The first thing that comes to mind when dreaming of your next luxury handbag purchase is most likely neither medieval weaponry nor armor. However, that’s exactly what the designers behind the M2Malletier handbag line were thinking when they came up with their signature designs. Melissa Losada and Marcela Velez, both of Colombian origin, met at Parsons School of Design in New York City, and a partnership was formed through their friendship and mutual desire to create something the industry had not seen before, something that wasn’t being carried by everyone, and, most of all, something timeless. And it would seem they have succeeded; since its launch in 2012, the brand has become synonymous with chic minimalism, clean lines, and cool, timeless design. Widely recognized for their iconic handle – a linear, gold bar inspired by medieval medical instruments – M2Malletier bags have been popular amongst Hollywood’s A-list crowd, from Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson to Solange Knowles and Eva Mendes.
Savoir Flair spoke to the ladies behind the highly coveted minimalist handbags to discuss the inception of their brand, their greatest inspirations and influences, and the future of moving into making jewelry and shoes.
Can you tell us the story of how you met and decided to work together?
Marcela: We met in New York City when we were both studying in Parsons. Melissa studied fashion design and I was studying design and management. We never had classes together, but we had a lot of mutual friends, which later on led us to becoming very close friends and we were thrilled with the idea of working together in the future. Finally, three years ago, we met again in Paris and decided to create M2Malletier.
Where did the idea for M2Malletier come from?
Marcela: Melissa and myself had not purchased new bags for a while; we were tired of the ‘It’ bags. That’s how M2Malletier was created; we wanted a product that did not have its brand everywhere, something more discreet and timeless.
M2Malletier is an interesting name. What does it mean?
Well, ‘M2’ comes from our names (Marcela and Melissa), and ‘malletier’ is an old French word related to luggage and bag manufacturers.
How do your Colombian roots influence the way you design and conceptualize the brand?
We love to use natural rich colors, but still allow ourselves to play with textures and other bright vibrant colors.
Since launching in 2012, M2Malletier has been extremely successful. Did you expect to grow this quickly?
We felt very strongly about our product, but we did not expect for it to grow so fast.
You’re redefining minimalism with your designs. Where did the inspiration for the shapes come from?
Clean, classic, and minimalist are the concepts behind our designs. The general concept is found in modern architecture and certain medieval armor, which is our main source of inspiration.
And the signature top handle?
We wanted something different, something that would stand out from the rest. Medieval medical instruments inspired us to develop this signature handle.
If each of you had to choose a favorite bag from any of your collections, what would it be, and why?
Marcela: ‘La Collectionneuse’ in mustard is just a classic form and perfect for your everyday use.
Melissa: My favorite would be ‘La Amor Fati’ in sand, because it’s classic, yet modern, and stands out.
In your opinion, what sets you apart form other luxury bag designers?
We are not ‘trendy’, and our brand’s logo is not all over the bags. They are discreet, clean, and timeless designs.
What’s on the horizon for M2Malletier?
We are working on future collections and shapes. We’ll also start work on a jewelry and shoe line soon.
M2Malletier is currently stocked in Dubai at the Mahani boutique in The Boulevard at Jumeirah Emirates Towers. For inquiries please contact (+971) 4 351 4812 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos: Courtesy of M2Malletier