Mansur Gavriel's artist-designed accessories support Artist Relief

Series of handbags
 Camilla Engstrom
(Image credit: Mansur Gavriel)

Making a fashion statement might not be top of mind for most people these days, but in the hands of the utility-focused brand Mansur Gavriel, even non-essential design flourishes take on a new and powerful significance. Starting this week, the minimalist fashion and accessories label unveils ‘Blank Canvas’ - a four-part artist collaboration resulting in a collection of one-of-a-kind bags.

Created to benefit Artist Relief, an initiative organised by a collective of United States-based national arts grantmakers to support artists in the wake of Covid-19, proceeds from the sale of the bags will help fund Artist Relief’s distribution of $5,000 grants to artists in need of financial support. It will also as well as support its ongoing function as an informational resource for the artist and creative community.

Mansur Gavriel’s artist-designed accessories

Jean Julien

(Image credit: Mansur Gavriel)

‘At Mansur Gavriel, we're always looking to artists as a source of inspiration,’ says the label’s CEO Isabelle Fevrier. ‘When we launched our new canvas bucket bag, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to work with individuals we admire while giving back to the community. With the impact of COVID-19, Artist Relief felt like the perfect fit, as they're giving back to artists in need through monetary grants.’

The four artists involved – Camilla Engstrom, Nathalie Lete, Joey Yu and Jean Julien – have each painted a work on one of the brand’s canvas circle bucket bags, a lightweight yet sturdy carryall made from Italian canvas. ‘The canvas bag felt like a natural fit for the collaboration [as] we thought that the texture would provide a really nice backdrop to the artists' original pieces,’ Fevrier shares. ‘We asked each artist to paint a piece, based on their time in quarantine. Each came to the table with a unique take on what exactly that meant to them.’

The unique editions kick off this week with Engstrom’s colourful landscape that was inspired by meditation and nature walks from her Los Angeles studio. Her design will be followed by Joey Yu’s depiction of a socially distanced picnic, which launches tomorrow, and then Nathalie Lete’s scallop-trimmed, tongue-in-cheek take on the ubiquitous Beckoning Cat figure will be up for sale on 31 August. The series concludes with Jean Julien’s pair of ‘tree huggers’ – two figures painted on each side with elongated arms outstretched towards each other, embracing the entire bag.

Mansur Gavriel’s artist-designed accessories

Joey Yu

(Image credit: Mansur Gavriel)


Pei-Ru Keh is a former US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru held various titles at Wallpaper* between 2007 and 2023. She reports on design, tech, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru took a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars, actively seeking out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.