Brought up in Kingston, Surrey, by a Welsh father and mother, a maths teacher and an artist respectively, Hill graduated from Ravensbourne College of Art and moved into accessories design while working at Burberry.
Although she had originally planned to focus on clothing, not accessories, she thought that working for the international brand would give her a good jumping-off point from which to launch her move to New York. And along the way she discovered her talent for creating distinctive and original accessories. She moved on to become senior designer for accessories at Calvin Klein and then joined Marc Jacobs. At Marc Jacobs she worked for the diffusion line Marc by Marc Jacobs, where she played a big part in Jacobs winning accessories designer of the year in 2003. The Gap recruited her in 2002, and she immediately made a splash with her leather, denim and corduroy handbags.
Emma Hill joined Mulberry as Creative Director in February 2008, debuting with the Spring Summer 09 collection.