About Manhattan Portage

Celebrating 30 Years of Innovation - New York Tough

Capturing the spirit of a city and the pulse of urban life. That's Manhattan Portage ... It's New York Tough.

Born out of the challenging and gritty landscape of the New York City streets nearly three decades ago, Manhattan Portage was an original pioneer of the authentic messenger bags which created a new, urban lifestyle and changed the face of fashion forever. More than a statement or passing trend, Manhattan Portage has become a necessary part of urban living.

With its iconic, red label of the Manhattan skyline emblazoned on every bag, backpack and briefcase, Manhattan Portage has become much more than a local legend. We embraced an emerging culture that was always on the move, on the go and on the run 24/7 and which symbolized the vitality and pulse of the new metropolitan life. Our logo now flashes on avenues and boulevards around the world from New York to London, Toronto to Tokyo, San Francisco to Singapore and from Boston to Beijing which demonstrates the scope of our national distribution, global outreach and world-wide success.

So what becomes a legend most after all these years?

In these demanding times, we're on a mission to make our bags reflect the exciting but difficult realities of the new century and the changing international environment. As a recognized and respected leader in the volatile worlds of the fashion industry and the global economy, we have created a new vision which is rooted in our past, embodies the present and answers to the future...

Manhattan Portage is New York Tough and Downtown Smart.

We have preserved our core principles and egalitarian vision of "a bag for everyone" with the added value of "New York Tough" - a bag for all, in a style for everyone that's as smart as the city itself. We remain committed to the fundamental guidelines that we set years ago for great, innovative designs, use of the highest quality materials, superb construction and excellent craftsmanship which have always been the hallmarks of all our products.

When we began this extraordinary enterprise some three decades ago, it was a labor of love and a lesson in necessity really being the mother of invention. We responded to the needs and lifestyles of New York's fast-moving bike messenger community by creating the strong, practical and well-constructed Manhattan Portage prototype. The reputation of these rugged and versatile bags spread like wildfire and very soon, not only were working class heroes like messengers using them, but moms, students, artists and musicians, teachers, nurses and people from all walks and ways of life were carrying MP bags in the streets and on the subways all over town and on trains and planes across country.

A local phenomenon was becoming a national sensation and a symbol of the new emerging urban culture. Our bags and backpacks have earned their "street cred"- their proven usefulness as a reliable and really tough companion on the streets in one of the most demanding cities in the world, New York - the epicenter of fashion and finance, the arts and culture, media, music and money.

Like the ever-changing city itself, Manhattan Portage has weathered the tides of history from the economic storms of the 1980's, the political turmoil of the 90's, the fallen heroes and the fallen towers of September 11th to the turbulent currents of the new century. And like the city, we were a witness to these events and we have endured, we have grown, we have expanded and we have survived because Manhattan Portage is New York Tough.

That's why we have created a brand new campaign based on this theme - "Manhattan Portage: New York Tough and Downtown Smart"- because we have lived it and experienced it ourselves from the very beginning through the difficult days of our first venture on the Lower East Side to our current headquarters in fashionable Soho.

Every bag, backpack and briefcase and all MP products are constructed from the best materials, designed for the rigors of modern life and crafted with expert care. We've used the experience, skills, technical innovations and indeed, the success of the past three decades to expand and diversify our portfolio to meet the challenges and changes of the new century.

At Manhattan portage, every product embodies our determined spirit and confident stand in the world of business and fashion. They are all built strong, they are built cool and classic, they are built versatile and practical, and they are built durable. They can take it because we build them to last. Manhattan Portage owns "New York Tough." It's become part of our history and it's in our DNA.

Manhattan Portage has also been a leader in the matrix of cultural transitions. We pioneered a new, urban aesthetic based on the tremendous changes which were happening in the worlds of art and fashion. We were inspired by one of the most powerful and creative expressions of urban life called "street art." It's big, it's bold, it's in the street and on the buildings and it has the ultimate New York attitude. These images and those from "pop art" and the iconography of city life became part of our design and graphics language. Another major transformation occurred when the focus and the energy of the fashion industry moved from midtown to downtown - to Soho and Tribeca which were now setting the trends in culture, fashion and art. We combined these dramatic changes and dynamic forces together to create a new aesthetic and style for our collection which we call Downtown Smart - it has real New York attitude because it's chic, it's innovative, it's savvy, it's polished, it's fresh and it's confident.

Everybody knows that quintessential song about New York which has the line"... if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere..." Well, we have made it here in this great city and in many others around the world. And as part of our 30th anniversary celebration, Manhattan Portage is planning a major campaign based on our distinctive "New York Tough" and Downtown Smart theme. This will include special events and a unique gallery exhibition featuring a comprehensive look back at our classic designs and best sellers, as well as the most innovative, unusual and striking styles in our collection from our three decades of work. It will also have a companion traveling show to take to our national and international networks in Europe, Asia and around the globe because we want to share our accomplishments, honor our dedicated staff and recognize the visionary leadership which has made all this possible.

Come celebrate with us because Manhattan Portage has really become a legend in its own time.