Marc O'Polo

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Marc O’Polo
Aktiengesellschaft (AG)
Industry
Founded 1967 (Stockholm, Sweden)
Founders
  • Rolf Lind, Göte Huss,
  • Jerry O'Sheets
Headquarters Stephanskirchen, Germany
Number of locations
2,727 (2014)[1]
Key people
  • Werner Böck, Chairman
  • Alexander Gedat, CEO
  • Andreas Baumgärtner, COO
  • Jürgen Hahn, CFO
Products
  • Clothing, Shoes, Bags,
  • Small leather goods,
  • Eyewear,
  • Home furnishings,
  • Underwear, Beachwear
Revenue €452 million (2013/2014)[2]
Number of employees
1,899 (2014)[3]
Website www.marc-o-polo.com

Marc O’Polo is a Swedish-German fashion label founded in 1967 by Rolf Lind, Göte Huss and Jerry O'Sheets.[4]

A leading designer and purveyor of premium casual wear and accessories for men and women, Marc O’Polo offers a signature style that is relaxed, urban and timeless.[5][6] Ranging from clothing to shoes, eyewear, travel bags and bed linen, Marc O’Polo’s products are distributed internationally through partner retailers, company-branded stores and via e-commerce, generating annual sales (as of 2014) of more than EU€450 million.[2]

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

Founded in Stockholm in 1967 by three friends — the Swedes Rolf Lind and Göte Huss and the American Jerry O'Sheets — Marc O’Polo’s first collection piece was a patchwork shirt of Indian cotton.[5] Countering the contemporary trend towards synthetic clothing, the company’s enduring preference for natural materials was definitively expressed in its first advertising campaign which showcased a lone, organic motif: a single strawberry.[7][8]

The young label experienced significant successes in 1972 with the introduction of a logo-imprinted, cotton T-shirt and the launch of a unisex sweatshirt.[5] Having presented full womenswear and menswear collections since 1975, by 1983 Marc O’Polo was creating two collections seasonally, eight annually.[4] The first Marc O’Polo store opened in Dusseldorf in 1979.[7]

Expansion[edit]

Marc O'Polo store, Münster, Germany

In 1997 the company’s original distribution partner for Germany, Werner Böck, expanded his shareholdings and formed Marc O’Polo International GmbH, which is today responsible for all company operations from design and production to distribution and marketing.[4][9] The same year Marc O’Polo relocated its headquarters from Stockholm to Stephanskirchen in Rosenheim, south of Munich.[3][10]

With its new headquarters and a centralised warehouse in southern Bavaria from which to supply its customers, Marc O’Polo began further diversifying its products, offering bags and small leather goods from 1997 and launching beachwear and children’s collections from 1998.[4][11] In 2003, a flagship Marc O’Polo store with 900 square-meters of floorspace opened in Munich’s Theatinerstrasse[4][12][13] and the company launched its online store.[7] By 2007 Marc O’Polo was supplying more than 1,000 stores and international partner retailers.[4] That year, on the occasion of its 40th anniversary, the company launched its ‘since 67’ collection to benefit UNICEF’s Schools for Africa program.[5][7]

Since 2008, and the opening of the first Marc O’Polo store in Asia (in Singapore Changi Airport),[14] the company has continued to invest in international expansion.[15][16] The first Marc O’Polo stores in China opened in 2014.[17][18] Today, the company supplies more than 2,500 stores and retail partners in more than 30 countries.[1][19]

Partnerships[edit]

'Follow your Nature'

In 2013 Marc O’Polo introduced a new claim, ‘Follow your Nature’, and began featuring celebrities in its campaigns.[20] The Academy Award–winning actor Jeff Bridges became the protagonist of the company’s menswear collections.[7] At his side for 2013 and Spring 2014 was Amber Valletta,[21] followed by Uma Thurman[22] in Fall/Winter 2014 in campaigns photographed by Mario Sorrenti.[23]

With Jeff Bridges, Marc O’Polo created a special T-shirt collection in 2014, a portion of the proceeds of which were donated to the Institute of Compassionate Awareness in Santa Barbara, California.[24][25][26] Dubbed ‘chari-tee’, the collection consisted of T-shirts adorned with conceptual nouns ending phonetically in '-tee’ (e.g. ‘simplici-tee’, ‘beau-tee’, ‘liber-tee’) originally hand-painted by the actor who has been committed for many years to spreading awareness of the practice of mindfulness.[27][28][29]

For the Fall/Winter 2013 and Spring/Summer 2014 seasons, Marc O’Polo co-created special collections with the fashion illustrator Garance Doré,[30][31] and for the Fall/Winter 2014 season with the graffiti artist André Saraiva.[32]

Since 2011, the company has sponsored the Marc O’Polo Design Award which honors innovative approaches to design among the students of Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm, Sweden.[7][33]

Marc O'Polo has also supported specific creative ventures by a range of international artists, such as the 2013 publication of a bilingual (German-English) edition of photographer Werner Eisele’s chronicle of auto racing in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Formula 1 Legends;[34] floral artist Thierry Boutemy's installation ‘A Piece of Art’ exhibited in the Marc O'Polo store in Brussels during the 2014 Art Brussels contemporary art fair;[35] the 2014 photo::vienna exhibition of contemporary Austrian photography at Vienna’s Museum of Applied Arts (MAK);[36] and artist Stefan Gbureck’s 2014 motorcycle ride from Berlin to Rio de Janeiro.[37]

Accolades[edit]

In 2009, Marc O'Polo Accessories was awarded “Best of I.L.M.” at the I.L.M. International Leather Goods Fair in Offenbach, Germany, in recognition of innovative design superlatively presented.[4][5]

