Mackage’s slow-and-steady approach to growth produced four stores in nearly 20 years. Now, the Canadian outerwear brand plans to operate 25 stores in the next five years.
From the beginning, Mackage cofounders Elisa Dahan and Eran Elfassy eschewed outside investment.”We’re able to do more things because we built a solid foundation,” Elfassy said. “We’ve been fortunate to be able to grow in a healthy way.”
However, according to sources, InterLuxe has taken a stake in the Montreal-based brand, which was alluded to by Dahan.
“We have some people who have joined us, which will help us grow. They’ve helped us recruit some great people,” she said.
Among them is Maria Levin, a former Moncler executive, who was hired as executive vice president of sales.
Mackage in October is to open a 2,000-square-foot flagship at Pacific Center in Vancouver. It will be the company’s fourth unit in Canada, after Carrefour Laval in Montreal, Eaton Town Centre and Yorkville Boutique, both in Toronto.
“We’re looking for locations,” Elfassy said. “We’re testing Boston with a pop-up shop. We still haven’t found the perfect place there. The only problem with the pop-up is that the store is a little small.”
The unit, at the Mall at Copley Place, is to open in October. “The lease ends in February,” Elfassy said. “We might actually close it and make it permanent. Boston is very heavily trafficked on our web site.”
“We’re looking at Chicago, and we want a second store in Montreal, and another in New York, where our store is in SoHo,” Dahan said. “Eventually, we’ll go to Los Angeles and San Francisco. A lot of people need winter coats there, too.”
Mackage units average 1,500 square feet of selling space with 700 square feet of stockroom. “Our stores operate a bit like a shoe store,” Dahan said. “You only see one product of each style on display. The rest are in the back in the stockroom. We do this because we want to have a chance to teach customers about the product attributes on the inside and outside.”
Mackage stores are reminiscent of a ski chalet with wood-beam ceilings and wood floors. In a nod to Canadian winters, “we created icebergs out of marble that was cut on angles,” Dahan said. “The cash wraps are made of marble and looks like icebergs. We’re all about mixing texture and mixing media.”
Mackage treats jackets and coats like “a fashion piece you’d want to wear. Then, we add an element of protection,” Elfassy said. “Even our packables are like fashion pieces. They’re wind-proof, water-repellant and they don’t stick to your body.”
The brand is best known for its parkas and warm coats such as the Marla midlength winter down jacket with fur, $999; Tina midlength luxe winter down coat, $1,090; Rena-X fur-lined twill parka, $1,490, and Kadalina light down jacket with fur, $790.
“We’re developing lighter jackets,” said Elfassy. “We’ve had huge demand for them in Asia and Europe.”