Mackage opening unlikely to cannibalize resellers’ sales: founders

Outerwear brand opens Pacific Centre store to show full range of products

Elisa Dahan (left) and Eran Elfassy founded Mackage in 1999 in Montreal and were on hand October 25 to open their store at Pacific Centre | Glen Korstrom

Montreal-based outerwear brand Mackage opened its new Pacific Centre store to the public October 25, directly across from Harry Rosen and a short walk from both Aritzia and Holt Renfrew stores.

That strategic location may sound prime for a fashion brand that has permanent stores in New York, Toronto, Montreal and now Vancouver (Pop-up stores are in Boston and Central Valley, New York.)  But Mackage is still primarily a wholesaler, with sales in Harry Rosen, Aritzia and Holt Renfrew as well as Nordstrom, which operates little more than a block away from Mackage’s new Vancouver store.

“This is a way to elevate the brand and create brand awareness,” Mackage co-founder Elisa Dahan told Business in Vancouver October 25.

She said that she and partner, co-founder Eran Elfassy, had discussions with resellers and did not get any pushback.

“For them, [the new Mackage store] gives validation for why they have our brand. Harry Rosen has high-end brands so to be across from us is good for us and for us to have a store is good for them too.”

Mackage’s resellers do not carry all of the brand’s products so the new stand-alone storefront will also help enlighten the public of the range that the brand has.

Aritzia, for example, tends to cover Mackage’s leather jackets for women while Harry Rosen carries more down jackets for men.

The opening has been years in the making.

Mackage launched in 1999 in Montreal, when both Dahan and Elfassy were 19 years old. Most sales at the time were through boutique stores in Montreal.

Five years later, they entered the U.S. market with contracts to sell products at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s.

They did not have a store of their own until 2011, when they opened in Manhattan’s SoHo neighbourhood.

They then went into a holding pattern to assess how well the store was doing before a few years ago embarking on having more stand-alone stores.

Dahan said the company’s goal is to have 25 stores by the end of 2022.

“Canada is a big market for us,” Elfassy said. “We’ve always sold a lot in Vancouver so it was a natural expansion.”