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Fashion

The Creative Director Of Mulberry Shares His Cultural Inspirations And More

The London-based, architecture-trained designer who's given Mulberry a cool edge as its creative director shares his cultural inspirations and indulgences.

Johnny Coca

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Artist He’s Into Now

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Alignment #53, 2015, by Brent Wadden – his favourite artist, who mixes painting with weaving

“I came across the work of (Canadian painter/weaver) Brent Wadden while visiting Pace Gallery, and immediately felt an affinity to his work. Through a distinctive style that combines striking geometric patterns with a bold use of colour blocking, he manages to blur the boundaries between folk and fine art, which I find fascinating.”

Go-To Restaurant

“(Spanish tapas restaurant) El Pirata in Mayfair, which serves the best tapas in the city. If you’re looking for somewhere a little discreet, the restaurant is hidden away on a side street so it has an intimate, low-key vibe.”

Personal Scent

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Chanel’s Egoiste scent remains modern to him, despite being launched in 1990.

“Chanel’s Egoiste (a woody, spicy scent with sandalwood and vanilla notes) is modern and masculine.”

Shopping Haunts

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He visits Dover Street Market to discover emerging designers.

“I love Dover Street Market’s multi-brand concept, and the fact that it continuously supports new, fresh talent. I also love (the cult concept store) LN-CC in Dalston with its amazing collection of ready-to-wear, books and records. It’s an amazing space to spend time in.”

Regular Cultural Hotspot

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London’s Barbican Centre – his cultural haunt

“I’ve always loved the Barbican Centre even before moving to London. The building is an incredible piece of (Brutalist) architecture, and it has the best exhibitions. The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined held earlier this year, for example, questioned the notion of what’s tasteful, how we perceive it, and what it is that makes something inherently vulgar – subjects that aren’t always addressed.”

Design Hero

“There are so many figures in this field that I admire, but industrial designer Shiro Kuramata always stands out for me. His ‘Glass Chair’ from 1976 is a unique and important piece. I also love his work for the first Issey Miyake boutique and perfume bottle in the ’70s.”

Highlights From Mulberry S/S ’18

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Expect lots of colour and ruffles in Mulberry S/S ’18.

“In this collection, I’ve tried to focus on pairing ruffles with colour, mixed with a ’50s attitude. The dresses are feminine yet dramatic, and extremely versatile. They can be worn from day to night.”

Must-Have Bag

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Mulberry’s signature Amberley bag comes updated with ruffles.

“The Amberley satchel bag that’s been updated with ruffles on the trim. It’s the perfect accessory for every occasion.”

Brent Wadden Photo Pace Gallery & Peres Projects, Berlin Barbican Centre Photo Max Colson Dover Street Market London Photo Dover Street Market

This story first appeared in Female’s January 2018 issue.

Like this? Check out why local artist Dawn Ng is an artist everyone can relate to, the cool Asian brands you need to know and the most covetable S/S’18 accessories to save up for.