Marie-Philippe Thibault wants to be there for all the moments in your life—not literally, of course, but through her bags. The Montreal designer’s approach to the wardrobe staple—whether she’s creating a sleek and sculptural evening purse or an elegant carryall made for everyday errands—can be summed up in one word: timeless. Mas, which Thibault founded in 2021, is the answer for anyone looking for a quality-made accessory that will never go out of style.

After studying product development at Parsons School of Design in New York City, Thibault went on to complete internships at major fashion houses, including Hermès and Louis Vuitton. It was there, working with brands revered for their exceptional leather work, that she learned the ins and outs of creating the perfect handbag. The beauty of a Mas bag—always understated but singular in style—lies in the tiny details and the behind-the-scenes work that shoppers don’t usually see.

Each of her pieces is handcrafted in Italy with leather from a family-owned tannery in France and North American wood. But if you look closely, traces of Thibault and her dedication to quality are apparent. Her childhood, spent in the countryside in Estérel, Que., is the inspiration for the wooden elements she uses. The effortless silhouettes are imbued with the warmth of the jazz music that Thibault listens to while sketching. Most of all, the lessons she learned by watching her mother and grandmother work as seamstresses can be felt in the refined designs.

Marie-Philippe Thibault

Quality over quantity

“We want to [attract] a woman who understands quality— [someone] to whom you don’t need to explain it a thousand ways because she just knows what it is. Everything she wears she wears intentionally. I love when a woman’s style is discreet but shows that she cares about the product.”

Sweating the small things

“You need to work when you work at a fashion house. It taught me discipline and a relentless [desire] to perfect the details. It also taught me how to bring a singular vision to life. I learned a lot about the process of making accessories—the time and research it takes. Every step is really important in the creation of a bag.”

Lessons learned

“I would see my mom and grandmother working on clothes during the night in the basement. I saw how much patience and passion they had. That’s what I learned from them at a young age and why I always persist. In the beginning, it was hard to find the right [production] partners, but the time it took paid off because they truly care about the craftsmanship and the quality.”

Hero piece

“I was 15 when my dad bought me my first designer bag—a Michael Kors—for Christmas. It felt really special, and I still have it. It started my love of bags. When I was studying in New York, I always saw my classmates and colleagues with different bags. I feel like a bag represents a woman. You can wear a T-shirt and jeans and complete the look with a bag.”

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