Talking with Johnny Coca

Johnny CocaJohnny Coca joined in 2015 as Mulberry’s Creative Director to oversee the ready-to-wear, leather goods and accessories collections as well as the image and the evolution of Mulberry’s legacy.

Born in Seville and educated in Paris, Johnny has an international perspective on brutishness and British culture. A student of both Architecture and Design, Johnny’s fascination with mathematics and engineering is as much a part of his design ethos as his passion for colour and drawing. With decades of experience from Louis Vuitton to Celine now have lead him to design for master of leather goods – Mulberry.

We had a small chat with Mr. Coca..

Describe your design DNA.
“My philosophy is to create beautiful things for the everyday lives of men and women – bags, ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories that are made to be worn and made to last. I find that the validity and true beauty of a product comes from its functionality.”

Who is your muse?
“I love to observe men and women every day, as they go about their lives. In London there is so much inspiration to be found from people out and about on the streets of the city. I am also inspired by some of the great women in the music business particularly Debbie Harry, Annie Lennox and FKA Twigs, they epitomize contradiction: hard/soft, good/bad.”

Mulberry has a very English heritage and image. Does not being English give you a different perspective on the design process? 
“Of course. I hope that I can look at Britishness in a new way, a different way, to keep Mulberry fresh and new. I also don’t take it for granted: the metropolitan culture of London, or the beauty and peace out in the Somerset countryside.” 

Who is the Mulberry woman? 
“The Mulberry woman is modern, confidentand rebellious. She is feminine with an edge. I am fascinated by the duality in women today: women are so strong – leaders, decisive, forthright. Yet they are not afraid to be soft, vulnerable, poetic. All women are amazing – there isn’t just one type of Mulberry woman.”

Any plans for menswear beyond accessories? 
“I want to create designs which are loved by all women and men around the world. Nothing is concrete yet but watch this space.”



Interview by Graham Addinall

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