Mackage's Designers Talk Launching Handbags—And Whether Shoes Are Next
Senior Digital Editor
Mackage designers Elisa Dahan and Eran Elfassy have been creating polished, leather-accented coats and jackets for well over a decade now—but now, the Montreal-based brand is expanding into the accessories realm. Dahan and Elfassy's first-ever handbag collection, consisting of 10 different styles ranging from backpacks to cross-bodys to satchels and priced from $350 to $650, is now available to shop online and in-store. Read on to learn what prompted the label's latest endeavor, how crafting bags differs from designing coats and whether footwear might be next for Mackage—straight from the mouths of the talented twosome. Then, click through above to shop our 10 favorite bags from the new collection (and head to Mackage.com to peruse the full line).
Lucky: You're best known for your outerwear—so what motivated you two to branch out into accessories?
Elisa Dahan: We’ve noticed that some of the first things you see when meeting someone are their coat, handbag and shoes! With these three items being wardrobe essentials, it seemed like a natural next step to venture into handbags, and to launch a collection that would reflect our outerwear—with a strong attention to leather detailing.
What's the biggest difference between designing a coat and creating a bag? How do you approach each?
Eran Elfassy: Designing a handbag involves more of an architectural process with reference to the planning and design of our collection. This is something that thrills me, because I always say that if I wasn’t a designer, I would be an architect! A lot of brainstorming is involved in our process, and we enjoy every minute of it. Our collection consists of one-of-a-kind statement pieces that stay practical and multifunctional, so that you won’t want to take them off.
Your coats and jackets can be pretty pricey, yet the new bags fall squarely into the contemporary pricing range. Was keeping costs reasonable a conscious effort on your part?
Eran Elfassy: Absolutely. We want our customers to look at the handbag, fall in love with it and walk out of the store with it. Our vision when it came to pricing was to give our customers a high-quality handbag at an accessible price point.
I'm sure it's tough to choose, but is there a particular bag within the new collection that you're especially attached to?
Eran Elfassy: I love the Raffie. In my eyes, it’s a bag that you can take with you everywhere.
Elisa Dahan: I definitely have an attachment to any handbag from the Arrow group. These bags have such an original personality in terms of their shape and hardware.
I love the arrow hardware, too! How'd you decide on that as a motif?
Elisa Dahan: The arrows give the handbags that cool and edgy factor we love, while also remaining practical as a closure. Our intention while designing it was to create something that could be recognized as a signature Mackage handbag detail, while all the while remaining functional.
Now that you've tackled bags, any chance you'll be doing shoes next? Like you mentioned earlier, it'd be a natural progression...
Elisa Dahan: Being someone who is absolutely shoe-crazed, I know that I would get carried away with shoe design! Eran and I would have a blast designing shoes, and we would eventually like to venture into that domain of design. For the time being, though, our focus is to become experts in one category at a time and to all of our energy into collections that our customers will love.