Get to Know: Mark Cross

Mark Cross

Photos courtesy of Mark Cross

The Scottie Small Satchel, $1,950; the Madison Weekender Satchel, $2,095; both available at

Brands have lately started making a shift back to classic looks. Coach reintroduced its Legacy bags (due in stores August 1) and Gucci's Heritage collection is inspired from the label's archival pieces. Now we go a step further: Famed leather goods brand Mark Cross was revived in 2010.

Mark Cross is best known for its previous owners, Gerald and Sara Murphy. The couple spent time living it up with the greatest writers and artists of the 20th Century: Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Picasso. (Dick and Nicole Driver from Tender is the Night are apparently based on the couple.) The brand was also a hit with stars: Grace Kelly's overnight case in Rear Window was Mark Cross (trivia!).

Mark Cross changed hands several times after Gerald retired in 1955, and eventually shuttered in the 1990s. But in 2010, Neal Fox brought it back to life. The CEO of the brand talked to FashionEtc about the legacy of Mark Cross, the Murphys, and of course, the bags!

Why did you decide to resurrect the brand?

I was exposed to Mark Cross early in my career and admired the brand's commitment to quality and exquisite craftsmanship.  I decided to re-launch the brand at the luxury level, compatible with its rich history and produce a product that embodies a high level of quality infused with an approach geared toward modern classics.

Mark Cross

Photos courtesy of Mark Cross

The Marina Clutch, $1,495; the Grace Small Trunk, $1,695; available at

With the Gatsby moment we're all in, will there be some original looks coming back?

The DNA of Mark Cross is perfectly in sync with the Gatsby moment happening now.  The key to the collection is that we built it taking significant inspiration from the archives, yet translating every style to appeal to the needs of the modern day consumer.  Several of the styles in our collection reflect the Gatsby mood, the Scottie for one was named for Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s daughter.

What can we expect in terms of new bags, and new looks?

We continue to take inspiration from vintage shapes and heritage of our iconic past, while respecting the fact that we are building new bags that resonate with today's consumer.

I love the history of the brand—were you drawn to it as well?

I was always fascinated by the life story of Sara and Gerald Murphy and the role that they played throughout the 20's and 30’s in making the South of France the epi-center of the cultural and artistic world during that period. Of course, Gerald's family owned Mark Cross.  The collection pays tribute to their legacy.

The bags are available at and range in price from $1,495 to $2,350. A small price for wearing a piece of cultural history.