Fashion trends come and go, but some brands and designers make a lasting impression with artfully designed, timeless pieces. One such brand, NYCe BLU, produces leather handbags inspired by the vibrant art and culture of New York City. Designer Mary Fleckenstein co-founded the brand with her brother, Doug Fleckenstein. Their combined experience in leather materials, design and fashion products inspired them to create a brand that would exhibit unparalleled leather craftsmanship and quality.
“I have always been an artist working in many mediums,” says Mary Fleckenstein. “I had a business for 10 years designing and manufacturing costumes for dancers. Most recently I concentrated on silversmithing, both jewelry and sculpture in silver. My brother, after working in the leather industry for years, suggested I design handbags. My brother’s work in the leather industry and my love of handbags, since childhood, inspired me to create this company. I am a sculptor at heart and my handbags are sculpted pieces of art.”
Fleckenstein was inspired by her love of New York City’s museums, architecture, art and culture to create fashionable handbags that exuded the spirit of New York City. She and her design team utilize the best leather materials to create bags crafted with the highest level of quality and attention to detail.
“New York City has been my inspiration for all my artistic ventures for years,” says Fleckenstein. “I am enamored with the street art, museum art, architecture and fashion of the city. I decided that all the bags I design would have cobalt electric calfskin suede from Spain. Thus, NYCe BLU is the name of my company.”
While NYCe BLU handbags are designed for functionality, durability, quality and versatility, they have so much more to offer than some of the more traditional brands on the market. Fleckenstein is an artist and a designer, first and foremost, and she pours her unique vision and creativity into every bag she designs. She believes that artwork should be integrated into fashion, not just displayed on the walls of museums and galleries.
“All pieces in my collection are intensely personal because they are derived from my feelings of excitement and stimulation that I receive from New York City,” says Fleckenstein. “I feel that my bags are pieces of art and people should carry art. Art does not have to be only on museum walls.”
NYCe BLU is a client of The Accelerator with big ambitions and goals for the future. Since starting with The Accelerator, the company has refined its marketing strategy, driven increased sales and broadened its line with new designs to appeal to fashion-forward customers from all over the world. Fleckenstein already has various concepts in the works for new purse collections and she hopes that the growth of the company with help from The Accelerator will help make production of these new collections possible. NYCe BLU sells its bags in two different store locations in Manhattan, in addition to selling online.
“The Accelerator bas been invaluable,” says Fleckenstein. “I feel that the support emotionally and financially that The Accelerator gives me helps me drive my business.”
In the future, Fleckenstein and the NYCe BLU team hope to expand the company’s reach to customers around the world. With a commitment to quality, craftsmanship and one-of-a-kind artistic expression, the company hopes to stay on the cutting edge of fashion design and forge a path toward long-term success in global markets.
“My customers are fashion forward. I want to contribute their overall fashion experience every day,” says Fleckenstein. “I want my customers to carry my art. I would like to be in the forefront of fashion, selling around the world. I will have many collections that will change constantly.”
To learn more about NYCe BLU, visit nyceblu.com.