Mark W. Cross & Co. was established in Boston in 1845 by Henry W. Cross, affectionately naming the company after his only son.
Cross founded his company on a simple passion: To create the finest leather goods for the horse and buggy rider.
The house became known simply as Mark Cross when Patrick Murphy acquired the company after its namesake’s death, and opened shops in New York and London.
Expansion overseas translated to first-time access to luxuries yet unknown to the American market. Beyond leather goods, Murphy brought the finest china, crystal and other delights from abroad to the States.
Patrick’s son, Gerald Murphy, and his wife Sara moved to Paris, France, then decamped south to Cap d’Antibes and set up house in Villa America where they entertained many of the celebrated characters of the Lost Generation: Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Cole Porter (a friend from Murphy’s Yale days) and the Fitzgeralds all fell under the couple's charm.
F. Scott Fitzgerald notably modeled the main characters Dick and Nicole Diver in “Tender is the Night” after his frequent hosts and friends.
Gerald officially took over the Mark Cross brand. He expanded its offerings to include luggage, cigarette cases, and even jeweled evening bags, some of which he collaborated on with Seamen Schepps. In Alfred Hitchcock’s legendary film Rear Window, it’s none other than a Mark Cross overnight case in which Grace Kelly packs her clothing.
The family would eventually sell the company, even though Gerald would stay on as president until retiring in 1955. Even under new ownership, Mark Cross continued to flourish. It changed hands again in 1961 and subsequently closed its doors in the 1990s.
Mark Cross was resurrected and now produces pieces in the same factories in Italy as the celebrated originals. The aesthetic of the current collection is inspired by the vintage archives, which have been translated into a modern vision. The collections are inspired by the brand’s rich heritage, dedication to fine craftsmanship and use of the finest leathers in the world, devoid of excess hardware and logos.