I met with Isabella in Milan, the morning before a busy day full of interviews, meetings, and negotiations.
Ayu Isabella (Isabela Ayoub) is a beautiful woman and an ambitious entrepreneur, the creator of the luxury bag brand Magrì. She debuted her endeavor in Italy, where in Florence she opened a small production where skilled craftsmen handmake all the Magrì bags.
- I hate that many luxury goods marked “Made in Italy” are manufactured in other countries in order to save money. This is completely unacceptable! Who would buy a Lamborghini made outside of Italy?
We have breakfast at a chic and trendy hotel in Milan, and I am enthralled by Isabella’s story.
Her great-grandfather’s name was Baldassare Magri (Baldessare Magrì), a sculptor who lived in Palermo. One day he ventured to a marble factory to find a stone for a new sculpture, there he found not only the perfect piece of marble, but also the perfect match – the daughter of the factory’s owner. The couple married and left Palermo, emigrating to America on a ship that was delivering marble.
- From the past, I have inspiration for the future.
The Magrì brand’s story started with a drawing on a napkin. One morning, while Isabella was having breakfast at New York’s Sant Ambroeus Bar, she observed the passing crowd and thought about how difficult it is for women to express their own true style. In the fashion world there are specific canons, “forcing” women to buy all the same accessories, when in reality a unique bag with just the right accents could make a woman stand out in any crowd. A woman who has everything wants to have original accessories, to have a look that is totally unique to her own style. With these thoughts in mind, Isabella sketched what was in her opinion, the perfect bag. And so, there, in New York over a morning coffee, the Magrì brand was born.
Our next meeting is on one of Milan’s most fashionable streets – Via Spiga. Before the meeting, Isabella changes from boots to open-toe shoes, much to the bewilderment and delight of passerby.
- The climate in Milan is much warmer than in New York, she smiles.
Isabella is always flitting back and forth between New York and Milan. Her family and three children are in New York, whereas her business and showroom is based in Milan. Isabella jokes that in New York she always cooks, so in Milan she must only drink coffee in order to keep a trim figure.
After the meeting, we’re off to Tartufi & Friends for dinner.
- I love interiors that make use of natural green spaces. My mother is Finnish, so I spent every summer in Finland. I vividly recall being amongst the forests, inhaling the smell of fresh rasberries. Nordic culture has defined my aesthetic preferences. I like this place, its eco-theme immediately brings me back to my childhood.
Isabella orders salmon carpaccio with fragrant truffle oil, a dish that would drive even the most sophisticated gourmand wild.
I think Isabella is truly the embodiment of the Magrì brand. Elegant, with impeccable taste and a remarkable sense of proportion, she adeptly juggles the roles of both mother and businesswoman.
Magrì bags are designed for the modern woman: fast-paced, ambitious, worldly, one who loves functionality as well as elegance. It is almost the feminine version of a suitcase, where you can put everything from your planner and cosmetics to your children’s clothes. Beautiful and spacious, it is the perfect size for any occasion, be it a business meeting, client lunch, cocktail party or dinner. It is so versatile that it becomes an integral part of everyday life.
I’m a little sad that our lovely day has come to an end, it was an immense pleasure to spend time with this amazing woman. It astounds me how clear a vision she has for her business, where her architectural background helps her strategically meld aesthetic beauty with form and function. She knows exactly what she wants, using her creative skills and business prowess to make her vision become a reality.
A style icon in the making, Magrì bags are sure to become a sweeping success.