NEW YORK — In the three years since the Great Recession started, J.Mendel has quietly been making headway, entering new markets, introducing new categories and broadening its reputation beyond featherweight mink coats and sable strollers.
The company, which owns and operates three boutiques and four concept shops, has seen wholesale volume leap by 120 percent, according to president and chief operating officer Susan Sokol. Launching “high day dresses” (to be worn to work and beyond), the brand now offers a wider price range and diversified collection, shows four times a year instead of twice and has refined its logo and packaging with the help of Laird + Partners. Orders for the 250-style fall collection, which is twice the size of last fall’s line, have increased by more than 25 percent, Sokol said. Retail prices for daytime dresses start at $1,750, and elaborate gowns go up to $25,000, though an alligator dress tops off at $32,000. There is also a wide range of prices for fur, with a knitted fur vest or small bolero retailing for $3,500 and a full-length sable coat selling for $180,000.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"