Since hitting the scene a mere three years ago, Mansur Gavriel has made a name for itself quickly and strongly. Both Amanda and I are major fans of the brand and have a few Mansur Gavriel bags that we carry often and really adore. (I reviewed my Bucket Bag here). What many people know about Mansur Gavriel is that the brand's bags are popular and sold out in minutes, but aside from that, the women behind Mansur Gavriel tend to play things close to the vest and give relatively few interviews.
Just in time for National Handbag Day, Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel sat down with us to answer five questions we had for them. Stay tuned tomorrow for two special announcements from the brand as well!
1. You launched Mansur Gavriel in early 2013. What made you decide to start a line of bags in the first place, and how did you decide on the bucket and tote in particular?
We love simplicity, purity of form, and beautiful material quality. When designing we are most often drawn to material quality above all else. Back in 2012, we fell in love with a very elegant quality of classic Italian vegetable tanned leather. We wanted to use the rich and nostalgic material to create beautiful handbags, and felt simple and iconic shapes could best translate the beauty of the material.
2) You've experienced blockbuster success in your short time as a company. How do you deal with the success and how has it changed your lives?
We are so grateful for the enthusiastic reception we’ve experienced since launching the line, and have utilized the opportunity to build a strong team here at Mansur Gavriel—we were originally just the two of us, and now we are fifteen. The growth of the brand has been fast, and our primary focus is to maintain quality of craftsmanship as we continue to develop other shapes, material qualities and product categories.
3) Scarcity is always a factor when it comes to super-popular designer bags. How much of the difficulty in buying your bags is a simply a result of the youth and size of your company and its output abilities, and how much is a conscious decision to keep things small?
It’s a combination of both. We’re interested in building a brand with longevity, therefore rather than treating our products as trend items that are meant to be sold to the highest volume possible and “exhausted” in the marketplace, we would rather treat them as high quality classics that maintain their beauty over time. Growing production in a healthy and steady way means the focus can remain on craftsmanship, and we can continue working with the same skilled artisans who have been with the bags since the beginning.
4) What has been the highest and lowest point for each of you since launching Mansur Gavriel?
We had a rare frantic moment here and there in the beginning when we were just a two woman team with very little resources—our lowest point was probably when we shipped out orders to stores ourselves, early in the life of the brand. We received the bags from Italy at Rachel’s home in Los Angeles, and back then (with little practical experience), we found dealing with customs a bit complicated. Every surface in the house was covered in bags and we stayed up all night examining each bag and carefully packing them in order to meet our shipping deadlines with our retailer partners.
Our highest point is tough to answer—we’re very fortunate and have had many great things happen. We were surprised and very honored to win the CFDA Swarovski award in Accessories for 2015. We were also very excited to move into our first office in downtown Manhattan, and of course, excited to bring on many talented people to join the MG team. It was also a great experience collaborating with Colette on our window display this past July.
5) Which bags from your collection do you both carry right now?
Rachel - bucket bag in blu calf, and large wallet in peony calf; Floriana - large tote in cammello silver vegetable tanned leather, and large wallet in blu tumble.
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