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.”
By 2013, the two had started a line of leather handbags that soon became the fascination of the fashion world, especially its members who gravitate toward subtlety and novelty. Their bags, namely the bucket style, were so sought-after that waitlists began. Creating pared-back, refined accessories using quality Italian vegetable-dyed leathers was their starting point. “Casual elegance and warmth of beautiful materials” became the brand’s signature, says Gavriel.
For Autumn/Winter 2017, the success of their handbags saw Mansur Gavriel branching out into an equally well-received ready-to-wear collection. Blouses, trousers, dresses and jackets in simple yet interesting shapes and artistic prints were an obvious extension of the duo’s minimalist aesthetic. Autumn/Winter 2018 furthers this foundation. Again, Mansur Gavriel presents a rainbow of richly hued, luxurious fabrics like cashmere, silk, merino wool and chiffon that are both comfortable and sensuous in the most personal sense of that word. And what are the designers personally wearing this fall? “Our new double-breasted coat and thick cashmere knits,” says Gavriel. “And our embroidered gown in sky blue and bright yellow.”
Seeing that the two made their names on their buttery handbags, we also wanted to hear what they’re carrying this fall. “I’m currently carrying the large Cammello tote with crème interior,” says Gavriel. “For fall, we are both considering the currently sold-out small hobo—we didn’t get a chance to get one before they sold out for spring!”
Music was how the two met, so we also asked them to curate a playlist that captures the Mansur Gavriel aesthetic. “We love nostalgic music with a lot of emotion, and beautiful jazz and classical,” says Mansur. The five songs below perfectly express the luxurious, laid-back style of the partners.
Listen to Mansur Gavriel’s playlist: