This morning we woke up to the news that Emma Hill is leaving Mulberry after six years as Creative Director. Following reports that she is departing due to disagreements with management over creative and operational strategy, it took all of five minutes for Hill to be linked to another top fashion job, as successor for Reed Krakoff, who is stepping down after a 16-year career at the helm of New York-based accessories brand Coach. But Emma isn't the only creative powerhouse on Coach's potential wish list of candidates. The biggest and perhaps the most surprising name in the running is Marc Jacobs, who is rumoured to be exiting Louis Vuitton when his contract expires at the end of this year. Keeping up? It's like a game of designer musical chairs in the fashion industry today, so let us break it down for you...
1. Jacobs and his business partner Robert Duffy already have their hands full with his namesake brand, Marc Jacobs, a diffusion line, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Louis Vuitton. There is also the possibility that, along with partners LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, they could follow in the footsteps of another leading New York designer, Michael Kors, and go for an initial public offering of Marc Jacobs. It's unlikely that Jacobs could stretch himself beyond his current workload, but rumours have been swirling around for some time now that he could bow out at Vuitton with former Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière waiting in the wings as the heir apparent.
Nicolas Ghesquière with Kristen Stewart
2. Speaking of Ghesquière, he's also been named as a possible Coach contender. Since leaving Balenciaga, the world has waited with baited breath to see what he'd put his hand to next and this may be the perfect way to make his return. WWD reports that he has dropped hints about a big project looming and in an interview with System magazine in April the designer revealed of his preparations for the next chapter of his career: "I’m regenerating again, and that’s very exciting because it’s a feeling I haven’t had since I was in my twenties.'"
3. Marc Jacobs' former employee Emma Hill was appointed creative director at Mulberry in 2007, taking over from Stuart Vevers. She showed her first collection for the Brit brand in September 2008 and was held responsible for the brand picking up the Best Designer Brand prize at the British Fashion Awards in 2010 and posting profits of nearly £45 million in the same year. Leaving the legacy of the sartorial storm that was the Alexa, the beautiful Del Rey, named after singing sensation Lana and most recently, the Willow Tote complete with a detachable clutch, we imagine that Coach would be keen to tap into Hill's gift for creating must-have and bankable hangbags.
Clare Waight Keller with Pixie Geldof
Other designers on the long list include Chloé’s creative director Clare Waight Keller, Derek Lam and Phillip Lim. Watch this space as we await further news.