Louis Vuitton Taps Johnny Coca to Lead Handbags Division

Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Well this is going to be good.

The winds of change are blowing fast through European fashion houses right now. Following Alessandro Michele’s announcement that Gucci is to go seasonless and show just twice a year, Louis Vuitton has announced that Johnny Coca will join the storied French luxury house to look after its handbags and accessories as the women’s fashion leather goods director. The ex-Mulberry designer will join Nicolas Ghesquière at the brand from June 2.

The role is a perfect fit for Coca for a number of reasons –first,  he was single-handedly responsible for reviving Mulbery’s handbag offering by reimagining the brand’s logo, introducing two new bag styles and reintroducing men’s accessories during his time at the British house. And second, he actually began his career as a leather goods designer for the house after he graduated.

In a release, Ghesquière touched on the history saying, “I am very pleased that [Coca] is joining me on this journey that started a few years ago. The team and I look forward to working with him in the inspiring world of Louis Vuitton.” Meanwhile, Delphine Arnault, the brand’s executive vice president, said Coca is “in perfect unison with Louis Vuitton’s spirit and shares our vision” adding that he “will strengthen our creative energy and our ability to innovate.”

Prior to his work at Mulberry, Coca was the head design director for leather goods, accessories, shoes and jewellery at Celine for five years, and was at Bally before that.

Coca joins an all-star roster at the house. In addition to Ghesquière, Vuitton is also home to Virgil Abloh (the men’s artistic director) and Francesca Amfitheatrof (director of watches and jewellery). Speaking of his appointment, Coca said in a release that his “journey has now come full circle, to the place where I was lucky enough to hone my passion firsthand and learn the fundamentals of leather craftsmanship in the ateliers at Asnières. It opens a new chapter in my own creative adventure, in an extraordinary laboratory that blends heritage and modernity.”

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