About Manhattan Portage

Entrepreneur's Interview

The Manhattan Portage brand began in 1980 as an idea whose time had come... make a bag for urban people who were always on the go that they could really depend on. That concept caught on first with New York City messengers who needed a sturdy, reliable product that was as tough as the streets they traveled and became the now famous "Messenger" bag. Over the years, the original idea was expanded and I wanted to make a bag for everyone that was practical, functional, trendy and very "New York." Our brand now appears on bags for students, business people, travelers, teachers, and so many others. And the distinctive logo of the city skyline etched in white on a red background was becoming an icon in the urban landscape and beyond.

In the 1990's, I decided to use my experience in the Asian import/export area to develop the MP brand as an international business. I also wanted to introduce the unique New York culture and style to other countries. As this brand became more well-known, we opened a flagship store to showcase our many different styles and continued the goundbreaking innovations such as light-weight materials, plastic buckles and Cordura fabrics which made our products so practical and durable and even fashionable for everyone.

As we approach our brand's 25th anniversary, we have become known across the city and around the country for a unique and very special line of bags. We have introduced many new designs, styles, materials, and even new brands such as Token as a high-end addition to the original line. During these years, our bags have really traveled a long way too... from the city streets to the office suites. Along the way, the Manhattan Portage trademark has become a symbol of outstanding quality and distinctive design not just here, but in more than 25 countries around the world.

Su Hwei Lin - President of Manhattan Portage

No matter where you travel in New York and no matter who you are, one thing you are bound to see is a bright red rectangle with an image of the city's sklyline outlined in white on all kinds of bags carried by all kinds of people everwhere. The brand name on those bags is Manhattan Portage and this signature trademark has become an urban legend not just on our streets, but all over the country.

And the person behind that label is an extraordinary woman named Su-hwei Lin who is the chief executive and trademark owner of this brand and related companies that she has taken world-wide over the past 10 years.