The following years after you graduate college are usually the most dramatic ones. You’re young, inspired, believe “anything is possible”—plus you still consistently don’t get hangovers. Life looks pretty promising, but there’s a lot of change on your horizon. The steps you take next, are usually the most important ones. I imagine this would be similar to launching an accessories business and within months having your designs become one of the most coveted (and waitlisted) bags for years to follow.
As friends from the early days, it’s been fun to see how Mansur Gavriel has grown. From winning two CFDA awards, to being nominated for a third, to launching footwear—and now ready-to-wear. The friends who everyone knows met at an xx concert (coincidentally the group’s been on tour again) have come a long way—clearly, making steps in the right direction, together. After close to four years, we wanted to hear not only about growing a business but what Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel have been up to. Below the design-duo open up about becoming moms, scouting locations, and guilty pleasures. CARLY AIMI: We’ve been working together since the early beginnings of Mansur Gavriel (and neighbors!) — Now 3-to-4 years in, what’s new with Rachel and Floriana in life? And from receiving instant success as the new kids to becoming an established business—what’s been the biggest change?
RACHEL MANSUR AND FLORIANA GAVRIEL: It’s been a challenge building the company from when we started to where we are today. In 2013 it was just the two of us in a room—today we are a team of roughly 25 people. Our team is really great, and we work closely with them every day.
We needed a strong infrastructure in place in order to continue developing and launching new products and ideas. Since launching the bags in 2013, we have launched shoes as well, and RTW will officially launch this fall. We opened our first store in NYC this past fall, and have many more projects in development.
Location is a big part of your creative process, how does the selection of “where” to photograph come about? What factors play a part in your decision? Do you have any dream locations you haven’t done yet?
We work closely with our friends and collaborators, photographers Tanya Posternak & Zhenya Posternak. Together we go through locations and models, and Tanya and Zhenya travel all over the world shooting different locations. They have shot in Iceland, France, Italy, Mexico, Japan, and more. We are very inspired by architecture, form, color. We love both nature and man made spaces. We have a long list of dream locations but we like to keep it a secret!
The photos shared in this story were captured in Spain, where specifically? We know you find inspiration in architecture, any special stories about this spot?
For this shoot, we discovered a stunning location in the middle of nowhere—La Muralla Roja in Calpe, Spain. The building was designed by Ricardo Bofill in the ‘60s and now serves as an apartment building complex.
Last but not least, we call this rapid fire round … What's your favorite ...Color?
Building in NYC?
Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Anette Kelm, Allison Katz, and Sanya Kantarovsky.
Album?Somethin’ Else by Cannonball Adderly.
Writer or book?Fiction by The New Yorker on Apple Podcasts
Shooting film with our Contax cameras.