Sometimes, looking effortless actually requires very little effort. The secret? We’ve all heard it before: classic, well-designed basics. And Brooklyn-based label Catzorange is mastering the art of making bags you can wear anywhere, with anything. The line is handmade by husband and wife duo Johnny and Coco Mannix in their sun-splashed, plant-filled studio and loft that overlooks the Manhattan skyline.
Chances are you’ve come across snaps of their idyllic space on your Instagram explore page or in the throes of a late-night Tumblr hole: Catzorange’s signature bags are made of a single cord and woven into ultra-simple silhouettes. The bag that launched it all, the ‘Bucket,’ is as pared back as one can get with a single shoulder strap and loose, roomy body. It’s my go-to for a Sunday farmer’s market run or any time I want to be ‘cute’ and look ‘French’ while carrying my groceries home from Whole Foods.
Catzorange has since expanded its collection with a few trendier shapes, all the while remaining true to their minimalistic design sensibility. The half-moon ‘Senor’ can be carried over the shoulder or as a clutch, while the ‘Cosimo’ fits the same haul as the original bucket bag, but features chic resin handles.
It’s only natural, then, that Catzorange’s designs induce daydreams of seaside picnics and balmy summer nights, serving as an escapist accessory to keep the carefree vibes of the warmer months going all year long.
Below, a quick Q&A with the design duo on their humble beginnings, where they find inspiration, and their favorite spots in New York City.
COOLS: What’s in the name? Is there a special meaning behind ‘Catzorange’?
Johnny + Coco: “The name comes from a place that means a lot to us. It’s [the restaurant] where we first met when we were both living in Berlin. We got married a year afterward in New York, where Johnny is from and the line followed two years after that in 2017. ”
COOLS: What inspired you to launch the line?
J + C: “We started out by making pieces that fit our own needs and aesthetic. People picked up on what we were doing and the line grew organically from there.”
COOLS: Where do you see it going?
J + C: “We are in Europe at the moment focusing on traditional techniques, working with new materials and bringing them into our own aesthetic. We are super excited to see how this will influence our designs and pieces going forward.”
COOLS: How has New York City informed your style?
J + C: “New York showed us the possibility of doing what you love by taking risks and going for it. It also influenced us to create pieces that are quiet, calm, and sensitive – to balance the loud, fast, and sometimes aggressive nature of the city.”
COOLS: What are your favorite local spots?
J + C: “We love the Flower District early in the morning, the Judd Foundation at 101 Spring Street, and the Anchovy crostinis at Hotel Delmano in Williamsburg.”