Handbags

Mansur Gavriel, Fall/Winter 2018 Interviews Style

Meet Mansur Gavriel: Get to Know the Chic Brand Through Their Theme Songs

You never know what chance encounter may change the course of your life, so it’s best to always be prepared, dress well and be nice.

For Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel, the designers behind New York-based label Mansur Gavriel, that fateful event occurred in 2010 at an xx show. “We began talking to each other as strangers in the lobby of the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles,” says Mansur. “We had a very quick and striking connection.” Mansur had studied textiles at Rhode Island School of Design; Gavriel studied fashion and photography at Germany’s University of the Arts Bremen. The two had been living on different continents: Mansur in L.A. and Gavriel in Berlin. Their meeting resonated with both, even as Gavriel returned to Berlin. “We had a shared aesthetic and were in similar stages in life,” Mansur says. “We both loved the idea of telling a visual story and were ready to start something—and to dream big.”

GET TO KNOW MANSUR GAVRIEL

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La Fabrica by Ricardo Bofill Interviews Style

Inside M2Malletier’s Beautiful Brutalist Studio

That fashion is a trade is often downplayed. Most designers of clothing and accessories choose to emphasize the artistry of their work, the conception, creation and display of their wares. That’s understandable and interesting, but so much of the industry involves measuring and cutting, skilled workers, factory floors, machinery and supply chains—not so sexy but absolutely essential.

Art and trade are on full display at the 1,000-square-foot studio of design darlings Marcela Velez and Melissa Losada of M2Malletier. The duo launched their well-received and coveted collection of clearly sexy handbags in Barcelona, where they made a home for themselves in a pre-World War I cement factory that was renovated by Spanish starchitect Ricardo Bofill. The building, called La Fábrica, resembles a brutalist Gothic castle—in other words, it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

TAKE A TOUR

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Style

Welden: The Handcrafted Handbags That Won’t Cost You Multiple Paychecks

In an age of mass automation, there’s still something about handworked artifacts that machine-made products will never attain. It’s the attention to detail, the human interaction that gives an extra tug to a loose piece of thread or discerns the grain of leather for an almost seamless cut. And while labels like “artisan” and “handcrafted” are touted often to sell products, the desire for individualized, one-of-a-kind pieces, thoughtfully created with tactile expertise, is not to be played down. Some might argue it is the thinking behind the process, rather than the final product, that is so valuable. And that level of human concentration often comes at a hefty price tag.

With Welden, a small, relatively new handbag company based in Connecticut, the human craftsmanship is as much the story as its signature hexagonal weave. Its bags are created using a time-honored technique originating from a family leather-goods factory now based in China, where the pieces are still made by skilled artisans and designers. Yet despite the complexity and hands-on involvement, Welden bags are offered at a surprisingly approachable price. The whole range is available between $250 and $595—nothing to scoff at, but certainly well below the norm for a luxury handbag.

The mastermind behind the brand is Sandy Friesen, who started out in the handbag industry two decades ago in New York. She met Gary and Cissy Chui, the owners of the leather factory, about 10 years ago and the three began cultivating a business partnership that would eventually culminate in Welden. In 2016, a year after Welden launched, fellow handbag-industry veteran Cori Adams met Sandy through her daughter’s ballet class and joined as VP of sales and marketing. Spanning an ocean and two continents, the foursome essentially runs every aspect of the brand, underscoring how nimble and lean an operation Welden is.

Having stumbled upon the company’s unusually patterned bags, we recently sought out Sandy and Cori to find out more about Welden, its origins and its accessible pricing. Ahead, our interview with the women behind the brand.

READ MORE + WATCH THE VIDEO

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Street Style Style

Mixed Bags: The Shapes of Summer 2018 Hit the Streets

Come summer, even as we peel away layers to increase vitamin D absorption, we want to add a few new pieces as well. For a quick update that won’t block the sunshine, pick up one of these new handbag styles we spotted on the streets of NYC. Whether it’s a jaunty straw circle or a cool isosceles, these new bag shapes are the perfect place to store your sunscreen and sunnies.

SHAPE UP WITH THESE STYLES

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Fashion Week Street Style Style

10 Bag Styles from Fashion Week’s Streets

Gucci small Linea P Painted Insects leather top handle satchel

Photos by Crystal Nicodemus

As winter draws to a close, the time has come to make some critical updates to your handbag collection. Luckily, the street styles of Fashion Week have left us with plenty of inspiration. For spring, we’re drawn to the bags that make a statement—aesthetically, culturally, satirically and literally—and lots of Gucci. Below, our top 10 styles from the streets of New York, London, Milan and Paris to help you transition your accessories wardrobe.

