Foreign Correspondence: M2Malletier
The M2Malletier designers discuss how they collaborate on their striking handbag collection from a distance.
By Britt Burritt
Colombian-born Marcela Velez and Melissa Losada met at design school in New York, and now they create handbags with their distinctive “needle” handle from Barcelona and London.
How did you meet?
ML: We met at Parsons School of Design in New York back in 2007. We both worked and interned in various companies within the industry, and it was only in 2011 when we started developing this project. At that time, we were between Paris, NYC and London. Finally, we both moved to Barcelona to start the brand.
Why did you decide to work together?
MV: We had the mutual desire to create something the industry hadn’t seen before, something that wasn’t being carried by everyone and, most of all, something timeless. The brand was conceived after we realized that we are tired of the It bags and we hadn’t purchased new bags for a while.
What’s the best part of working together?
ML: Being together after our travels. We always feel super inspired, and we love to share our ideas and photos. Plus, all the cinema, architecture and art that we’re always searching out. We gather our inspiration images and start from there. Once we have a clear direction, we start designing our color palette and the whole collection.
Do you collaborate on everything or divvy up responsibilities?
MV: We split a lot of the responsibilities so that we can be more efficient and each task is focused on and done perfectly. I’m more focused on the business side and Melissa with all the design matters.
Do you have any special ways that you collaborate?
ML: Melissa is now based in London and I am based in our office in Barcelona, but we talk all day long! From when we wake up until we go to sleep, we’re working via WhatsApp and coming up with new ideas.
When you disagree, how do you reconcile your opinions?
MV: We’re like sisters, so normally if we disagree or get in an argument we will forget about it very quickly and get back to business. We always find a solution and a midpoint.
What’s the advantage of being a female team in fashion?
ML: We understand each other very well and can collaborate and empower each other.