Mulberry’s debut jewellery line is inspired by Victorian pieces and the symbolism of precious stones.
Johnny Coca replaced Emma Hill as creative director at the British fashion house in July last year and is in charge of the design team for leather goods, shoes, accessories, ready-to-wear collections and all creative aspects of the label’s image. Before taking the role, Coca had pivotal roles at Celine, Bally and Louis Vuitton and is known for his expertise in leather goods, the major driver of Mulberry’s sales. But he’s now focusing on expanding different product lines, and has recently unveiled his first jewellery collection for the brand, titled Cabinet of Curiosities.
Speaking about the line, Coca, says that the starting point for the designs was British heritage, with the Crown Jewels, Victorian pieces and London’s flea markets all touchstones.
“One of the starting points for the new jewellery collection was the Victorian-era fascination with medieval ‘bestiaries,’ anthologies of animals, birds, and rocks that illustrated and speculated on species and legends in a lot of detail,” he told Vogue.com. “Victorian jewellery was preoccupied with talismans and the symbolism of precious stones, which also inspired key pieces.”
Among the standout designs of the jewellery line are silver nails and hoops worn on a single ear, substantial chains which cling to the wrist, long necklaces suspending a large heart, a cocktail ring with an oversized black stone and a ring designed in the shape of a stag’s head. It is the contemporary “single piece” earring style, however, which Coca foresees as being one of the most coveted items in the range.
A big collector of jewellery himself, Coca adds that he’s always scouting markets for vintage jewels.
“Like sunglasses, it’s something I love. I love the jewellery of (Italian designer) Ettore Sottsass, jewels from the ’50s and ’60s. I love to collect big chain bracelets,” he shared.
As well as the jewellery line, Coca reveals that he will be launching a new eyewear line for Mulberry later in the year.