Somerset, England—Mulberry, the British luxury leathergoods brand which gave its third profit warning in the past two years in January, has hired Steven Newey, a former LVMH executive, to the newly-created role of group commercial director.
Formerly general manager for Berluti footwear in Europe and the Middle East, Newey is reportedly starting his new position on May 1 and will lead “the retail, wholesale and online according to Drapers’ sister magazine Retail Week.
Prior to Beluti, Newey was retail area manager for the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Austria at Loro Piana and Retail operations controller at Alfred Dunhill, London.
Search for Creative Director Continues
Longtime group supply director Ian Scott recently left his position at Mulberry after nine years to set up his own consultancy business. Scott was created with helping Mulberry set up its Somerset factories where some 50% of its products are now made.
Mulberry is also said to still be looking for a creative director to succeed Emma Hill who left last fall.
During London Fashion Week in February, Mulberry premiered five convertibles handbags created in collaboration with model Cara Delevingne. The bags which can change from top handle styles to backpacks, retail starting at about $1,500—higher pricepoints than previous collections as Mulberry CEO Bruno Guillon has been pushing the brand more upscale.
It’s a strategy some have questioned after Guillon reported that “substantial discounts” by rivals especially holiday hurt the company’s sales, resulting in the profit warning.
Exane BNP Paribas analyst Luca Solca told Retail Week last month: “Mulberry is a great brand but I’m not sure moving it upmarket is the best or the easiest thing to do. It lacks the credibility to price its products at the high end.”
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