this past thursday evening, i escaped from suburbia and drove into the city to
attend the vip opening of m0851 on newbury street in boston!
with roots that began in montreal (where the products are still designed and made),
and branches that spread quickly across the globe (they have 25 stores, 3 of which are in
the US, the rest are everywhere from europe to asia) this purveyor of men's and women's
leathers & accessories has made itself right at home among some of the best shops in the city.
as i approached the crowded store, a warm glow emanated from the space,
welcoming me like an old friend. the interior of the store is simple and sophisticated--
wooden shelves, brick walls and bright lights highlighting the gorgeous leather pieces.
i was quickly ushered to the stock room behind the scenes and introduced
to the company's vice president & director of marketing, faye mamarbachi-
a woman whose pride in and love for the brand she affectionately refers to
as "m08"is immediately apparent.
as you could guess, the first question i ask is for faye to explain the name m0851 to me-
how is it pronounced and what does it mean?
faye smiled, and explained that the company began in 1987 (it will celebrate it's 30th birthday
in 2017!) and was originally called "rugby north america."about 13 years ago, they decided
to re-brand and against the admonition of those who said changing names may have a negative
response from customers, they made the change to m0851 and have never looked back.
the name, which is "more mathematical than it is beautiful," as faye describes, is actually
the first letter of the last name of the founder and designer (and also faye's father!),
frederic mamarbachi, as well as his birthday 08-51 (august/ 1951.)
this transparency- this acceptance of age- enough to include it in its very label-
is something that sets m0851 apart from the pack. every decision has been made in an
organic and natural way that works for the m0851 brand, in a celebration of itself and not
for the glamour of what it might be.
the first store opened in montreal- but not to be stifled or pegged as just a canadian brand-
the company quickly moved to new york, was sold through whole sale in europe,
and also opened stores in japan and australia.
each store is lovingly designed by frederic with a respect for the space-
with quality materials and elegant lines that are a key part of the brand's identity.
and while every store is different and the customers that purchase m0851 products
are diverse, faye said something that really struck me about what they do share in common:
" in every culture, there is always a part of the human being that wants quality... that is looking
for comfort and elegance.. they want to feel confident about their choice. they don't
want to feel cheated. i think there is a bit of m08 in each person."
with the innovative raw materials that they use and the child-like naivete that frederic takes
when designing each new colllection, the m0851 brand is definitely a brand that will
"people will like a bit in the beginning and more and more every year."
ps. thank you to cbh communications for the invitation :)