The struggling handbag maker Mulberry is hoping to turn around its fortunes after bagging the fashion veteran Thierry Andretta as its new boss.
The appointment of Mr Andretta, who has held senior roles at Gucci and the French luxury goods giant LVMH, comes almost a year after the embattled chief executive Bruno Guillon left the company. Mulberry has been losing sales and had to issue profit warnings after Mr Guillon’s attempt to take it further upmarket sent prices soaring and alienated some UK customers.
The group’s first-half results in December revealed a £1.1m loss, against a £7.2m profit in the previous year. Turnover slipped 17 per cent.
Mr Andretta, who is already an independent non-executive director at the company, will start the job on 7 April. “Mulberry is a truly authentic British brand with a unique manufacturing base in the UK,” he said. “The brand has great international potential.”
He will work closely with the new creative director Johnny Coca, who joins in July and is another alumnus of the LVMH-owned French fashion brand Céline. Mr Coca replaces Emma Hill, who is credited with turning Mulberry into a global brand but who left in 2013.
Godfrey Davis, the chairman and interim chief executive, said Mr Andretta has a wealth of experience and “an ability to drive our ambitious plans for international growth”.
He added: “In parallel with recruiting our new creative director, we undertook an extensive search and concluded that Thierry was the outstanding candidate.”
Since the ousting of Mr Guillon, Mulberry has introduced a range of products in the £500 to £800 range in an attempt to woo back customers.
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