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When a beautiful handbag catches your eye, what is it that makes it stand out? Is it its functionality? The timeless materials? The brand that makes it? The person that carries it? Or is it all of the above?
Regardless of the answer, when it finally comes time to splurge on that new handbag — or think about doing so — it’s usually no small feat. It requires a lot of thought, research, and saving up as you want to choose something versatile, timeless, and memorable. That’s why we took it upon ourselves to test and review the Mansur Gavriel M Frame Bag, a new captivating designer bag that’s quietly on its way to It bag status in 2022.
Keep reading and consider this a “bag check” for everything you need to know about the M Frame Bag.
Mansur Gavriel M Frame Bag Specs
- Price: $795
- Colorways: Crema, Grass, Camel, Black
- Weight: 11 oz
- Width: 13.75 in / 35 cm
- Height: 8.25 in / 21 cm
- Depth: 4.75 in / 12 cm
- Handle drop: 10.25 in / 26 cm
- Outer: 100% Italian Smooth Calf Leather
- Lining: 100% Italian Lambskin Leather
- Available to shop: Find it on mansurgavriel.com
- Fits all essentials and more
- Unique and minimalist-friendly shape
- Balances comfortably on your shoulder
- Detachable strap to use the bag as a clutch
- Double zipper can be hard to use
- Only has one shoulder strap that can’t be adjusted
- Feels more fitting for formal moments than casual ones
- Best for: the minimalist city dweller who is out and about
- Also reviewed by: Refinery29
Have your heart set on the camel color? Be sure to check back in December for a restock!
About Mansur Gavriel
- Brand launch date: June 2013
- Celebrity fans of the brand: Gigi Hadid, Reese Witherspoon, Naomi Watts, Karlie Kloss, Kerry Washington, Sienna Miller, Emma Stone, Kristen Dunst, Alessandra Ambrosio, Sarah Jessica Parker, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mindy Kaling, Busy Phillips, and more.
- Noteworthy bag styles: It’s Icons collection which consists of the Bucket Bag, Tote, and Small Zip Tote
In 2013 Mansur Gavriel launched into the fashion scene to redefine luxury with a minimalist design approach. The label, founded by Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel, debuted with two simple and iconic silhouettes — a bucket and a simple tote bag — that were fresh additions to the contemporary price point arena. Their simple, chic luxury bags — devoid of excess hardware, pockets, or studs — filled a hole in the accessories market. It resolved the need for seasonless pieces — rather than of-the-minute trends — that would age well.
From there, celebrities like Gigi Hadid, Margot Robbie, Sarah Jessica Parker, and more took notice. As a result, the brand expanded its range with modern bags and designer shoes made from exceptional materials like high-quality, vegetable-tanned leather.
In 2019, the brand landed its first investor with private equity firm GF Capital Management and Advisors and continued to scale. One way it did so was by creating, exchanging, and discovering new perspectives through its collaborations with French footwear and accessories brand Veja and Finnish design house Marimekko.
Today, Mansur Gavriel stays grounded in its history and outside the cyclical nature of fashion trends. It remains known for its anonymous elegance and bag interiors painted in striking complementary shades. While its price tag notably separates it from other designer brands, so does the fact that its bags are not looked at as just status symbols, and that’s exactly why consumers — new customers and longtime Mansur Gavriel devotees — gravitate toward the label.
About the Mansur Gavriel M Frame Shoulder Bag
- What it fits: A smartphone, sunglasses, Airpods Max large headphones, keys, travel-size perfume, large wallets, a 5.5″x 8.5″ book, a mini travel makeup bag, large hair comb, and more
- Weight: 11 oz
- What it’s made of: Supple calf leather carefully sourced from Italy
- Bag Features: 1 small interior pocket, removable single strap to use as a clutch
- Customization: Leave yours or another’s two-letter mark on the bag with the brand’s hand-painted monogram feature
- Additional Note: Also available as a crossbody bag called the Mini M Frame Bag
While Mansur Gavriel doesn’t play into fads, its M Frame Bag, which subtly reflects its ‘M’ initial, dives into the logomania trend and does it in a way that is perfectly fitting for a minimalist-led label. “We approach handbag design with an artist’s perspective. We both come from art backgrounds, and think of bags as sculptures, says Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel. “We love how sculptural, graphic, and bold the M Bag is. It is an abstract interpretation of the logo for a brand that is typically very minimal with logo.”
