Since being purchased by Neal Fox in the early 2000s, Mark Cross, the luxury handbag company, has sat in a class of its own. Relaunched in 2012 with exclusive distribution at Barney’s New York, its Grace Box bag has become the bag of status for the next generation—and now, under the guidance of Chief Executive Officer Gayle Dizon and Chief Creative Officer Sean Spellman, the brand is looking forward to a new era.

The vision of the new era of Mark Cross handbags is to advance its American luxury lifestyle roots, which includes a retooled retail strategy, as well as an overhaul of its website. The first order of business, however, was revising heritage through offerings from its archives.

Spellman said in a release that the company’s ethos is “built upon a reputation of meticulously crafted leather goods” and claimed that their bags are not “mere possessions” but “heirlooms” that were “destined to be passed down through generations.” 

One such bag from their SS24 collection is the Romy 25, which was reimagined in a 1970s style and by women of the same era. The Romy Clutch and the Eleanor 45 tote, according to the CEO, are popular styles. Dizon has stated that “Sean is currently reworking classic Mark Cross staples, specifically the Madeline and the infamous Grace Box, planned for launch later this year and into 2025 to mark the 180th anniversary of the house.” The brand also has an upcoming collaboration that is “based around four styles which speak to an elevated, charmed lifestyle with AERIN,” which is a global luxury lifestyle brand founded by Aerin Lauder.

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A focus on men’s and retail products, which had been previously stalled, likely due to the pandemic, has been on the agenda since Neal Fox purchased the brand. Under Spellman’s oversight, the company and its creative direction will work to create the quality products it has been known for by forming ties with the family-owned factories in Northern Italy that have been helping to create the bags for the past fifty years. Materials such as vachetta, box calf in black, acorn, and oxblood, as well as tumbled grain, are throwbacks to Mark Cross’ equestrian roots.

Spellman and Dizon plan to approach their new retail strategy with a slew of pop-up, gallery-style experiences globally throughout the rest of the year. They are firm believers that a brick-and-mortar presence is required for the lifestyle vision, which wants to expand beyond women’s and men’s bags to categories such as travel, home, and pets.

Spellman, a fashion stylist and creative consultant, has worked with brands like Louis Vuitton, Moncler, Tommy Hilfiger, and Hugo Boss. Dizon, meanwhile, founded Dizon, Inc., a New York creative studio, in 2000. Together, the pair possess a rich history that is enviable to the world of fashion, and they may even target a new white space as European household name luxury brands like Chanel, Hermès, Dior, and others have hiked prices that have left behind aspirational luxury customers. With an average price point between $1,890 and $3,250, the charm of a Mark Cross bag will undoubtedly appeal to those priced out of their five-figure leather counterparts.