Montreal's Holdur fanny packs find fashionista following

How do fanny packs rise above their 1980s fashion pedigree into something modern women will want? With Italian leather and two determined Montreal designers.

Consumers in the U.S., Europe and beyond are eager to buy Montreal fanny packs retailing for $550 to $700

Holdur fanny pack-style purses a 'risky and rewarding' venture for founders 1:32

Canadian fashion has a new offering for the world stage — fanny packs. But these aren't the sad stalwarts of perfunctory fashion many of us think of when we hear the term. 

Made with high-quality Italian leather at a workshop on Chabanel Street in Montreal's old textile district, Holdur bags are the creation of two determined local designers who boast a luxury-loving clientele.

Co-founder Nicole Lefebvre attributes the company's quick success to interest in Montreal as a fashion city.

"I think there's this resurgence of interest to bring fashion back to this community where there was so much expertise," Lefebvre told host Mike Finnerty on CBC Montreal's Daybreak. "I think people want to support local."

Lefebvre started the company with Mathilde Einhorn when they were volunteering together as librarians at a school in Outremont.

Less than two years after launching Holdur, the luxury fanny packs are being snapped up by the high-end travel set.

Silver lining after robbery 

Lefebvre created Holdur out of necessity. 

One day the mother went to an Outremont park with her kids and says she left her clunky purse in the car so her hands would be free. When she returned to the car, the purse had been stolen.

It spurred her to come up with a creative solution, turning to her friend Einhorn to figure out what to do.

Holdur was born.

The duo's aim is for Holdur to do for fanny packs what Hunter did for rain boots – turning a regrettably functional item into something stylish.

Holdur launched online in December 2014, and within months, both Montreal's Sofitel and the gift shop at the Musée des Beaux Arts store were carrying their bags.

By the summer of 2015, they were selling their products in Toronto.

Now they are eyeing Vancouver and retail outlets in the U.S., while fielding orders from Europe and beyond.

Each bag has different straps and retails for $550 to $700.

with files from CBC Montreal's Daybreak