Olive Loves: Michelle Vale Handbags


New York City handbag designer, Michelle Vale, is a busy woman. Her mission to change the way women experience luxury handbags is a full-time pursuit and passion. Most recently, Michelle Vale Inc. unveiled its “Michelle Vale for Audi Leather Tote Collection.” Custom-made for Audi, these beautiful black and silver leather totes were designed and made in New York like all of her handbags. I caught up with Michelle and she shared with me what she loves most about living and building a brand in New York, how to “Make It in Manhattan” and the two Kates who are fans of her handbags. Count me among her loyal fans!



Olive:  What was the first hadbag you designed?

Michelle V:  Entrechat was our first bag, which we won an award for in 2010 out of 800 international designers.  The Entrechat is pictured here being carried by both Kate Beckinsale and Kate Bosworth.  It also was selected for the Vogue Most Wanted List!



Olive: What are your favorite pieces from your current collection?

Michelle V:  I love our Keitel clutch as the ultimate timeless piece and our Balancé day to night tote in an assortment of candy colors, which was named “Top Ten Totes” by W Magazine! These are the pieces I use most often.

Michelle Vale Balance Slide Clutch

Michelle Vale Balance Slide Clutch

Olive:  You have received many prestigious industry awards. Congrats! Which one has been most meaningful to you?

Michelle V:  Being selected as a Rising Star Finalist with a nomination again this year.  This is the award Jason Wu won before Michelle Obama wore his gown for the Inaugural Ball.  This award has been a game changer for many of today’s big brands, including Tory Burch and Joseph Altuzarra.

Olive:  New York City is my own beloved hometown, so I was pleased to see that produce all of your collections here in the Big Apple. What led you to that decision?

Michelle V: After all, New York is a major fashion capitol and I believe that made in New York stands up there with Made in Italy and Made in France.  It is valued overseas, but for some reason the American consumer is only now starting to see the value.  It also helps us to reduce our carbon footprint and help create jobs domestically, which we so desperately need.  These ideas prompted me to co-found the business initiative “Make it in Manhattan,” which consists of documentary, blog and networking events.  The initiative celebrates and supports New York and American made products.  The documentary contains interviews with so many greats, including brand owners Andrew Rosen of Theory and Jeff Rudes of J Brand and designers Nanette Lepore and Gaby Basora of Tucker, to name a few.

Olive: What is your favorite place to go in New York?

Michelle V: The Highline, where Nature and Innovation meet!  And, I love their commitment to creating a place for locally made purveyors to sell their products.


Olive: If you were to design a piece for me, what would it look like?

Michelle V: I think the Michelle Vale bespoke Keitel would be the perfect bag of choice for you and your on-the-go lifestyle.


Olive:  I LOVE it!

Michelle is a social butterfly, so you can keep up with all her activities at any one of the following:





Instagram MVNY


About Michelle Vale

Michelle Vale bags are exclusively Made in New York and the first line to offer customized removable hardware options in both gold and silver. Founded by Michelle Vale in 2006, Michelle Vale Inc., is a privately owned fashion company that creates high quality handbags for luxury consumers seeking distinct style and durability. The Michelle Vale product line appeals to fashion-forward women who realize the importance of expression through quality accessories. Michelle’s acute attention to quality control was one of the main drivers in the company’s decision to produce her lines in both New York City and Italy, which allows Michelle to both personally oversee all elements of the manufacturing process.



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