A Brand Reinvented
Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’re familiar with the brand MCM. It is the highly logo-fied, high end, luxury brand which produces luggage, purses, and handbags with boutiques located in the designer wing of malls. And that’s not by coincidence. MCM has waged a campaign to come back from its fall at the brand’s height in the 90’s to be the luxury brand it is today.
Cindy Crawford for MCM, from the 1990’s.
Founded in 1976 during the Golden Age of Munich, MCM, Modern Creation Munich, was born out of the cultural renaissance of the city in Germany. The founder was Michael Cromer (originally MCM was for Michael Cromer München) created expensive leather suitcases and handbags which became really popular in the 1980’s and known to be flashy and ostentatious.
At the peak of popularity in the 80’s and 90’s the bags were seen on celebrities such as Diana Ross and Cindy Crawford. At this point in time, MCM was more popular than Louis Vuitton in Germany.
In the mid 90’s Michael Cromer was investigated for tax evasion which undermined the brand’s financial stability and it became a small player in the luxury brand luggage market.
New Era, New Seoul
MCM Logo Bag
Fast forward to 2005, when the company was acquired by Sungjoo Group, of South Korea. You’re probably thinking, what’s a Korean company doing owning a German brand? The founder of Sungjoo Group, and its namesake, Kim Sung-Joo, is an heiress of one of the richest families in South Korea. However, far from a heiress, her father did not leave her with the family fortune upon his death. Instead it went to her brother. However, being educated in the US attending Amherst College and Harvard, she definitely knows what she’s doing. She understands who her customers are. As shown by the brand’s market shares of sales of 60% from Asia 40% from US/Europe.
MCM has revitalized the brand name by refocusing its diluted efforts and doing some key tactics that elevated the brand back to it’s esteem. This was done by acquiring boutiques in Asia, especially China, Japan and Korea, next to other high luxury brands.
Its collection is heavily loaded with logo-embossed products with their pricing in line with Louis Vuitton and Celine.
MCM understand the new customer of today’s time, who is very different than the past customer. Today’s customer is a new animal, with disposable income, which the brand understands, obviously by the success of rebranding MCM.
With bags ranging from the highly logoed to the more subtle, from backpacks to totes, MCM has carved out a name for itself in the designer bag market for sure. With growing interest and development in Asia and the growth of the nouveau riche, MCM will definitely continue to have a big fanbase. MCM prides it self in using the finest quality material and leathers and technology, marrying the new with the old.
Embraced by Celebrities
MCM bags can be seen carried by well known celebrities around the world.
Kendal Jenner carrying MCM Munich Bag.
Heidi Klum with MCM Rockstar Vanity Case.
Jessica Alba carrying MCM Munich Boston Bag.
Rihanna carrying MCM Rockstar Bag.
- MCM in Roman numerals represent 1900, which is when the “age of travel” began.
- Each bag is given a unique id number at the bottom of the brass plate which is ubiquitous in all their products.
- Unlike European brands MCM’s image is lead by a group of in-house stylist and not an individual designer.