EST. 2009

February 11, 2015

That Legion of Luxe

MANSUR GAVRIEL'S SPRING CAMPAIGN features great hair, great bags, color, animals and a surprisingly appealing uniformity. Where anything fashionable nowadays seems to leverage on standing out, whether through shock or subtlety, an ad campaign presenting sameness feels worthy of note. It's most probably coincidence, but is the campaign's uniformity a reflection of the brand's legion of fans, eager to in fact be a legion toting a new template for luxury?

Since debuting in June 2013, the young label by Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel has seen its vegetable-tanned leather bags constantly sold out, while maintaining endless wait lists. The signature drawstring bucket bag, with its boxy shape and discreet details, has spawned controversial imitations from Forever 21 and Mango, in spite of being hailed by Business of Fashion as "the first post-recession it-bag". Priced between $460 and $950, the bags are considered reasonable with their luxe-level Italian craftsmanship. "They may look simple but they take 40 steps to make, so they have to be made with a lot of care and time." Gavriel tells the LA Times, who attribute the brand's success to its "stealth luxe".

Starting out with two models, the bucket bag and the top-handle tote, Mansur Gavriel has now added a backpack and an envelope clutch to its styles, as well as polished canvas, pebbled leather and metallic saffiano to its materials. The styles are limited, appearing to only vary in color, but the idea has always been to work with an iconic template, and express emotion through material quality and color.

I discovered Mansur Gavriel through an "I love..." post by Garance Doré, in the same summer the brand released its debut collection. The black Flamma mini bucket has crossed my mind many times since, but it is the current campaign, with its nameless, faceless uniformity, that ups my desire for the coveted bags. In an era of infinite microcelebrities, perhaps freshness exists in expressions of anonymity.

P.S. The bags are set to restock in March.

Mansur Gavriel Spring 2015 campaign, images from @mansurgavriel on Instagram.