Former Luella designer Luella Bartley has joined Katie Hillier at the helm of diffusion label Marc by Marc Jacobs as Jacobs steps back to concentrate on the brand’s mainline and commitments with Louis Vuitton.
Bartley has taken on the role of design director of women’s ready-to-wear, while Hillier has been named creative director at the sub-brand.
It is the first time that anyone other than Jacobs has had creative control over the brand.
While Jacobs remains the boss at large of Marc by Marc, Hillier will oversee the womenswear collection. The current men’s team remains intact and will continue to report to Karl Aberg, global design director of men’s collections.
Hillier has worked in a freelance capacity on Marc by Marc for 10 years, beginning in handbag design before eventually overseeing the watch, eyewear and jewellery divisions.
The duo previously worked together at Bartley’s own label, Luella, where Hillier designed accessories for the ready to wear collection. Bartley has been credited for reinvigorating the Mulberry handbag line with her capsule collection for the brand in 2002.
Robert Duffy, president and vice chairman of Marc Jacobs International, said the reshuffle was initiated to breathe life back into the brand which had been “getting a little stale.”
He added: “We have an issue with the ready-to-wear. I knew it because I pay very close attention to company-owned retail stores and I knew what was happening. We started out really strong in denim, and then we just let it go. We rested on our laurels and it hurt us.”
The pair are expected to unveil their first collection for the brand in autumn 14.