NEW YORK — The 168-year-old Mark Cross brand relaunched with Barneys New York just over a year ago, and in that time has managed to grow its business domestically, internationally and is in the midst of developing luggage and a complete men’s collection.
In the U.S., the luxury handbags are exclusive to Barneys through the end of 2013 (the original exclusivity deal for 2012 was extended for an additional year). As of the fall 2012 season, the company opened up international distribution, according to Neal Fox, chief executive officer of Mark Cross.
Outside the U.S., the line is sold in 16 doors in Canada, England, France, Italy, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, Qatar and Lebanon. In London alone, Selfridges, Dover Street Market and four Matches locations carry Mark Cross, and Number 8 in Jakarta will start to sell the line this spring. Fox is also exploring opportunities in Daslu in São Paulo, Brazil, and, next month, the brand will show its fall collection during Paris Fashion Week.
“We began to build a significant amount of brand equity for a brand that was dormant for 13 years,” Fox told WWD at the Mark Cross showroom here, crediting swift growth to silhouettes that are “classically driven with a punch.”
Taylor Swift has been photographed several times toting around the Scottie in a medium brown, a vintage inspired top-handle structured bag named after F. Scott Fitzgeralds’ daughter, and a college-age Carrie Bradshaw’s black Scottie on WB’s “The Carrie Diaries” plays an integral role in the show.
“The Scottie is in the eyes of the beholder. Baby Boomers think it’s timeless and younger consumers think it’s new and fresh,” Fox said of the bags that come in punchy colors like vivid red, cobalt, baby blue, Kelly and forest greens, orange and yellow (in addition to neutrals like ivory, luggage and black). “They are not wearing logos [anymore] — it’s a revolution against logos.”
Along with the Scottie, Fox calls the Grace box style the “guts of what the core collection is all about.” It’s named after Grace Kelly, who had Gerald Murphy (the Murphy family owned the company from 1875 to 1955) design an overnight trunk for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film “Rear Window.”
The Scottie now comes in three sizes, including a $1,795 wristlet, a $2,195 small satchel and a $2,450 large satchel (for fall, a $1,995 cross-body Mini will be introduced). The Grace box, which retails for $1,795 and $2,095 for a small and large size, respectively, will come in snake for fall, with a range of crocodile, lizard and python options available for special order.
The other two styles in the core offering are the Madison, a classic satchel with rolled handles that comes in three sizes and retails from $1,595 to $2,095, and the $2,495 Porter, a more structured shoulder satchel that will hit retailers next month.
“We are positioning ourselves as the U.S.’ first luxury brand, and ultimately this means we need freestanding doors,” Fox said, stressing that is not in the immediate future. He added that significant product development has just begun on a men’s collection and luggage, both of which will see a proper launch in 2014.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)