Some women are organizational pros with their handbags, sorting their necessities into smaller purses and pouches before dropping them in. Other women's bags are a jumble of laptop chargers, eyeliners, pens, notebooks and keys. Going out on a limb, we'd guess the latter group stands as the majority.
With that struggle in mind, the founders of the handbag line Dagne Dover set out two years ago to create super-functional bags that have dedicated compartments and holsters for all of those everyday items. And the idea seems to have stuck: The startup just raised $1.25 million from investors including 2020 Ventures LP, First Round Capital's Dorm Room Fund, Wharton School of Business professor David Bell, Fabrice Grinda and Coach's former North American VP of sales, Dominic Cioffoletti.
In fact, two of the company's three founders cut their teeth at Coach. CEO Melissa Mash was a senior account associate, working on the Bloomingdales and Macy's accounts before heading off to business school at Wharton, while creative director Jessy Dover had interned on the company's product development team. COO Deepa Gandhi, also a Wharton grad, has experience at Club Monaco.
According to Mash, their target demographic is busy women. Period. Age isn't so much a factor, although a large proportion of their shoppers are undergrads. To bridge age and style gaps, they've intentionally kept the structure minimal and logo-free — a trend in the handbag market overall.
As with brands like Everlane and Warby Parker, Dagne Dover sells direct to consumer online, which has helped keep costs down. A coated linen canvas tote goes for $265, which is high — that price might feel more comfortable if it were leather — but not completely unthinkable.