Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley launch own label

British designer friends Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley are branching out on their own to launch their own luxury brand, following the news that Marc by Marc Jacobs would be discontinued and folded into Marc Jacobs’ mainline.

The London-based design duo have named their new label, Hillier Bartley that according to the press release is influenced by “classic English references and has a masculine elegance”, and will offer clothes, bags and accessories from autumn/winter 2015.

The news of Marc by Marc Jacobs demise came just two weeks ago and the designers who were the creative director and design director must have realised that the end was near as the duo debut their own label to select buyers in Paris last month.

The classic English references can be seen in the collection’s use of "velvet, silk, merino wool and shearling across tailoring, dresses and separates," according to the statement from the brand, which didn’t include any images, and that the clothing would be made in the UK, while the leather bags that would be crafted in Italy.

The collection, which will roll out in August, is expected to sell at a luxury price point, and will be available in “select” high-end retailers, which have yet to be disclosed.

Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley to launch own luxury label

“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.”

Bartley added: “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. It’s about a woman our age, indie by heart, rakish and irreverent by nature, who is maturing into refinement and naturalness.”

Hillier and Bartley both previously worked together at Bartley's line Luella, which launched in 1999 and had a cult following until it closed in 2009 due to financial problems. Hillier also has her own eponymous line of beloved, bunny-filled jewellery.

Since Marc by Marc Jacobs announced its closure there has been speculation on what the British duo would do next, some even suggesting that they might take over at a high street brand because of their fun, pop culture-infused wearable designs, but launching their own luxury label is a bold direction.

"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," Hillier commented. "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."

Image: Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley after their Marc by Marc Jacobs show