By Jacqueline Corba
After nearly 20 years making handbags just for women, MZ Wallace will soon introduce its first line of accessories for men, the company's co-founders said Wednesday in an interview with Cheddar.
Their decision to branch out after years of faithfully sticking to what they know best will hopefully increase demand for the designers' sense of functional luxury.
"We hope by also adding a proper men's collection, men will then look at our classics in a different way," said Monica Zwirner, the MZ in MZ Wallace.
She and her partner, Lucy Wallace Eustice, said they plan to introduce new designs and fabrics for their men's line, featuring products that will appeal to busy, active people. It should be available within a year.
"It's the same conversation of listening to what people want," said Wallace Eustice.
MZ Wallace started in 2000 by producing handbags that emphasized style over fashion, according to its founders.
"Fashion I think by definition times out," said Zwirner. "Good design, however, never goes out of style."
The company's Metro Tote, which the founders call their "hero" product, was designed in 2010. It hasn't changed since its debut and continues to be the brand's best-selling item, topping magazines' lists of faves for styleand fitness.
"We don't have to change it," said Zwirner, who added that the brand's customers have come to expect that they'll find bags they like season after season. "I think they really appreciate that there's good design there that stays."
MZ Wallace started with a brick and mortar store and recently made a significant investment in its e-commerce site. The co-founders said that investment is paying off: The brand has been profitable since 2009 and they said business has doubled in the last three years.
For the full interview, click here.