Marisa Hordern’s Midas Touch on Missoma


LONDON Marisa Hordern, the founder of Missoma, has been playing the long game with the brand she launched in 2008.

A decade and a half later, she’s cementing the jewelry brand with a brick-and-mortar store on Monmouth Street in London’s Covent Garden.

“We knew Covent Garden worked really well for us because of the pop up we had and it had a great reaction and turnout,” said Hordern in an interview.

She’s confident that the street, which is within walking distance of the Royal Opera House, Apple and Chanel’s beauty and fragrance boutique, is up and coming as the area’s landlord, Shaftesbury Capital, faces a mission to rejuvenate the West End.

Missoma's brick and mortar store on Monmouth Street

The store exterior has been painted in a bright baby blue with soft green interiors juxtaposed with mahogany fixtures, which is an extension of the brand’s concessions at Liberty and Selfridges.

In the new year, the Missoma store will offer in-store piercings in a dedicated space, as well as other activations.

Even though the store will stock the largest selection of the brand’s jewelry, Hordern is firm in following a less is more approach to what’s on display.

“Sometimes you don’t want to give the customer too much choice because you want to make sure that you’re giving them space to breathe and to really see what they love,” she said.

The store will be an opportunity for Missoma to push and showcase the intricacy and detail in their demi-fine offerings, from pearls and beads to an ongoing collaboration with fashion designer Harris Reed. Prices range from 45 pounds to 6,500 pounds for 14-karat solid gold pieces.

When the brand launched, its unique selling point was always its price point, hitting the sweet spot of 150 pounds. Since then that sweet spot price has changed, ascending to 250 pounds as a result of its core customer base growing up and purchasing more.

Hordern said a lot of growth has been happening in the demi-fine category.

Missoma’s core demographic is working women in their late 20s to late 30s with 50 percent of orders coming from the U.K., 25 percent from the U.S., 12 percent from China and the remaining 13 percent from little pockets all over the world.

Strategically, in September, the brand collaborated with Mia Regan, the London-born model and TikTok star who is dating Romeo Beckham, for the Glamour collection, featuring 38 pieces made from black enamel, gold and silver.

Hordern and Regan worked together to brainstorm ideas and what the final collection would look like.

The Glamour collection was made using 100 percent recycled materials, from 18-karat gold vermeil to sterling silver, with prices ranging between 49 pounds and 695 pounds.

The business is on an upward trajectory. In 2021 it reported 74 percent growth in sales to 33 million pounds, compared to 19 million pounds in 2020.

The brand’s international reach can be found in its celebrity fans, who include Margot Robbie, Helen Mirren, Billie Eilish, Jennifer Lopez, Meghan Markle, and Cindy Crawford and Kaia Gerber.

Missoma

“I love seeing Missoma on mother and daughters because I started it with my mom at the kitchen table. The name is a combination of my mother Michelle, my sister Sophie and me,” said Horden.

Although she heads the brand, she’s still always open to criticism from her family. She credits her sister for her business-savvy mind and decisive design aesthetic, who often brings Horden back to earth when she gets carried away designing.

“Sometimes you can design something beautiful, but it could be too intricate or difficult to wear. What we try and always do is make sure that we are designing really wearable pieces — pieces that you want to live in every single day,” she said.

When Missoma ventured into men’s in 2020, it wasn’t about designing masculine pieces but tweaking the lengths to make them more wearable for the brand’s male customers.

All the jewelry is handmade and designed in-house with a process that takes 12 months to roll out.

Missoma makes 200 new stock keeping units a year across gold, silver and different gemstones. 

Horden starts with a sketch that then goes through technical specifications followed by a 3D print version that’s tweaked and then developed into a silver mold.

“We used to design a lot more so we are trying to rein that in,” she said.



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