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The tote that every stylish New Yorker is using as a gym bag


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Photos: MZ Wallace
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New York women have long established themselves as the ultimate cool-girl fashion trendsetters.

From sparking the white sneaker trend—you’re welcome—to trying out (at-times crazy) fitness fashion trends from harem pants and crop tops to shiny leggings and jumpsuits, New Yorkers are never afraid to try out a new wardrobe piece in the name of style.

But when they need a bag to seamlessly transition from work to barre, and boxing to happy hour? There’s no messing around—everyone turns to the MZ Wallace tote bags.

“We like to think we’ve been the best-kept secret for a long time,” Lucy Wallace Eustice, co-founder of MZ Wallace explains. “But once you have MZ Wallace on your radar, you start to spot them everywhere—on the street, on the subway, in the playground, at the airport, and most certainly at the gym.”

And it’s true: Take one look at at any Equinox, Barre3, or any block of Fifth Avenue and the chances that you see this quilted bag are as good as catching a celeb sighting at SoulCycle.

But while MZ Wallace—which was launched in 2000 in downtown NYC—hasn’t always been focused on the fitness fashion crowd, they’ve been ahead of their time by focusing on the woman who packs a lot into each day.

“Our goal since the beginning has been to design bags that balance style with function and work for a woman’s life, not against it—whether she is a working woman, mom, recent graduate, traveler, or fitness guru,” explains Eustice. “As for fitness specifically, the athleisure movement is huge and our bags lend perfectly to it. But in the end, MZ Wallace offers the solution: a functional and stylish bag that is appropriate for the gym and can transition to the office and onto drinks and dinner.”

Luckily, the activewear trend is showing no signs of slowing down—and MZ Wallace is seizing the opportunity, recently creating a “MZ Fitness” section on its website, featuring totes, backpacks, and yoga mat totes, and tapping Julie “Jaws” Nelson, the creative director of Shadowbox.

“When we launched Fitness, she was already a fan and said she carried our Metro Backpack every day to Shadowbox for her classes,” Monica Zwirner, the brand’s other co-founder, explains. “She told us how her classes often end in the evening and she loved how she could head right out to dinner or drinks with friends. That’s the whole point of our bags. Women today are busier and in higher demand than ever before—they need a bag for it all.” Amen.

Scroll down to see the latest fitness it-girl faves from MZ Wallace.

Get Started
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mz wallace stylish gym bags

Large Metro Tote Camo Oxford, $225

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mz wallace stylish gym bags

Metro Backpack, $245

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mz wallace stylish gym bags

Medium Metro Tote, $215

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mz wallace stylish gym bags

Large Sutton Colorblock Oxford, $245

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mz wallace stylish gym bags

Cece Backpack, $385

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mz wallace stylish gym bags

Metro Yoga Tote, $125

Now that you have a bag that works for everything from the bicycle to the boardroom, get inspiration to complete your whole look. These super-chic Instagrammers prove that you can wear sneakers to work and this guide will help you nail the legging-and-leather jacket look every single time.