Life After The Bucket Bag

Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel at the American Apparel & Footwear Association’s 40th Annual American Image Awards in 2018. Photo: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images
Lauren Sherman
December 11, 2023

About six months ago, Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel, the co-founders of Mansur Gavriel, invited me to lunch. Of course I said yes: I happened to be heading to New York, I like them, and I was also curious to know what in the world was going on with their company, which had felt all the feels of this capricious business in about a decade: a swift and unprecedented rise, life under investor rule, management headaches, a humbling, and then, it seemed, something of a revival. 

The story of the brand is both well-trodden and legendary unto itself. The designers, both art-school kids, met at a concert in Los Angeles, where Mansur was living and Gavriel was visiting from Berlin. They developed a friendship over email, and developed the concept for the line over email, too. The intention was never to only do bags, but they started there, and it took them two years to develop those first styles. They each contributed $35,000 to fund the first round of production of two bags, the bucket and a tote, in just a few color combinations.