142_424_10A_022 It’s impossible not to be charmed by Marie Holman-Rao. The chief creative officer for 424 Fifth, the private label for Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor, has a warmth and charisma that are inspiring. “I’d crawl across broken glass for her,” laughed Jessica Richards, director of colour and concepts for the brand. “Marie is amazing to work with.” Holman-Rao has also had amazing success with the line’s first outing this past spring. “The 

birdcage skirt and the laser-cut skirt sold out, as well as the coming-and-going sweaters and many other pieces,” Holman-Rao told me when she was in town last week to unveil the fall/winter collection. “In the middle of spring season, I had a call from our CEO, Richard Baker, and he said: ‘Congratulations! I love the ads, the windows, and now I want you to take it to the next level. I want you to put more into the garments and into the fabrics—and you can make it more luxurious and a little more expensive.’ When someone says ‘more luxurious’ to me, I run with it!” No need to worry, though. You won’t have to get a second mortgage to pay off your shopping spree. The collection ranges in price from $49 to $300, with a few notable exceptions, like the $899 cashmere-wool double-face coat. “This is the favourite look from the design team. It screams ‘luxe’! We adore it. It’s made in the same factory where
Max Mara jackets are made, so they know what they’re doing. It’s perfection.” 142_424_18A_059
There’s another jacket that Holman-Rao designed that’s beyond perfection. Check it out.