Marc O’Polo was the recipient of the 2009 Forum Award, presented by the fashion trade journal TextilWirtschaft in recognition of outstanding entrepreneurship resulting in a sustained impact on the fashion industry. Accepting the award, Marc O’Polo’s chairman Werner Böck cited the "keywords" of the company’s philosophy — “Natural, Quality, Personality, Simplicity and Innovation”[38] — as “a significant element” of its success.[39]

In the “Working in Fashion 2014” industry survey conducted by TextilWirtschaft, Marc O’Polo received positive evaluations from graduates and young employees, scoring particularly well in categories related to “working atmosphere”, “social responsibility” and “work-life balance”.[40] The study ranked Marc O’Polo among the top five employers in Germany’s fashion industry.[41]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Marc O’Polo: Sales and Show Rooms
  2. ^ a b Marc O’Polo: 2014 Sustainability Report, p.2
  3. ^ a b Marc O’Polo: Corporate Profile
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Marc O’Polo: The History of Marc O’Polo
  5. ^ a b c d e ‘Die Väter des Casual Looks: Marc O’Polo’, Elle: Portraits
  6. ^ ‘Brands: Marc O’Polo’, Fashion Model Directory
  7. ^ a b c d e f Marc O'Polo: History
  8. ^ ‘Marc O’Polo travels through 40 years in style’ by Mary Jane Pittilla, The Moodie Report (August 27, 2007)
  9. ^ ‘Company Overview of Marc O’Polo International GmbH’, Bloomberg Business
  10. ^ 'Marc O'Polo: Drei Prozent mehr Umsatz dank Technik', Handelsblatt (January 3, 2015)
  11. ^ ‘Marc O’Polo Watches’, Montre: Watch Portal
  12. ^ ‘Marc O’Polo expandiert im In- und Ausland’ von Doreen Wilken, Fabeau (April 25, 2002)
  13. ^ ‘Marc O’Polo’s neue Altbauwohnung’, TextilWirtschaft (September 9, 2012)
  14. ^ ‘First Marc O’Polo store in Asia celebrates Changi Terminal 3 opening in style’ by Melody Ng, The Moodie Report (January 23, 2008)
  15. ^ ‘Marc O’Polo’s FY 2011/12 sales grow by 9.2 percent’, Fashion United (July 26, 2012)
  16. ^ ‘Marc O’Polo to Expand in Germany, Russia and China’ by Alexandra Spiegel, Sportswear International (July 21, 2014)
  17. ^ ‘Marc O’Polo Opens First Store in China’ by Elena Reudenbach, Sportswear International (September 5, 2014)
  18. ^ 'Marc O’Polo Shanghai’, Fashion United (September 3, 2014)
  19. ^ ‘Marc O’Polo Reports Sales Growth’ by Maria Hunstig, Sportswear International (July 25, 2013)
  20. ^ ‘Marc O’Polo: Neue Markenkampagne’ von Sabine Spieler, TextilWirtschaft (June 26, 2013)
  21. ^ ‘Jeff Bridges und Amber Valletta modeln für Marc O’Polo’, Vogue (July 16, 2013)
  22. ^ ‘Uma Thurman in neuer Marc O’Polo-Kampagne’, Vogue (July 18, 2014)
  23. ^ ‘Uma Thurman et Jeff Bridges sous l’objectif de Mario Sorrenti pour Marc O’Polo’ par Laurianne Melierre, Glamour (August 18, 2014)
  24. ^ ‘Marc O’Polo and Jeff Bridges join forces for TICA’, The Institute of Compassion Awareness: Human DigniTees
  25. ^ ‘Jeff Bridges designs T-shirts for Marc O’Polo’ by Lorenzo Molina, Sportswear International (February 13, 2014)
  26. ^ ‘Marc O’Polo launcht weitere Charity-kollection’ von Christiane Marie Jördens, Österreichische Textil Zeitung (January 21, 2015)
  27. ^ Marc O’Polo: The “Mindfulness”-Collection
  28. ^ ‘“Follow Your Nature” featuring Jeff Bridges & Mario Sorrenti': behind-the-scenes footage directed by Anna J. Foerster & edited by Ian Kalmbaugh.
  29. ^ ‘The Natural: How Jeff Bridges works with anxiety and maintaining a joyful mind’ by Katy Butler, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review (Fall 2010), issue 20, p.54
  30. ^ ‘Garance Doré für Marc O’Polo’, Vogue (May 27, 2013)
  31. ^ ‘Garance Doré Teams with Marc O’Polo’ by Carter Inskeep-Rosenfeld, Women’s Wear Daily (June 14, 2013)
  32. ^ ‘Coop with Mr. A: Marc O’Polo Further Bets on Celebrities’ by Maria Hunstig, Sportswear International (August 25, 2014)
  33. ^ ‘Marc O’Polo Design Award’, Glamour (October 18, 2012)
  34. ^ 'Legenden des Rennsports' von Tobias Singer, GQ (February 18, 2013)
  35. ^ Thierry Boutemy Florist: for Marc O'Polo
  36. ^ ‘photo::vienna’ Premium Partner: Marc O'Polo
  37. ^ 'Mit dem Motorrad zum Endspiel nach Rio', Interview (June 16, 2014)
  38. ^ Marc O’Polo: Company
  39. ^ 'Marc O’Polo claims major fashion industry award’ by Matt Willey, The Moodie Report (May 8, 2009)
  40. ^ Marc O’Polo: Honours
  41. ^ ‘TW-Arbeitgeber-Ranking: Adidas vorn, Brax steigt auf’ von Bettina Maurer, TextilWirtschaft (May 14, 2014)