I tried, I really did. When the bi-annual sample sales hit NYC last spring, I stood in line for them all, desperate to score a sweet deal on the perfect coat to pull out with excitement next winter. With last week's temps dipping into the low 30s, it's safe to say that time is now here and I'm rocking my same threadbare wool coat from several seasons ago.
My wallet told me no but my chilled bones told me yes: I entered SoHo's Mackage flagship to survey the gorgeous inventory of contemporary coats. The tailoring, the details, the design — there's a reason the brand is at the forefront of outdoor style (albeit way out of my price range).
Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan have been at the design helm of Mackage since it was started in 1999. They recently launched an equally chic handbag line in an effort to make Mackage not only a destination for stylish warmth, but also a collection that speaks to a lifestyle we all aspire to have. I caught up with the duo to learn more:
Julie Bensman: What was the inspiration to introduce a handbag collection this year?
Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan: We wanted to interpret some of the strengths of our inaugural FW13 Handbag Collection in a lighter, more spring/summer-like way. The color palette is monochromatic, with soft sand and a pop of orange. We used silver mirror leather in both our handbag and outerwear collections for SS14 and we love the way it reflects light.
We challenged ourselves to create a bag that executed our signature structure in a softer way, which led to the bucket-shape Kinney and Loryn bags…We are known for our signature leather detailing and unique designs, so moving into the world of handbags was a natural progression for us.
JB: Who is the Mackage customer?
EE: Style-conscious and cool. We are fortunate to have loyal customers, many of which have evolved alongside us since we began. We have all grown up together!
JB: What are some of your favorite pieces from the current FW13 collection?
ED: Margaret, an amazing plaid wool pea coat; Indra, a modern varsity jacket; Cassandra, an amazing army parka with detachable lining (below).
JB: When not wearing Mackage, what are some of your own favorite designers?
EE: All Saints, Saint Laurent and Authentic Shoe & Co.
ED: Phillip Lim, Rag & Bone and Acne.
JB: For anyone who refuses to pay more than $500 for a coat, what would you tell him/her about the importance of investing in quality outerwear?
EE and ED: Outerwear should be among your top three wardrobe investments, alongside shoes and handbags. These are the key items that anchor your look. Your coat has the dual role of providing not only style, but also warmth and protection from the elements. We find that nowadays, people are building coat wardrobes. When you invest in high quality outerwear and care for it properly, you can get years and years of coat joy in return.
As for my winter coat dilemma? Eran and Elisa's words are still ringing in my ear and I've set up a "Mackage Money" fund to eventually claim a coat of my own, on sale or not. Donations welcome.