The Museum of Natural History collaborated with Kith. Kentucky Fried Chicken collaborated with Crocs. Even the U.S. Postal Service collaborated with Forever 21.
And today, Morgan Stanley launches its first-ever fashion collaboration. The staid investment firm partnered with designer Rebecca Minkoff on reissuing her iconic “Banker Bag,” a structured bag reminiscent of the kind of bags that men in the finance industry have toted to work in their suits. The bag will be unveiled at Minkoff’s New York Fashion Week Show taking place today.
Alice Milligan, Morgan Stanley’s CEO, points out that while women have made strides across many industries, they are still underrepresented in the finance sector. The firm pursued this collaboration as part of its broader efforts to advocate for women and support their careers.
In a survey, Morgan Stanley found that less than 3% of women in finance owned a traditional banker bag, and over 50% said they felt it didn’t appeal to them in its current form. While suits and briefcases have been traditionally associated with male power in the corporate world, Milligan saw the Banker Bag as a way to symbolize female power in the workplace. “There’s a lot of overlap between Rebecca’s audience and ours,” says Milligan. “We thought this collaboration would resonate with strong, professional women.”
Rebecca Minkoff has updated the Banker Bag as part of this collaboration. It is now made from olive tanned leather that is certified by Declare Red-List Free Label, which verifies responsible sourcing. The bag will be co-branded with both Minkoff’s logo and Morgan Stanley’s. “I always want the bag to be about the woman, rather than drawing attention to the logo,” says Minkoff. “The logos on the bag are very small.”
The bags will be available to Morgan Stanley employees around the world starting in January, but consumers can also buy them on Rebecca Minkoff’s website. And Morgan Stanley will also be a main sponsor of Rebecca Minkoff’s fashion show.