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PARIS — It’s all in the bag for budding media and fashion group MenInvest and its high-end accessories label for guys, Estime.
This story first appeared in the July 19, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We really saw a niche for elegant men’s accessories, but priced more affordably than most luxury brands,” said Audrey Montacel, a Louis Vuitton alum, who co-founded Estime in 2009 with business partner and MenInvest founder Marc Menasé.
Prices range from around 69 euros, or $87 at current exchange, for a laptop case to 579 euros, or $728, for a garment bag. MenInvest operates fashion, digital, e-commerce and media activities focused on men. The group in February received a capital increase from AXA Private Equity, which took a minority stake, and has an Estime boutique at 61 Rue Bonaparte in the heart of Saint-Germain. Meanwhile, its multibrand shop, Menlook, and its bespoke shirt and suit label, Saint-Sens, are located just next door at number 59.
A second Estime location is slated to bow in Lyon, France, in September, while plans for international expansion are also under way. Billing its style as “gentleman tech,” the collection, which is entirely made in Spain from exclusive European textiles and leathers, ranges from exotic iPhone holders and leather envelope pouches to supple travel bags. A 48-hour duffel bag, for example, offers colored bands and vivid contrast or Liberty-print linings.
“We studied every aspect of men’s accessories, from how many cards a wallet should ideally carry to the most ergonomic accessory forms,” Montacel said.
Starting next month, Estime, which is already available online at estime.com, will be sold in London’s Fenwick department store.