Why I’m Obsessed with Hill & Friends’ AW17 Collection
Hill & Friends’ Autumn/Winter 2017 collection is called ‘Friends Forever’ and looking at the stunning bags, I will happily be their BFF and carry their books to class forever and ever Amen.
Following on from the Happy and Lucky collections, Emma Hill and co-founder Georgia Fendley have added 1970s-inspired metallic disco and jelly bean green leopard prints into the mix. Fashion is fun in the Hill & Friends world, but in a luxurious way with a subversive wink.
Hill, Mulberry’s former creative director and Fendley, previously brand director with the British designer, have managed to do something which no-one else has managed in years: give me extreme bag lust. Not since Hill’s heyday at Mulberry, where she transformed the heritage brand by creating the incredibly popular Alexa satchel and launching a ready-to-wear collection, have I felt the need to own a bag so strongly. I say bag, when in reality I mean several.
I loved my Alexas (and still use them from time to time) but the shapes, hardware and design of Hill & Friends’ bags feels like fresh, modern and fun new takes on classic shapes. Where Mulberry now feels quite serious (and with the big price hikes over recent years increasingly more out of reach), Hill & Friends has stepped into the space left behind with bold, beautiful and playful designs which still tick the luxury box. I love that to lock the bags you have to ‘wink’ an eye of the smiley face hardware.
If you’re not aware of Emma Hill’s CV before launching Hill & Friends, it certainly makes for impressive reading. Stints at Burberry, Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs preceded six successful years at Mulberry before her departure from the brand in 2013.
Mulberry’s loss is now to Hill’s own gain and immense credit, as her own brand with Fendley is simply delicious and lustworthy. Funky and modern without being outlandish, creating bags in a range of sumptuous leathers you want to touch and use for years to come. I am seriously torn about which one I love the most, but I think it’s the Happy Medium Chain in Mouse Grey Shrunken Lamb with Silver hardware. Soft grey, textured leather, stunning chain strap and the winky face. Oh I’m in love. I might even sell some of my Mulberrys so I can buy one. Now if that’s not bag lust, I don’t know what is.