Johnny Coca talks more personal taste

Mulberry’s creative director concludes his list of likes with shopping in the Marais, holidays on Ibiza and Kew Gardens

Johnny Coca at home in Paris
Johnny Coca at home in Paris | Image: Léa Crespi

My style icons are the great women in the music business, particularly Debbie Harry, Annie Lennox and FKA Twigs; they epitomise this outer-hard, inner-soft, good-girl, bad-girl contradiction that inspires me. But it’s people on the street that are the best moment of creativity for me. You can sit at St Pancras with all these City guys and then all the students from Central Saint Martins and then all these punk guys and you have no idea where they have come from. I can sit there and have a coffee and not move for two hours; you see everything and nothing – it’s paradise.

The site that inspires me is Guildhall, where I held my first show. I love the classic but I also love modernity, and this is a combination of the two: the Guildhall building from the 15th century and then an almost brutalist concrete structure next to it, which forms the contemporary administrative buildings. Inside the original building you see these incredible details you would never expect. Gresham Street, London EC2 (020-7332 1313; www.guildhall.cityoflondon.gov.uk).

London Burning: Portraits from a Creative City by Hossein Amirsadeghi and Maryam Eisler
London Burning: Portraits from a Creative City by Hossein Amirsadeghi and Maryam Eisler

In my fridge you will always find Coca-Cola and fresh lemon juice – I drink the juice pure every morning. No sugar; no water. There’s not much else in there as I don’t cook a lot.

The best book I’ve read in the past year is London Burning: Portraits from a Creative City. It’s filled with designers, artists and creatives all sharing their own favourite places, and the portraits are very well done. £58; www.thamesandhudson.com.

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If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose the Marais in Paris. It’s small but there is so much happening: new boutiques, new restaurants, new bars. There are interesting little shops but also luxury brands too. I love the Comme des Garçons store and the small boutiques around there that are willing to take risks and propose something different, like Tom Greyhound. And I really love Le Comptoir de l’Image, which is a tiny store with this mountain of books and magazines. Everyone goes there – Azzedine Alaïa, Marc Jacobs, Alber Elbaz – because you can find books that you can’t find anywhere else. Comme des Garçons, 7 Rue du Perche, 75003 (+331-4278 0267; www.comme-des-garcons.com). Le Comptoir de l’Image, 44 Rue de Sévigné, 75003 (+331-4272 0917; www.comptoirimage.com). Tom Greyhound, 19 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 (+331-4461 3659; www.tomgreyhound.fr).

The last music I downloaded was Habits by Tove Lo. I first heard it when I was in a taxi and it was playing on the radio. She is Swedish and it’s quite sad, but the lyrics are real, about relationships and the people you love.

The Tom Greyhound store in Paris
The Tom Greyhound store in Paris

The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing are the girls at Des Garçons on Rue Saint-Honoré, which is a friendly and relaxing place to get my hair done, and I de-stress at the gym – we have one downstairs from our offices. I used to go five or six days a week, but since I came to Mulberry it’s once or twice. Des Garçons, 217 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris (+336-5238 8449).

The best gift I have received is a necklace from a friend, Miles Chapman. He reworks pieces of silver that he finds in markets and antiques shops to make original necklaces. Mine has a champagne bubble diffuser hanging from it as a charm.

Queen of the Clouds by Tove Lo, featuring Habits
Queen of the Clouds by Tove Lo, featuring Habits

An indulgence I would never forgo is my summer holiday in August – I spend time at home in Seville but I also like going to Ibiza and Formentera to see friends. Ses Illetes, at the north of the island, is idyllic early in the morning and one of my favourite spots.

The one artist I would collect if I could – other than Carmen Herrera – would be Nick Knight. All the work he has done – from Björk to his work with McQueen – is quite romantic but there’s this strong sense of rebellion and it’s also so British. I’d love to do something with him one day. www.newarteditions.com. www.nickknight.com.

A fundraising breakfast in Paris to support the work of the Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque Enfants du Monde
A fundraising breakfast in Paris to support the work of the Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque Enfants du Monde

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Kew Gardens. I travel so much but it’s amazing to have this space in London – it’s like walking into the Great Exhibition. When you are outside you can’t even imagine what is inside – all those tropical glasshouses, those really humid environments. For a designer it is very inspiring. www.kew.org.

The best souvenir I have brought home is a jumper from my first trip to Scotland a long time ago. I went to Glasgow and Dundee and bought a traditional cabled wool knit. I wanted something classic after seeing all those castles and the lambs. I’ve never worn it but every time I move apartment the jumper comes with me.

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My favourite room in my house is my shower room. It’s the place I feel most relaxed; I play music, think about the day and reboot. The shower has lighting that changes colour and I choose a colour to suit my mood.

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a surgeon. When I was small I was sick a lot with heart problems and I thought when I was older I would love to be a heart surgeon, especially for children. Now I support a foundation, the Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque Enfants du Monde, for children who have cardiac problems, and I have such respect for the doctors. www.mecenat-cardiaque.org.

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