Mansur Gavriel

24 February 2016

Before Mansur Gavriel
Though it sounds like it could be the name of an old French fashion house, Mansur Gavriel is actually an American brand. And one that has been taking over the bag scene for some time now! The names Mansur and Gavriel stand for the two young women who established the brand: Floriana Gavriel and Rachel Mansur. The pair met in 2010 at an XX concert in Los Angeles. They both just graduated from art school at the time, Mansur majored in textiles at Rhode Island School of Design, while Gavriel graduated in fashion and photography at the University of the Arts in Bremen, Germany. At the concert. they bonded over shared aesthetic interests and agreed that there wasn’t a bag in the industry that they actually wanted to purchase. They developed a concept for a new bag brand: Mansur Gavriel.

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Getting the brand off the ground
Their goal was to take traditional vegetable tanned leather, a material mostly used in men’s accessories, to make a modern, elegant bag. After two years of development, two styles emerged: a bucket bag and a horizontal tote. The duo really wanted the interiors of the bag to stand out and consulted an Italian company that specialized in colored interiors. By 2012, the product was ready for the consumer's market. They emailed their digital look book and line sheet to dozens of shops, and hoped for the best.

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Unexpected popularity
Mansur Gavriel’s debut collection hit the stores in early June 2013, and within weeks different famous bloggers wrote about their love for the large black bucket bag with the signature red lining. By July, both the bucket and tote had an endless waiting lists, as Mansur Gavriel couldn't keep up with the extreme demands. When it was time for New York Fashion Week, the bucket bag had become the bag of choice for editors, bloggers and celebrities like Kirsten Dunst, Emma Watson and Miranda Kerr. After its fourth season, Mansur Gavriel has settled into a studio on New York’s Lower East Side, hired employees to handle sales and finance and expanded its collection. Quite the succes story. 

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The anti-It-bag It-bag
Mansur Gavriel’s bucket Bag took the title of It-bag last year. Many people might find this suprising as the basic bucket isn’t a typical It-bag. There was no A-list designer behind it, no recognizable logo and no stand-out details. It is just a simple bag crafted from Tuscan leather, without all the bells and whistles of many other designer bags. It has become the 'anti-It-Bag It-Bag'. Besides a minimalistic design, the brand wanted to produce affordable bags. A Mansur Gavriel bag is priced around €600, a quarter of the price of similar styles from brands like Yves Saint Laurent or Céline.