This bag is made of pure calf leather from Italy, where the brand works closely with its leather tanneries to research and develop the right materials. It has structural padding around the frame, a double zipper, and a simple shoulder strap. While the stand-out element of the bag is the one-shoulder strap, the two founders, who approach handbag design from an artist’s perspective, actually designed it with the intent of being pure and simple. Plus, through Mansur Gavriel’s monogram shop, you can add a contemporary spin by putting your initials on the front of the bag. Choose your own colorway and font, as well as the hues for your two-toned lettering, and make it the most thoughtful idea to gift to the fashionista — or keep for yourself.
How We Tested The Mansur Gavriel M Frame Bag
During the two weeks of testing the camel-colored M Frame bag, this editor took it everywhere. Whether I went uptown to the WWD headquarters or downtown to brunch with friends, the Mansur Gavriel M Frame bag came along for the ride.
When the bag first arrived at WWD, the WWD Shop team carefully examined the exterior before unzipping the bag. From there, the team tested how much the shoulder bag could fit inside while maintaining its shape, from office supplies and wearable tech to daily makeup essentials and food snacks. This allowed us to see how the bag could function in a consumer’s daily life.
Next, I tested the bag’s versatility by styling it with several outfit options in all different colorways for all different occasions. For work days in the office, I paired it with trousers and a blazer, straight-leg jeans and a cashmere sweater, and leather pants with a duster coat. On the weekends, during the day, I took it to the park with workout leggings and sneakers. In the evening, I removed the strap and took it to dinner as a clutch with a knit maxi dress and cowboy boots. All around, the M Frame Bag shone bright, adding a sophisticated undertone to each ensemble.
Is the M Frame Bag Worth It?
The M Frame Bag is chic yet functional and an easily-styled timeless accessory.
This purse is lightweight and clocks in at just under 14 inches long and 11 ounces. When fully unzipped, the interior is surprisingly large and has ample room for a large wallet, phone, keys, kindle, headphones, and more. However, it’s not so big that I have to spend an embarrassing amount of time locating a singular lipstick. Also, I love how the one-shoulder strap gives me a hands-free way to keep all my belongings nearby, yet when I want to use it for the evenings as a clutch, I can remove the strap and do so.
While it has a distinct minimalist ’90s vibe with supple leather and refined craftsmanship, its functionality and highly photogenic color palette are what really sets it apart. The bag’s double zipper closure makes me not worry about items falling or spilling out but lets me easily access my belongings. There is also one internal compartment so I can stay somewhat organized. Although I tested out the camel-hued iteration, each colorway is versatile enough to be styled with minimalist and maximalist outfits and suitable for 365-days a year. Needless to say, I’ve found my ride-or-die handbag that’s perfect for anything — any time of the year and any occasion.
So, whether you want to treat yourself to a new bag or wow any woman on your gifting list this holiday season, act now because the M Frame is the one, and it’s going fast.
Meet the Author
Nikki Chwatt is the Style Commerce Editor for Footwear News and WWD, where she writes and edits stories on the latest clothing and shoe trends. She is at the forefront of all consumer trends with a keen eye for the latest, greatest, and classics of what people wear, buy and love. As a city dweller, she’s garnered a love for handbags, especially designer shoulder bags, because they can carry all her essentials when running uptown, downtown, or cross-town without weighing her down. In her spare time, Chwatt keeps up with street style to understand which accessories are highly coveted by the style set.
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