M Z Wallace
93 Crosby St.
This upscale New York label, founded in 2000 by designers Lucy Wallace Eustice and Monica Zwirner, is known for handbags, luggage, and totes that are utilitarian and roomy without being dowdy. Classic styles get a modern makeover with bold hues like royal blue and fuchsia; adornments like pale sequins, fur pom-poms, and aluminized rayon add a jolt of understated oomph. Hand-woven fabrics, vachetta leather, and other luxurious materials are used liberally, but the emphasis overall is on function: Many of the bags are water- and stain-resistant and have special pockets for cell phones and water bottles. The large, well-lit shop makes browsing easy, since—save for a few pieces of modern furniture and some minimal Japanese-inspired ikebana arrangements—there's little to distract from the bags neatly lining the shelves.