Under-the-radar, this contemporary brand is one you’ll want to be the first of your friends to discover
One of the things I love most about working here at PurseBlog is our small—but mighty—team. Individually, we all get along great and have our own commonalities that allow us to work so well together, but as a whole, there is always one thing we all share—a love of handbags. When I first started here over a year and a half ago, I immediately fell in love with how collaborative our team is. We are constantly discussing what is new and hot, and while oftentimes that is new styles from our favorite designers, more and more we’re devoting our time to chatting about up-and-coming brands. You guys have asked us for freshness, and we’re very happy to deliver, because behind the scene we’ve all been bitten by the same bug.
In the Instagram age, new and exciting indie brands are popping up every day, and while it can sometimes be overwhelming to keep up, there are always a few brands that stand out in the crowd. MANU Atelier is one of those brands that I discovered and immediately added to my ever-growing catalog of brands to watch. I personally first discovered the brand about two years ago, even before I started working here at PurseBlog, and while we’ve loosely covered the brand before, it’s time we gave you all an in-depth introduction.
MANU Atelier was founded by two sisters who, like us, share a love of handbags, which was born due to their father’s long history working in the industry. Co-founders Beste and Merve Manastir were brought up by one of the oldest handcraftsman and leather goods manufacturers in Istanbul, Turkey. The girls desired to preserve their father’s artisanship and unique talents in creating and manufacturing handcrafted leather goods; thus, MANU Atelier was born in 2014.
You may be familiar with MANU bags after seeing one of their most popular styles on your favorite stars at fashion week: The Pristine Bag. Eye-catchingly unique, the Pristine bag comes in three sizes, though we received the Mini Pristine and the Micro Pristine to test out. I adore how structured this bag is, and I immediately fell in love with the modern, clean lines of its unique shape. The bag is incredibly well made, and the sisters’ attention to detail definitely shows within the design and craftsmanship of these bags. The leather is a wonderfully durable—yet still soft and subtle—calfskin, and the colorblock Micro we shot is contrasted with smooth suede.
I’d call The Micro Pristine a little bag that could, because it holds way more than you might think. I was able to carry my iPhone, sunglasses in a thin pouch, a small card case with my debit card, ID and MetroCard, a small notebook and pen, a lipgloss, a mini hand lotion, and last but not least, a small round mirror. The Micro comes with a chain strap that works either crossbody or thrown over your shoulder. Inside there is a small zippered pocket, and overall dimensions are 5.5″ L x 4.75″ W x 2.25″ D with a 22″ strap drop. Retail is $415 via Shopbop. While the Micro is incredibly cute and fun, and would work for me, The Mini Pristine is a more practical size for most. It also features an interior zip pocket, but instead of chain, it has a leather strap that is adjustable. Overall dimensions are 7.75″ L x 7″ W x 2.75″ D, and retail is $495 in all over leather via Shopbop.
Next up, we got a look at The Demi Bag in Bubblegum. True to its name, the Demi is relatively tiny in size, but packs a punch in style. This insanely cute top handle bag comes with a crossbody strap, and though it’s still fairly structured like the Pristine, it has a bit more slouch to it. Modern clean lines accent this chic shape, and I simply adore this bag in the bubblegum pink. One of my favorite things about MANU Atelier is that though they—of course—offer their bags in neutrals, they experiment with fun colors and color combinations like this pretty pastel pink and the fun light blue, red, and mint we shot in the Micro Pristine. The color love is real among MANU’s current assortment, and the leather and suede the brand uses picks up color really beautifully.
The Demi Bag is a fun alternative to other mini bags currently available right now, and I had fun styling this bag for our shoot. I dressed it down, but sans the crossbody strap, this bag would work beautifully dressed up too, making this bag a great day to night piece to invest in. Though it’s relatively compact, it’s still pretty functional and comparable in size to what the Micro Pristine held. The difference with the Demi Bag is that the interior does not have a zip pocket, which is the only downside to this fun little lady. Overall dimensions are 6.25″ L x 9.75″ W x 2.75″ D, and you can snag one in all over leather for $545 via Net-a-Porter.
Last, but certainly not least, our new friends at MANU gave us a first look at The Micro Bold Bag, which is new for Pre-Fall 2018. This little white beauty stole my heart, and I completely fell in love with the adorable trunk shape of this structured top handle minibag. Available with either a removable chain strap or a removable and adjustable leather strap, this adorable new bag is sure to be MANU Atelier’s newest hit. The bag is not yet available in stores, so stay tuned for a more in-depth look at this stunning new piece once it drops! Over all, we are so impressed with the designs, quality and construction of MANU Atelier’s bags, and we can’t wait to see where the brand goes from here.
Shop all MANU Atelier bags via Shopbop and Net-a-Porter and stay in touch with them via Instagram!
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