For decades, the runway has been the linchpin of Fashion Week, the mode by which a designer’s newness is communicated to the world, though it’s clear the industry is rapidly coming down from that platform. Since launching their wildly popular bucket bags in 2012, Floriana Gavriel and Rachel Mansur have cycled through just about every fashion presentation format, from quiet showroom appointments to blowout fashion shows and back again.
With the infrastructure for its see-now-buy-now accessories business firmly in place, Mansur Gavriel has been steadily scaling back on the scope of its Fashion Week happenings. Today it celebrated the arrival of Fall 2019 with an event at the brand’s store on Wooster Street in SoHo. “When we shot our first campaign, we only had a few hundred bucks to produce the images, so we basically used fruit as props,” says Mansur, leaning against stands of pineapples, peaches, and oranges piled high in the space. “This installation was really a nod to where we started.”
With attendees sipping on watermelon juice as they perused the new Mansur Gavriel wares, the mood in the store was part farmers market, part shopping party. After a morning of looking at nothing but new Spring clothes, the fashion crowd here seemed eager to indulge in some fall retail therapy. In fact, at times it was difficult to tell apart the models from everyone else, given how many were trying on the sensible new Chelsea boots and cozy shearling coats. It was a smart move on the designers’ part: About halfway through the hour-long event, the new Mansur Gavriel cloud purse, a soft clutch with a curvilinear frame, had sold out. Still, the brand’s knack for making best-selling accessories has yet to be matched by its clothing. Priced at just under $500, the chunky daisy-knit sweater is destined to be more of a sleeper hit, primed for that rare fashion-forward millennial who invests in a winter wardrobe months in advance.