SHOP THE STYLES

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Anya Hindmarch Build a Bag Fashion Week Interviews Style Video

Build Your Own Bag with Anya Hindmarch’s Charming Purse Personalizations

Fashion is more fun with British designer Anya Hindmarch around. Her runway shows are legendary for their theatrical, inexplicable settings: human conveyor belts, enormous domino mazes, true model homes, barren geometric spaces. She is outspoken, down-to-earth, and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire on account of her many contributions to fashion. She has a reputation for crafting curiously covetable accessories. (Her “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” tote took on a life of its own in the aughts.) She frequently stages crazy window displays in her stores, which can become guerrilla art installations in public spaces—like her Chubby Hearts over London series this London Fashion Week. And her quirky bag charms can be found on many street-style stars’ totes.

Now you can step into her unique process by creating your own bag through her Build a Bag collection. The online experience lets you select the leather color, bag strap and accessories to construct a custom creation and be an innovative bag designer in your own right—maybe even earning a medal, or at least treating yourself to a bag charm.

We spoke with the iconoclastic Hindmarch about her career, the Build a Bag program (including her own zany, luxurious purse) and why humor is so important to fashion.

READ THE INTERVIEW

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Rebecca Minkoff studded clutch Beauty Style

So Clutch: Nail Polish and Bag Pairings to Ring In the New Year

Looking for a dream date for New Year’s Eve? One that will show up looking stylish, be by your side throughout the night, complement your outfit and help pay for drinks? Our no-fail suggestion is to treat yourself to a new handbag. That’s right, a pretty clutch will hold your hand while carrying your keys and lipstick.

And to go with your ideally suited accessory we’ve selected a nail polish. Below, 10 pairings that really are the perfect couples. Now, go be your best date.

FIND YOUR NEW CRUSH

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Cult Gaia Ark bag SPACE Street Style Style

Cult Gaia: Instagram’s Favorite Bag Makes a Great Gift (Especially for You)

We can’t endorse all Instagram trends (car and gym #selfies will never be our thing). But one craze that we’ve liked so much it’s moved on to love is the graceful Cult Gaia bag that seems to be in the hand of every street-style star. The Ark, in particular, is something of an obsession for us—and many others, it seems. Its sleek crescent shape works with outfits both casual and formal. Its hypnotic curve subtly draws focus to its beautifully unique and instantly (Insta-ly) identifiable design.

Here, we’ve collected some of our favorite shots of the bag in action. We think you’ll develop a #crush at least as serious as ours. And disclaimer: if you post a pic of you with this bag on your Instagram account, know that we’re watching.

SEE IT ON THE STREET

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Goody Bags Style

Goody Bags: Fall’s Styles Come in Every Flavor

Photos by Elizabeth Podlesnik

When the fall collections start to drop, we feel like a kid in a sugar shack. A kid who has no intention of stopping until our bellies ache and our pockets are full. Some of the sweetest treats each season are the new handbags. The textures, colors and styles are always so delicious. And this season is no exception. From cotton-candy-colored totes to licorice satchels and caramel suede minibags, there’s a purse for every palate.

We’ve rounded up an assorted pack of the best arm candy for fall. Here’s a look at our yummy stash.

SEE THE SWEET STYLES

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Chloe Pop-Up Shop at Nordstrom Fashion Week Street Style Style

Where You Can Shop Chloé’s Nile and Pixie Pop-Up

Photo by Crystal Nicodemus

Nearly as unavoidable at Fashion Week as an Ibiza tan or Gucci glasses are Chloé’s latest bracelet bags. These pretty purses do double duty as golden bangles and soft leather cases for your essentials. So it’s no wonder that the style stars seem to have christened them fall’s itty-bitty It bags.

The Pixie is a compact satchel, round or saddle shaped. Toss it over your shoulder, wear it on your wrist or clutch its horseshoe handle like the good-luck charm that it is. The Nile has a hoop handle and dangly, delicate charms that lend even more boho elegance to the petite pouch. And in selected cities, you can shop Chloé’s roving pop-up installation exclusively at Nordstrom. Guaranteed there’s a style (studded, patterned) and color (saffron, pearl) that will seduce you.

HOW TO POP IN THE POP-UP

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