Mark Cross' new 1845 Mini Trunk bag.

Mark Cross is adding a new ladylike style to its stable of hero handbag designs. The American luxury brand today introduces its new “1845 Mini Trunk” bag, an elegant, small box shape released to coincide with the company’s 175th anniversary.

Chief executive officer Ulrik Garde Due said the style was inspired by an archival design that the brand’s team rediscovered in a Mark Cross New York Times ad from 1905. Its lunchbox shape, he said, fits well with the company’s hallmark of classic, luggage-inspired designs and mentality of creating “future vintage” pieces.

“I think the box shape is something close to Mark Cross, coming from the Grace bag. I think it’s a cute bag that can be used throughout the day and go into evening, you can carry it as a handbag, [or] as a shoulder bag so you can use it all day,” Garde Due said.

The new bag is priced at $2,790 retail — coming in below competitors’ styles with similar quality of leather, handcraft and refined simplicity. Those styles by Delvaux, Hermès and The Row are often priced in excess of $3,500. “We are very careful about making really beautiful, crafted bags that are priced at the right value,” Garde Due said, particularly as Mark Cross charts a strategic global expansion in Asia, where many consumers are learning about the brand for the first time.

While handbags have taken a backseat in priority during coronavirus lockdown, he said Mark Cross is well-positioned given its classic appeal. “I think what we are creating here are pieces that have enduring quality and timeless design that are made to last and to have a long time. Of course, we have particular situation today [in the world] but we still see very strong sales in our bags because people buy into an enduring quality that lasts — not as a six-month fashion statement. I think that’s very much coming back — real luxury products that are long-lasting,” he said.

The 1845 Mini Trunk is part of Mark Cross’ fall collection hitting stores later this month. This week, the brand will preview the style with a limited-edition run of 20 one-of-a-kind bags made from upcycled archival leather.

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