Mark W. Cross & Co. was established in Boston in 1845 by Henry W. Cross, who affectionately named the company after his only son. Cross founded the company based upon a single mission: to create the finest leather goods for the horse and buggy rider.

Henry W. Cross, c. 1860

The brand grew to impressive heights, fast becoming the largest horse furnishing store in the world by the late 1800s.

The store was located at 118-120 Sudbury, and boasted the only brick facade on that famous street. 

In the late 1800s, the company was acquired by Patrick Murphy, who was instrumental in expanding the Mark Cross brand. Murphy opened stores in New York, London, Paris and Milan. 

In 1921, Patrick’s son, Gerald Murphy, and his wife Sara moved to Cap d’Antibes and established themselves in Villa America. They entertained many celebrated characters of the Lost Generation; Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Cole Porter, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. The group were enchanted by the Murphy’s bohemian way of life; 

F. Scott Fitzgerald notably modeled the protagonists of his famed ‘Tender is the Night’ after his good friends and frequent hosts Gerald and Sara Murphy. 

Gerald and Sara Murphy on La Garoupe beach in Cap d’Antibes, c. 1926

Mark Cross soon became the ultimate retail paradise for those seeking luxury in the new world of travel. No American brand did leather goods or exotic skins like Mark Cross.

Mark Cross gilt stamp on crocodile, c. 1930s

By 1934, Gerald officially took over the Mark Cross brand. He expanded the offering to include luggage, cigarette cases, pet accessories and evening bags, some of which he collaborated on with Seaman Schepps. 

Alfred Hitchcock’s legendary Rear Window featured the first ever product placement in a film: Grace Kelly presents her case to Jimmy Stewart, claiming ‘it’s a Mark Cross overnight case- compact, but ample enough’

Grace Kelly in Rear Window, c. 1954

Mark Cross was re-established in 2011 and now produces pieces in the same Italian ateliers as the celebrated originals. 

The current collections are inspired by the extensive Mark Cross archives, a dedication to fine craftsmanship and excellent leathers, devoid of excess hardware and logos. 

Mark Cross leather driving gloves featured in Harper’s Bazaar.