The Mark Cross brand, originally a saddlemaker that was bought in 1845 by the Murphy family (and later run by Lost Generation glamor couple Gerald and Sara Murphy), has been relaunched by new owners. The first collection, exclusively available at Barney’s, hit stores and ecommerce last month.
The collection mines the brand’s storied archives and many of the bags are even made in the same Italian factory that produced them the first time around. Prices range from $1,495 to $2,350.
Pictured above is the brand’s famous Grace box, an overnight bag that Mark Cross made for Grace Kelly in “Rear Window” and which became a signature product for the company in the 1950s:
QM: What appealed to you about the Mark Cross brand?
NF: I was exposed to it early in my career and have always admired its commitment to quality and excellence. The brand had exceedingly high standards, and when I relaunched the brand and I wanted to capture that level of quality infused with an approach geared toward modern classics.
QM: Tell us about the brand’s heritage and how you plan to tap it.
NF: As America’s oldest luxury leather goods company, Mark Cross’ history parallels the growth of this country as it began its move toward industrialization. I was fascinated with the story of Sara and Gerald Murphy, who were the leaders of the Lost Generation, and whose family owned Mark Cross. The new collection pays tribute to their legacy by depicting unique aspects of Mark Cross: refined and elegant shapes handcrafted with the best-quality European leathers, yet made for the woman today who desires modern classics.
QM: Where are the bags available?
NF: We currently have an exclusive arrangement with Barneys here in America, and have begun to sell to international retailers at the same level. We plan to add men’s small leather goods, along with weekend travel bags and accessories, within the year.
QM: And finally, what’s your vision for the future of the brand?
NF: Ultimately we hope to add apparel, fragrance, eyewear, and watches to the mix.