Artist Marc Camille Chaimowicz Reimagines Mansur Gavriel’s Classic Handbags
Four of the luxury handbag company’s most popular styles get a colorful update by the contemporary artist
Luxury brand Mansur Gavriel’s ubiquitous totes and bucket bags are getting a little more colorful this season courtesy of London artist Marc Camille Chaimowicz, who has reimagined the classic handbags in three zesty colorways and patterns. “We share a common love for purity of shape, color, and line,” Mansur Gavriel cofounder Floriana Gavriel tells Galerie. “Marc was enthusiastic from the beginning and had an immediate understanding of our products and materials.”
“As designers, we are inspired by material, color, and form, and are also very interested in how these elements work together within interior spaces,” says the other half of Mansur Gavriel, Rachel Mansur. “Marc addresses all of these ideas in his work with such an incredible eye and hand. We feel so fortunate for the opportunity to combine his practice with our shapes and materials.”
The accessories designers first met the Turner Prize–nominated artist through Gavriel’s husband, Hauser & Wirth director Timo Kappeller. For the brand’s first artist collaboration, which launches April 26, Chaimowicz translated the company’s large tote, top-handle rounded bag, mini-bucket, and moon wallet into distinct pastel pattens reminiscent of his artful wallpaper designs.
“We had always wanted to work with a repeating pattern but had never accomplished creating a surface design we were happy with,” says Gavriel about the three-year collaboration. “Marc’s repeating patterns in his wallpapers have always been an inspiration to us.”
The collection of calf and vegetable tanned leather bags comes in cammello, peony, or rosa with a creme, cleo, light-green, or saddle interior. The leather is screen-printed by hand in Italy.
Designing handbags is a natural fit for the esteemed artist, whose 50-year practice encompasses painting, sculpture, and installations, as well as lighting, textiles, and furnishings. His recent exhibition at New York’s Jewish Museum, “Your Place or Mine…,” displayed many of his cross-discipline creations in an almost apartment-like setting. Says Gavriel, “Marc was enthusiastic from the beginning and had an immediate understanding of our products and materials.”
Chaimowicz, who is represented by Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York and Cabinet Gallery in London, also has pieces in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate, and the V&A. Last year, his 1991 work Untitled set an auction record for the artist, fetching nearly $100,000 at Christie’s.