Influencer Haley Sacks, aka @MrsDowJones, is here to help Morgan Stanley and Rebecca Minkoff change your thinking about style on Wall Street.
Hey, remember those canvas duffel bags decorated with the names of Wall Street banks — the kind that scream, “I’m making a huge amount of money for someone my age and I still have time to work out?” No? Maybe that’s because you’re not a banker, and you’re not a guy on Wall Street.
The so-called banker’s bag has achieved such iconic status that it now qualifies to be a symbol of not only prestige, but privilege, the kind we want to get rid of. With the favorite tote for school reunions and first dates reaching its 45th year (according to one alleged inventor or its 31st year, according to another), Morgan Stanley has made a disturbing discovery: Women don’t like it.
When Alice Milligan, Morgan Stanley’s CMO, surveyed women in finance about the bag, she found that less than 3% owned the bag and felt the bag did not appeal to a diverse audience. (Not a word on how the men responded to this question from headquarters.) To be fair, Milligan wasn’t trying to get ahead of fall fashion trends, but “look at different ways to symbolize change.”
And few things symbolize the opposite like a navy blue bro’ bag designed for size 12 shoes.
Who better to solve this problem than fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff, who calls the banker’s bag the source of inspiration for her very first design? “It was 2005 when Sex and the City was all the rage,” explains Minkoff. “My Morning After Bag was a women’s bag that said, ‘I don’t have to be ashamed to stay out all night.'”
Of course, that’s not the message Morgan Stanley wants to get across in this post-pandemic era of work-life balance (assuming those women were up all night finishing that analyst report). One of the reasons bank executives may be thinking about gender preferences and banker’s bags is the fact that bankers like Morgan Stanley, CEO James Gorman, have been urging people to go back to the office. Bank bags are less necessary when working from the bedroom.
Milligan says the “Rebecca Minkoff X Morgan Stanley Banker Bag 2.0” — which debuts today at Minkoff’s New York fashion show — is designed to be “classy and elegant,” evoking “pride and belonging” in a setting that “doesn’t your father is”. Wall Street.” Produced with responsibly sourced olive-tanned leather with a “Declare Red-List Free” label, this is not just a place to throw away paper and free protein bars, but a symbol “of our efforts to bring meaningful change within the walls of our company.” accomplish and beyond.”
In a nod to how Gen Z is often motivated to buy, Morgan Stanley is also launching its first influencer campaign around the bag. It teams up with Haley Sacks — that’s @MrsDowJones for you — a “financial pop star” who has compared ETFs and mutual funds to Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton. (See interview above.)
The partners plan to produce only about 500 of these bags, which will hit the market in January. While the cost has not yet been disclosed, it is reasonable to assume that the price tag will exceed the $33.75 Morgan Stanley charges for a banking bag at its corporate store. While banks used to give these bags away to new employees, many now charge the proceeds and donate them to charities. Like Ivy League t-shirts, they are also available for laymen who just want a job at Morgan Stanley.
In fact, on an existential level, what’s a Wall Street banking bag in a world where finance is global and Morgan Stanley overlooks Times Square?
Minkoff, for instance, isn’t here to create the feminine equivalent of a marginally useful piece of corporate swag. This is a fashion statement that is not tied to any bank. Once the accomplished marketer, she calls it “the new midtown bag for the inner-city woman.”