Mulberry Sees Brand Britain as Key to Asian Growth

Mulberry won the prestigious British Luxury Brand of the Year at the Walpole Awards for Excellence, in association with Coutts on Monday, beating stiff competition from Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Harrods and Stella McCartney.

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Kirstin Sinclair

The award comes less than a month after the British luxury brand issued a profit warning on slowing international sales growth and lower wholesale revenue.

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Creative Director Emma Hill, who accepted the award on behalf of Mulberry, said that despite the profit warning she has an optimistic outlook for the rest of the year and that the luxury brand will continue growing in Asian markets.

"We just opened a flagship store in Singapore a couple of weeks ago and we're really looking at expanding our stores, expanding our flagships and specifically expanding our men's collections. The male Asian consumer is growing hugely," Hill told CNBC after the award ceremony.

CEO Bruno Guillon said in a trading statement that, "although international retail sales are behind expectations, newly opened stores are performing satisfactorily and we are on track to open our target of 15-20 stores during 2012/13."

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Hill also said that the increasingly attractive "Brand Britain" factor that Mulberry has will drive growth.

"I think that the 'made in England' name is really important to the Asian consumer. We're opening up a second factory in Somerset, so we're looking at having at least 50 percent of our brand made in Britain," said Hill.

"I think that Mulberry stands out in particular because of the heritage of our past and attention to British irony," she added.

Emma Hill was awarded a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by the Queen for her services to British Fashion, and Mulberry will announce its interim 6-month results on December 6.