You are what you carry: That’s the philosophy behind Dagne Dover, the coveted accessory label we chose for our Winter Box of Style. Its trio of founders—CEO Melissa Mash, COO Deepa Gandhi and Creative Director Jessy Dover—conceive handbags that are functional, fashionable and modestly priced to boot. Here, we sit down with the team to learn about the brand’s beginnings, their personal favorite carryalls and their tips for staying organized. Read on, and vow to clean up your handbag act for a streamlined 2017.
Melissa: Throughout my life I've had a series of painful handbag woes (a leaking water bottle once ruined my brand-new super-luxe leather tote and the phone that was inside it). After several years of working for Coach, and after seeing my friends and colleagues struggle with the same ridiculous problems, I decided to do something about it. That something is Dagne Dover.
In the age of Uber and Airbnb, we expect products and services to perform better than the status quo. We expect disruption and new ways of doing everything. Our bags are designed to anticipate the needs of people and to address their evolving, on-the-go lifestyles. Our philosophy is "You are what you carry." A bag that looks like a mess makes you feel like a mess. We hope to give people tools that set them up for success, so they feel more in control of their lives.
The Most Challenging Design Aspect
Jessy: Creating with purpose. There are so many ways to interpret the Dagne Dover mission, and it could be so easy to get lost along the way. We could release an endless stream of products. The hard part is editing (and re-editing) to create a curated collection of truly purposeful products that address the needs of our customers.
Living In A Millennial World
Deepa: We're a millennial team that believes in purpose-driven products that work for our on-the-go lifestyles. Everything we create is performance-tested and style-approved. Our commitment to achieving the perfect balance between these elements is what sets us apart.
The Handbags They Can't Live Without
Melissa: I need the Dakota backpack. I use it as a baby bag for my 13-month-old son. It has specific places for my laptop and various chargers, and it has easy-to-access pockets for bottles, snacks, meals, toys, the Nose Frida (if you don't know what that is, just be glad), a diaper changing pad and more. It's the perfect size for baby essentials.
Deepa: The large Landon carryall is life-changing. It's the perfect travel bag. Thanks to the laptop sleeve, internal side pockets and detachable shoe duster, you can easily live out of it for a weekend trip or an entire week away. The organization makes it a breeze to get through security at the airport and you can stow it under your seat on a flight by folding it from a tote into a duffle using the side snaps. Jessy: The large Hunter toiletry bag is my jam. I use mine to store my makeup and toiletries at home, and if (more like when) I'm running late, I'll toss it in my larger bag and do my makeup while on the move. It's super lightweight and easily washable in the event that something spills. I'm an overpacker, so my favorite feature is the stretch neoprene material, which make it easier to stuff in that extra bronzer—because sometimes it's just too hard to downsize.
The Inspiration Behind The Zoe Report x Dagne Dover Card Case
Jessy: We’ve always been huge fans of Rachel Zoe and The Zoe Report! We grew up with Rachel as our biggest style icon, and when we had the opportunity to collaborate, we wanted to make sure it was the perfect mix of her effortlessly cool style and our clean and purposeful design. The Card Case came together beautifully in the rich navy pebbled leather with gold-plated hardware and hand-painted edges.