Stored and Adored

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Saturday, 19 November 2016

Mansur Gavriel's Breakout Success

stored and adored designer bag blog: Mansur Gavriel It Bags
photo by Anne-Marii / CC BY / edited: resized, sharper

Founded in 2012, Mansur Gavriel might be a new brand but their high-quality Italian leather bags are carried by some of the most fashionable women in the world. Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel came up with the concept for the brand in 2010, aspiring to create pieces with a "casual but elegant" aesthetic that were free from hardware and logos. Additionally, the founders were very keen to make their bags from traditional vegetable tanned leather, a material that they both loved but that is more often associated with men's accessories. Indeed, all of their aesthetic decisions turned out to be spot-on, and their break-out design - the bucket bag - was a roaring success, proving that vegetable tanned leather goods can carry some serious cool-factor.

When Mansur Gavriel first began producing their bags all of the materials were sourced in Italy but the bags were then made in China. However, since 2014 the brand has lowered their carbon footprint by having their bags designed and manufactured in Italy. To begin with, the Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag was only available in black, tan and burgundy - but with the option for bright and colourful painted linings (the iconic combination being a black outer with a red inner). However, since 2012 the line has expanded considerably and now the bucket bag is available in a much bigger array of colours and sizes. Mansur Gavriel have also expanded their designs, and their Sun Bag (pictured above) is also available in textured leather. So if you buy a Mansur Gavriel bag today then not only will you have a great range to choose from, but your product will be made in Italy with Italian leather.

stored and adored designer bag blog: Mansur Gavriel It Bags
photo by Geroithe Chia  / CC BY / edited: cropped, brighter

I think that one important factor behind Mansur Gavriel's success has been their pricing strategy. At the time of their launch there weren't many brands producing high-quality and simple handbags at a mid-range (circa £500) price. The Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag offered customers an elegant and modern design, made from respectable leather, and, most importantly, at an affordable price. Despite Mansur Gavriel raising the prices of their bags, the brand still has a 100% sell-through rate with all of their stockists. This means that all of their bags sell out each season. So it isn't surprising to know that by their third season in business the company was turning a profit.

In fact, Mansur Gavriel's success can be measured even more succinctly. On December 9th 2014, they announced on their Instagram account that their new season stock had just arrived, and within an hour 95% of it had already sold. Although it is hard to imagine that the brand could keep up this level of interest, the online store Lyst offers another insight into Mansur Gavriel's popularity. In 2015, Lyst revealed that for every Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag stocked on their website 288 people tried to buy it - making it 30 times more popular than any other bucket bag available to purchase on their site. I do believe that the exclusivity surrounding the brand during its early years has definitely helped its popularity, as people crave things that are hard to come by. However, Mansur Gavriel's new designs and colour-ways continue to keep the brand feeling fresh and relevant, so I don't think that they're anywhere near "over".

storedandadored designer bag blog: Mansur Gavriel It Bags
photo by Anne-Marii / CC BY / edited: resized, cropped

Mansur Gavriel now make handbags in patent and grained leather, but their catalogue still mainly consists of natural vegetable tanned leather bags. On the brand's website they have a whole page explaining how the natural vegetable leather will scratch, wear and generally develop a patina over time. Whilst many people out there (including myself) might reel in horror at the prospect of a £600 bag becoming easily scratched, scuffed or stained (this type of leather does not hold up well to rain!), Mansur Gavriel consider it an essential aspect of their designs. They perceive these signs of wear as the personal evolution of a bag, transforming it from something merely shop-bought into a worn and well-loved item. I'll leave you to consider how you feel about that, but I must admit that I'm much more keen on their textured leathers! 

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