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Now that one of Mackage’s designers, Elisa Dahan, has a new baby and a three-year-old son, she and her codesigner, Eran Elfassy, decided there was no better time than the present to launch children’s outerwear.
This month Mackage Mini makes its debut at Barneys New York, Bloomingdale’s, select boutiques and in its Mercer Street store in Manhattan with an assortment of wool and down styles for girls and boys. Inspired by the brand’s women’s collection, the new line has such signature touches as logo buttons, leather epaulets and fur-trimmed hoods. This is new territory for the 13-year-old Montreal-based brand.
Dahan, who is already back at work three weeks after the birth of her second son, Rafael, said that she decided to venture into children’s wear when she was unable to find jackets for her elder son, Nathan. “From a consumer’s perspective, I didn’t feel they were warm enough. I felt there was something missing. This is for mothers and fathers who really care about their child’s aesthetic to that high of a degree,” she said. “I think there are a lot of people who do care about how their kids dress, because they do it for themselves.”
Last month on her new InFashionated blog, Dahan wrote, “OK, let’s be honest! I find the choices for kid’s [sic] clothes out there are very weak.”
Initially, she and Elfassy wanted to create coats for children in sizes two to six, but buyers insisted they design them for two to 12. They were told that sizes eight to 12 are the sweet spot at retail. Mackage Mini consists of wool coats for girls, peacoats and double-breasted coats for boys and puffer down coats for each. Retail prices will range from $395 to $450.
Elfassy declined to comment on projected volume for the new line but said the company’s annual sales are running 23 percent ahead of last year, and in the U.S. they are up by 40 percent. Mackage Mini will focus on essentials before expanding into rainwear or leather outerwear, he said.
His five-year-old niece drew the crown-wearing sticklike figure that appears on the logo and hangtags for Mackage Mini. By chance, another niece, 18-year-old Danielle, gave Elfassy the idea for the company’s name, by mispronouncing maquillage, the French word for makeup. When she was five, Elfassy once asked her for a kiss, and she refused because she said she was wearing “Mackage.” “Now she tells me, ‘I gave you the word. I should own the company,’ ” he said with a laugh.