Interview with Cyrille from MAR Urbanbags

Origins the 21 September 2007 by Joe the "tire-remover"

To top off this week entirely dedicated to men’s bags, here’s an interview with Cyrille, founder of MAR Urbanbags.

- Cyrille, the unique characteristic of MAR Urbanbags is working with recycled materials. Which ones do you use?

For the last few seasons, we created our bag collection mainly from retro leather jackets (brown or black) and army jackets (French or otherwise!). For this winter, we’ll be coming back to a material that we worked with during the brand’s infancy: (black) 501’s!

- Is your working process deliberately eco-friendly?

The thing we’re most interested in with reusing materials is the possibility of creating different bags from different jackets and WITH A HISTORY! But it is true that we’re somewhat halfway between the two: eco-friendly ‘no waste’ on one hand and ethical on the other hand, as our styles are made in France, which is rare for products in our price range.

mar-urbanbags-shopping-bag
- Other than the aesthetic aspect of your bags, I was particularly interested in their originality, their uniqueness and their history! I like this idea a lot, that you can give clothes a second life. Can people bring their own clothes so you can make a bag which suits their personality even better?

Typically, a client can either choose their bag from the styles available, or bring us a leather jacket they wore and wore out at uni (or elsewhere!) or that they bought elsewhere. The most important thing is that certain details of the jacket are in good condition, particularly the zipped pockets, studs, epaulettes, shoulders and stitching… But if the rest is damaged, we can always manage!

- You offer separate mens and womens styles. Do you make several collections a year? How does it work?

We have two collections per year for men and two for women, which totals 50 styles per season: Satchel, BeltBag to be worn on the belt, an oversize WeekEnder for two, Shopping bags to be worn as a pouch or on the shoulder… We create styles in pairs in a fairly spontaneous way using the leather jackets to guide our imaginations!

- How do you see the men’s market?

It’s a market that changes, but very slowly! The number of men who’ve abandoned the shoulder strap for the hand-held bag aren’t (yet) in the majority – but these are the clients who have the widest choice of our products! To bolster our range, we also sell Baron Y clothes in our store: they’re stylish and well-finished (v-neck jumpers, t-shirts …)

- Do you have a special offer for our readers that come to visit you?

Of course: We’ll give you a PhoneBag (that many people use to carry a digital camera instead of a phone) when you buy a bag! And congratulations to French Truckers that we read regularly!

Thanks to Cyrille for the warm welcome and I invite you to visit him on Matieeres à reflexion or in Paris at 19 rue de Poitou (Paris 3)

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