there'll be an adorable dog on the catwalk.
Emma Hill with Kristen Stewart and Kate Moss at Mulberry's Spring Summer 2012 show in September 2011
'Irreverent yet iconic - it's well made, and I think it should always make you smile,' Emma has said of Mulberry. 'It's quite a warm, fuzzy brand, and I love the idea of doing really gorgeous things that are easy'. To top off her success, in November last year, the designer was made CBE during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace where she met the Queen.
The question is: where is Hill heading? Coach is looking for a new creative director since the departure of Reed Krakoff so might she be in the running? Grazia Daily has reached out to Mulberry for a comment and will keep you posted.
In the meantime, check out the Mulberry muses who made it to the most recent Autumn Winter 2013 show in the gallery below...