Luella Bartley will design the line’s womenswear collection. Where do we sign up?
1. It’s Bartley’s big return to fashion
Everyone figured she was gone for good after her line ceased trading in 2009 – after all, she told the Sunday Times that she was “happy to be out”. At the height of its powers, Luella was making £9m a year and attracting celebrity fans like Gwyneth Paltrow, Sienna Miller and Lily Allen.
2. It’s a British fashion dream team
Bartley joins Katie Hillier (right) at the helm of the label, and the btwo go way back: the latter cut her teeth on her friend (and mentor’s) eponymous line. So when Hillier was appointed by Marc Jacobs as creative director, Bartley was the first person she tapped as the new design director. Leaning in, Sheryl Sandberg style.
3. Marc by Marc Jacobs needed a shake-up
Robert Duffy, the CEO of Marc Jacobs, openly admits that the line had gotten “a bit stale”. The diffusion line started out strong in 2000 but has struggled of late. “We rested on our laurels and it hurt us,” Duffy says. Plus, the appointment will let Jacobs concentrate on Vuitton, which, as far as we’re concerned can only be a good thing.
4. We miss the Luella girl
The eccentric, rock’n’roll English rose in the cut-out heart dress? Basically, the person every girl at a British festival tries to channel every year? Luella pretty much invented that. It is a little-known fact that Alexa Chung didn’t not exist before Luella. Truth.
5. Just think of the fucking bags, man
Remember this beauty? Bartley pretty much brought Mulberry back from the brink thanks to the Gisele. Meanwhile, Hillier cut her teeth on accessories and co-created Victoria Beckham‘s initial collection of bags (which promptly sold out). Who knows what they’ll create together?
6. British style at Marc by Marc Jacobs? Yes please!
Quoth Bartley: “English style at its best is totally natural, fiercely individual and girlishly contrary. It can be funny, tough, sexy, clever and peverse, all at the same time.” Marc Jacobs is the man who put Victoria Beckham in a paper bag. It’s a perfect match.