MARK CROSS NAME ACQUIRED: The new company Mark W. Cross & Co. has acquired the worldwide rights to the Mark Cross trademark from Sara Lee Corp. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Mark W. Cross firm is owned by J.P. Wilikin Jr., a former Travelpro luggage company executive who last year had filed a petition with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for the trademark and set up a business under that name. Since an agreement was arranged, the petition has been canceled.
“We are going to license the brand to select manufacturers,” he said. “We are interested in renewing the Cross name as a luxury brand with exclusive distribution.”
Wilikin, who is based in Boca Raton, Fla., said many details about pricing and styling are still being determined.
Sara Lee shut down Mark Cross in 1997 to concentrate on its Coach label, which has since been spun off as a separate firm. Mark Cross was founded in 1845 by Henry Cross, a saddle maker from Ireland who had emigrated to Boston. It was estimated to have sales of about $20 million when Sara Lee was looking for a buyer in 1997.
TUMI’S LONDON DIGS: Privately held luggage- and leather-goods firm Tumi opened its first European store in London last week. The 1,240-square-foot unit is located at 170 Piccadilly and offers the brand’s entire assortment, including garment and duffel bags, satchels and business cases.
“London is a leading international market and therefore it was a logical choice for a first European store,” said Laurence Franklin, Tumi’s president. “The opportunity and the location were very attractive to us. We are optimistic that this will add both volume and brand exposure.”
The store opening is part of Tumi’s strategy to strengthen its international presence. The company recently opened stores in Sydney, Singapore and Tokyo.
“We anticipate in the short- to medium-term that we will be opening stores in other major European markets, such as Paris and Milan,” said Franklin, who declined to give sales projections for the new unit.
PARKER’S NEW HOME: A slew of accessories designers have recently ventured into the home arena, but Kim Parker is heading in the other direction.
The New York-based home- and fashion-textile designer, who in the past has created fabrics for such designers as Jill Stuart, Anna Sui and Calvin Klein, launched a line of handbags with a focus on colorful floral and geometric prints.
“My [home] line has always been about my print designs,” said Parker. “That’s been my voice and signature for a long time. Home decor is like a canvas. A pillow shape doesn’t change drastically, but the print does. For me, handbags are a natural canvas for these prints.”
Parker explained that she researched flea markets for bag shapes that would work with her prints and then developed the collection. The silk charmeuse handbags are lined with brightly colored velvet. The line includes a large shopper and a small tote with a “Half-Lemon Floral” print in oyster and pink, and a “Berry” print in oyster with mint-colored berries.
The bags retail from $120 and $175, and Parker, who declined to give sales projections, is targeting distribution to upscale specialty and department stores.
LANCEL’S NEW LOOK: French leather goods firm Lancel is getting a little racy in its new advertising campaign. The shots feature a seemingly naked model with a flaming red drawstring handbag worn as a hat.
Lancel, a division of Richemont Group, was launched in North America in April 2001 and is aiming to bring across a lighthearted and whimsical message with this new image, which depicts a small classic drawstring that retails for $180.
“The campaign will be key in spreading the brand’s name and message,” said Pierre Keyser, president. “It exemplifies the new spirit of Lancel. Focusing on fun and creativity, the ad communicates a fresh style that is friendly, accessible and chic.”
The Avrett Free & Ginsberg agency created the campaign using model IMG model Magdalena Wrobel. The company did not disclose an ad budget for the campaign, which launched in the August issue of Lucky and will be featured in September books such as Vogue, In Style, Marie Claire, Lucky and House & Garden.
PACIFIC TRAVEL DEAL: Seattle-based outerwear brand Pacific Trail Inc. has signed a licensing deal with Lakewood, N.J.-based Ryka Inc. for a line of travel-related accessories.
Ryka will design, develop and market a 30-piece travel-gear collection, including backpacks, rolling and regular duffel bags and wheeled backpacks for Pacific Trail.
“Consumers are traveling more frequently and exploring new territories, and this line is designed to go from the city to the mountains,” said Pacific Trail president Gary Hansen. “The new collection complements the brand’s rugged outdoor image and allows us to tap into a growing market of versatile, carry gear designed to meet the demands of today’s active traveler.”
Distribution of the line, which retails from $24 to about $170, is aimed at department stores, national chains and sporting goods and specialty luggage stores this fall in time for back-to-school selling. Pacific Trail’s other licensed lines are leather outerwear with Lifestyle Outerwear Corp. and cold-weather accessories with Aquarius Ltd.