Mulberry is planning to let go of a quarter of its global workforce. The British brand best known for its luxury handbags is already preparing to shutter its offices in Paris and Hong Kong. According to information obtained by FashionNetwork.com, starting Spring/Summer 2021, the brand also intends to discontinue its footwear and ready-to-wear collections, which are produced under licence by Onward Luxury Group.
The brand is hoping to refocus on London and leather goods, its core activity. It will also continue to offer jewellery and its eyewear line, which is produced under licence. Bags and small leath er goods account for 70 per cent of the brand's total sales.
Both Brexit and the current economic climate have been hard on the brand which, faced with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, is now in serious trouble. On 8 June, Mulberry issued a profit warning and announced that it would have to "manage [its] operations and cost base accordingly to ensure the company is the correct size and structure to reflect market conditions."
In reality, the fate of the brand's ready-to-wear line already looked to be sealed in March, with the announcement of the departure of creative director Johnny Coca. His last collection for Fall/Winter 2020-21 is still on sale. Coca joined the house in July 2015, as it sought to reposition itself around the high-quality accessible luxury segment and push forward with its international development.
According to Drapers, Mulberry is also on the verge of closing one of its two British, Somerset-based production sites, where the company manufactures almost half of its bags and leather goods. The factory in question is "The Rookery," which is located not far from Bath, in Chilcompton, where the brand was founded in 1971.