Brand Watch: MCM

Posted on March 26, 2011


A brand with German heritage, MCM, found fame in the 80’s but slowly whimpered out of the spotlight with the emergence of newer, edgier bag brands. However, when current CEO Sung Joo Kim, took over in 2005, MCM became revitalised and has now become one of the most sought after brands.

MCM's CEO Sung Joo Kim

This style evolution is all thanks to CEO Sung Joo Kim, a talented, powerful, female figure. Born into a wealthy South Korean family, Mrs Kim sought independence from her patriarchal family during her University years (much to the disapproval of her family), by travelling to America to study. A family rift soon left her penniless, but helped borne her determination and entrepreneurship attitude, which helped her create a blazing career at Bloomingdale’s. Upon her return to her homeland, Mrs Kim’s attitude impressed her father, who soon lent her money to start-up her own company “Sungjoo,” through which she was able to fight (and won) for the right to franchise English retailers “Marks and Spencer” in Korea.

Mrs Kim’s acquisition of the MCM brand is testament of her talent and knowledge, as the brand finds it’s foothold in the nouveau riche Far Eastern market, with numerous stores being established in South Korea, China, as well as Western countries such as the UK and America.

The marketing of MCM has been perfect, as they’ve stayed one step ahead of the trend and realise the power of the Korean Hallyu wave; consequently, us KPop fans can take delight in knowing that MCM is being rocked by our favourite celebs such as Rain, Big Bang and 2NE1!

This is how I’ve become a fool to marketing, because I’ve seen too many of my favourite KPop stars sporting my ‘lust-have’ item, the “Stark Backpack” and now long to own one myself. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be yearning to own a backpack, something I had long ditched, since my secondary school years, when backpacks had no cool factor and were only good for holding my heavy maths books!


MCM's Stark Backpacks: my 'lust have' item!

However, this lust for such a premium product comes with a hefty price tag, with the cheapest items MCM offering, including iPod covers for £95 and handbags (and this backpack) ranging in price, to up to hundreds of pounds!

I’ve not had a chance to touch the Stark Backpack, but after watching THIS YouTube vid of a guy reviewing his backpack, I can see the just how well made the backpack is and what you should expect from MCM products in general. This Starpack is available in three sizes and various colours, with the (slightly masculine) cognac being my personal favourite. The MCM logo is printed around the leather exterior and cloth interior lining of the bag, whilst diamond-shaped studs adorn the front. Inside are all the usual handy compartments, whilst the exterior straps are cut from the same MCM emblazoned, leather material that makes up the main body of the bag- no use of cheap material in sight!


Celebs and MCM

Other than this backpack, MCM offer the usual handbags, travel cases, tri-folding purses and even bag accessories. More interestingly, the brand have also worked in collaboration with clothing brands and designers, such as Patricia Field, to create unique clothing items, which KPop stars have been sporting on stage in recent times.

Slowly but surely, MCM are finding fame in other markets outside of Asia, and have an international following with supermodel Claudia Schiffer being a long-standing fan and more recently Beyonce.

I hope MCM continue to flourish under the hands and guidance of their incredible CEO and that their ‘cool’ factor lasts for longer this time round!

Click HERE to read a great interview with MCM’s CEO Sung Joo Kim

Click HERE to follow MCM’s Korean Twitter, where you’ll find the latest pictures and news about your favourite KPop stars rocking the brand’s products!