It hasn't even been two weeks since we learned that Marc by Marc Jacobs would be discontinued and folded into Marc Jacobs's main line, but the brand's Creative Director Katie Hillier and Design Director Luella Bartley are already onto their next project.
The London-based designers announced Tuesday that they have launched Hillier Bartley, a women's label that includes ready-to-wear, bags and accessories. What's interesting is that they had either already known the fate of MbMJ, or were planning to take this on as a side project — because a fall 2015 collection has already been created and was shown to select buyers (who are apparently very good at keeping secrets) in Paris last month.
Per a release, the collection uses "classic English references and has a masculine elegance, which utilises Savile Row cloth, velvet, silk, merino wool and shearling across tailoring, dresses and separates." Hillier and Barley are manufacturing everything in the UK except for the bags, which are being produced in Italy. The collection will sell at a luxury price point when it hits select retailers in August.
Hillier and Bartley are both veterans of London's vibrant design scene. They worked together at Bartley's line Luella, which launched in 1999 and had a cult following until it shuttered in 2009 due to financial problems. Hillier designed accessories for Luella, then went on to design accessories for Marc Jacobs and eventually launch her own eponymous line of beloved, bunny-filled jewelry.
“Hillier Bartley is a very personal project which Katie and I have been working on for years," said Bartley in a statement. "It is a culmination of everything I have learnt as a designer and a woman and is purely and defiantly about the clothes and fabrics. We have also looked at the women we admire, what we would want to wear and the inspirations that have been close to us for ages. Its ultimate heroine lies somewhere between Ian McCulloch and Katherine Hepburn. Its about a woman our age, indie by heart, rakish and irreverent by nature, who is maturing into refinement and naturalness.”
“Luella and I have always worked together in different ways. Now we are finally putting all our experience into making something that's a reflection of us, of what we want to wear," said Hillier. "I’m really proud of what we’ve made — the craftsmanship, attention to detail and design. It’s been a real labour of love and I am really looking forward to seeing women we admire carrying our bags and wearing our clothes.”
Photos of the line were not available at press time, but you can bet we'll report back as soon as they are.