Designer Elisa Dahan inspected the Lower Manhattan pop-up store of her outerwear label, Mackage, on Wednesday before checking into a hospital — she was preparing to give birth to her first child.
The opening on Tuesday of the 750-square-foot space at 829 Washington Street is among several of the Montreal-based company’s upcoming milestones, including next month’s installment of the Coterie trade show. The label will present its spring collection there Sept. 9 and a day later participate in Fashion’s Night Out. The brand’s first freestanding store will debut in Paris on Oct. 10.
Dahan initially intended to have the temporary Manhattan space for a week, but decided on a one-month lease to test the neighborhood for a permanent location.
“This is definitely an area we have been interested in for a while,” she said. “New York for me is the number-one place where I would like to have a retail location. We really wanted to give it a try. We love the Meatpacking District. Now that the High Line is open, the Meatpacking District is back on the map and we definitely wanted to be part of it.”
Finding a space near Catherine Malandrino, Diane von Furstenberg and Burberry appealed to Dahan since those brands have boutiques close to Mackage’s new Paris location at 180 Boulevard Saint Germain.
Dressed in a yellow Phillip Lim dress, one of the designer labels she has relied on for makeshift maternity clothes, Dahan on Wednesday motioned toward a $680 Mackage motorcycle jacket on display in the pop-up store and noted she got a lot of wear out of a similar style with an Empire waist and pleats. Outerwear was a necessity for her frequent trips to the 10-year-old company’s headquarters in Montreal, where co-founder Eran Elfassy is based. Dahan’s husband, Jerry Elfassy, who is not related to her business partner, also lives there. In 2006, Dahan relocated to an office on West 39th Street to build up U.S. sales and now plans to make Montreal more of a base.
In addition to the motorcylcle jacket, a slim-fitting hooded puffer jacket at $590 and a belted asymmetrical wool coat with a funnel neck and an exposed zipper at $640 should be strong performers in the pop-up store, she said.
The monthlong run should generate an estimated $400,000 in retail sales. Despite the recession, “We decided, ‘Let’s take the opportunity to build new projects and to try new things instead of backing into a corner,” Dahan said. “We wanted consumers to be able to see the range of styles that we offer.”
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