LONDON — Accessories labels might have had a smoother transition into the new digital-first spring 2021 season, having never relied on big show productions to begin with.
Yet getting creative and finding ways to stay relevant have been equally important in the accessories realm, with Istanbul-based designers Merve and Beste Manastir, of the popular label Manu Atelier, leading the way with many a digital activation.
Today, coinciding with Paris Fashion Week, the Manastir sisters are set to release a 3-D Instagram video starring their spring 2021 bag style: the Pita.
The video, which was created in partnership with digital agency VHF, is a 30-second clip showcasing the baguette-style bag revolving against bright backdrops, futuristic glassware and romantic floral arrangements.
Beyond presenting the style, the video highlights the “retro-futuristic” aesthetic the brand has always embraced and offers an opportunity to connect with the buyers, editors and influencers the designers would have been meeting in Paris this week.
“We wanted to replace our Paris showroom experience with something equally fun,” said the sister duo, which sent friends of the brand a care package of sunflowers, candles and CBD gummies ahead of their digital launch.
The message they wanted to send was simply one of hope: “A good life is not a place where we arrive, it’s a lens through which we see and create our own world.”
When it came to their range, they applied the same spirit, adding upbeat sorbet colors to the collection and putting extra care to ensure the styles they offered were seasonless, focusing on existing hits like their chic structured cross body bag dubbed the Roxy or their signature cylinder shape.
“We had a good reaction from the new styles we introduced in February so we focused on those, with just two new bag styles added. There’s an extra focus post-pandemic to minimize waste and [offer] timeless products,” said Beste Manastir, pointing to the Pita bag, which comes in black, white and beige hues.
“We also chose to skip resort, as we didn’t want to burden our retailers or squeeze production. Everyone needed to take a breath.”
The label was able to go ahead with its fall 2020 production, having its own facility close to home, which is run by the Monastirs’ father, a seasoned leather craftsman.
“We saw the advantage of having our bag production close by. You have better control and it’s easier to track and trace. Also, as a label not based within the European Union, we have always had to have flexible operational systems, which also came to our advantage this time,” added Merve Manastir.
By not having to physically travel to market, the sisters were able to hold sales appointments earlier in the season, allowing for more time for production, research into new innovations and creative ideas.
“It’s more productive this way and this season we sold perhaps the most, we just made sure to keep the sku’s [stockkeeping units] as compact as we could, to give retailers the confidence to buy deeply,” said Merve Manastir.