As a handbag buff, I was beside myself when I was offered the opportunity to interview Dina, Yael, and Tamar Magnes – the sister act behind Magnes Sisters, a line of fashion forward handbags. Read on for my Q&A with this talented trio. Spoiled Pretty is taking you behind the bag…welcome to the Magnes family!
SP: How did your handbag line come about?
MS: When we were growing up in Israel, our Grandmother prophesied the careers of each sister – one would design clothing, the second, jewelry, and the third would be a graphic designer. Many years later, we moved to New York together to follow those dreams and collaborate on a handbag line that would use all of our skills. The rest is history!
SP: What was the hardest part about breaking into the industry?
MS: Breaking in takes a lot of persistence and the drive to keep going. Slowly, by slowly you realize that people are starting to recognize the product and this is what makes it so rewarding.
SP: How would you describe your design aesthetic?
MS: Our design aesthetic can be summed up by New York City, clean design, and modern vintage!
SP: What inspires your designs?
MS: The collection is inspired by several factors in our lives – first of all, grandmothers! Our own grandmother had a huge impact on our lives, and was the reason we chose to collaborate. She also had fabulous fashion sense! We loved her vintage style and family has always been very important in our work as well. Secondly, we are constantly being inspired by our home, New York City. Our bags have a very urban design aesthetic, and we are always committed to making every bag functional. They are truly designed for the modern woman on the go and we like to think of them as city chic!
SP: What is your favorite Magnes Sisters handbag to date?
Dina: My favorite would have to be the Gallery from our classic collection.
Yael: I’m personally a fan of the new Dancing in the Streets for fall.
Tamar: I love the I Love Bag from our new fall 09 collection!
SP: How do you come up with the names for your bags?
MS: There are so many places where you have to be conservative in this industry, this is a fun part! Names are all part of a family of bags and we never use the names of girls. We consider, where you would wear the bags, how are they going to be used, and what will you need to put in them.
SP: If I were to search your handbags, what beauty products would I find?
Dina: Kiehl’s hand cream – I’m a Kiehl’s girl!
Yael: Sunscreen – SPF 35, Maybelline mascara, Mario Badescu hand cream.
Tamar: None! I put it all on at home but in my makeup bag there I have a bunch Ricky’s and MAC, Maybelline mascara, MAC bronzer, MAC lip gloss.
SP: Who do you envision wearing your bags? What kind of woman is your typical customer?
MS: Definitely a city girl – we always design with chic, modern, working women in mind. The bags are always multi-functional and stylish enough for her to be seen out and about in!
SP: Which celebrity would you love to have wear one of your bags that hasn’t yet?
Dina: Chloe Sevigny, definitely.
Yael: Michelle Williams and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Tamar: Katie Holmes, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Liv Tyler.
SP: Does the fact that you’re sisters make it easier or harder to work together?
Dina: It can be a little difficult because we are all so very passionate about the collection and know each other so well.
Yael: We know each other completely, so there are lots of times when we have fun creating things together, from baking cookies, to planning a party – and we always have had that relationship.
Tamar: Easier on one hand because we trust each other completely!
SP: Do you have plans to expand your line beyond handbags?
MS: Yes – we want to do paper products eventually, similar to Kate Spade’s line, as well as jewelry, jackets, and many more!
SP: What’s next for Magnes Sisters?
MS: We want to continue growing, so your readers should get ready to see the Magnes Sisters brand in larger stores! We want to always be having fun, no matter what the future holds for us.