Gary Wassner’s InterLuxe has ventured north of the border and taken a stake in Montreal-based brand Mackage, according to sources.
Wassner, who is chairman of the Lee Equity-backed investment house, declined to comment and representatives for Mackage did not respond to a WWD query.
The brand was founded in 1999 by designers Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan, who built a successful contemporary outerwear business that expanded into ready-to-wear in 2010, handbags in 2013 and now has two doors in Toronto as well as one in Montreal and one in New York. According to its web site, the brand is also distributed in more than 20 countries.
Mackage’s styles range from short lightweight down jackets for $290 to a range of higher-priced suede looks to moto leather jackets for $850.
The company touts the line as “creatively designed with sexy detailing and tailored cuts in leather, puffy and wool, made to compliment any silhouette.”
Mackage mixes a dose of fashion with functionality, making coats with layers of breathable, waterproof fabrics that ward off the cold and lined gloves to protect hands in freezing Canadian winters.
The company is also seeking to project its brand through the force-multiplier of affiliate marketing with bloggers. Its web site details an affiliate program that gives influencers a cut of sales when they feature Mackage online.
One financial source described Mackage as a “mini Canada Goose” that plays in what is a “magic category” for the moment.
Outerwear has been getting some buzz lately, even as other types of fashion goods struggle to find their footing.
Canada Goose — a brand that’s become omnipresent in the cold New York months — is a favorable comparison. Bain Capital bought control the maker of $900 goose down parkas in 2013 and successfully took it public this month.
Mackage would seem to still have a way to go still if it were to follow in Canada Goose’s footsteps, but Wassner, who also runs Seventh Avenue factor Hilldun, is in a good position to help the brand grow. InterLuxe got its start in 2014, when it bought a controlling state in Jason Wu. That deal was followed a year later by an investment in Andrea Liberman’s contemporary line ALC.
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