The Brand Story


MANNY + BLINN was founded by two longtime friends with a vision: to offer luxurious handbags and other products made locally with environmentally conscious and socially responsible materials and processes.

We love leather. Love the feel, the durability, the style flexibility. But we wanted a more sustainable material. We spent months searching for the right material to use as an alternative to leather, while ensuring the material have similar characteristics: soft, durable, exquisite and yet manufactured in a way that reduces negative impacts on the environment.


What we found was cork -- or “nature’s leather.” Native to the Mediterranean, most cork oak is grown in Europe and North Africa. The cork in the leather used in our products is from Ovar, Portugal in the Aveiro region.

On average, cork oak trees are harvested every ten years. Removing the bark from the cork tree is an extremely delicate operation, and it actually improves the environment. A harvested cork tree absorbs three to five times more carbon dioxide and produces more oxygen than unharvested trees. This helps offset millions of tons of carbon every year. Cork is cut from the same trees time and time again and this goes on for generation after generation for some 200 years. So, every tree is a source of renewed, raw material.  

As soon as we became familiar with cork “leather” fabric, we knew it was our answer. It is as durable as leather, naturally waterproof, stain repellant, odor resistant -- and extremely lightweight. 

Additionally, our lining fabric is made of fibers and thread from recycled plastic bottles and every piece of our packaging consists of recycled, post-consumer materials.

Sustainability, without compromising beauty or utility.


The city is at the heart of the brand. New York’s Garment District has a rich history in fashion and the world, and having our products made there was both a dream and a requirement from the very beginning.

The professionals we have found in the Garment District are warm, friendly and committed to keeping the legacy of the location alive. We have loved working with our factory team and thank them for their priceless contribution in bringing our products to life.