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2 Jun

Local Brand Mazee Makes It To New York

Two years ago I was gifted the most beautiful leather handbag, which was custom made by the ladies at Mazee. Marissa and Zandri van Zyl created a leopard-print handbag for me, and even called it The Anja bag. To date it is pretty much the loveliest gift I have ever received.



Ambitious and talented, it came as no surprise to me that these ladies made it to the 10th annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards, to be held in New York in June.

Fellow South Africa, Adrian Furstenberg, also made it to the finals. This is a great feat for our country, and I couldn’t be prouder of our local talent!


Mazee made it to the Guess Its all about the Logo Category finals. Mazee owner, Marissa van Zyl, explains the design.

“I took a literal approach by using the famous question mark the Guess Logo holds as inspiration. Usually the biggest question mark when it comes to our handbags is that most of the time we cant find anything that is in there. Its difficult to keep everything that we hold in our handbags organized and we are always digging in our bags to find our personal belongings. This was my starting point to create a bag that holds ‘organized’ chaos. The bag consists of 8 zips and each pocket bag has a different color bright cotton twill lining so that women can color code exactly how and where they want all their belongings to be sorted in each different zip compartment the bag holds. The look and print details of the overall bag is created by taking the Guess Logo and playing around with different elements of the Brand and Logo and creating different laser cut details that will be topstitched onto panels and then sewn as random panels of leather while attaching the bag together, illustrating and creating a look of ‘organized chaos’, all coming together into one beautifully thought out bag. The bag can be turned around or flipped to be worn from any angle by clipping the detachable shoulder strap or wristlet onto any of the 4 x D-rings attached to the outside corners of the bag.”
Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 16.23.56

I chose white cow hide leather and gold pleather to use as my outside materials to work with as they are durable with wear and I can create the ‘top stitching’ details of the Guess Logo I played around with in the best way. I chose cotton twill linings for pocket bags as this fabric type is also durable and most importantly the 8 x different colors are crucial to achieve the concept of organizing your personal belongings by color coding each pocket differently.

It sounds like the perfect bag! I am so proud of Mazee for how far they’ve come, and I wish them all the best at the awards ceremony on 15 June 2016.

Some of the prizes  include a feature in the September issue of InStyle, an on-air sales opportunity with EVINE Live, and partnerships with Guess, Mary Kay®Cosmetics and more.

If you would like to read more about Mazee and Adrian Furstenberg, view the Times Live article here.

You can also view this awesome video showing you a bit more about the design.

1 Comment
  • Zoë Backhouse

    This is INCREDIBLE! South Africa for the win!

    June 12, 2016 at 11:16 am Reply

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