Rachel Feinberg’s purses find their beginnings in an ordinary Monday morning commute on the New York City Metro’s F train. Weighed down by three bags and a winter coat, she quickly locates an empty seat, beelines to it and sits down with a sigh of relief. Without much thought, she crosses her legs, places her purse on her lap and takes out a book she was reading – Politics of Reality: Oppression by Marilyn Frye. Frye writes:

“Consider, by comparison, the discipline of women’s cramped physical postures and attenuated stride.”

Rachel looked up from her book to survey the commuters around her – each women, herself included, sat with her purse on her lap with legs either crossed or tightly closed, while the majority of men sat with relaxed limbs extended in all directions. 

The F train instantly became her laboratory. Unwinding her legs and moving her purse to the vacant seat next to her, Rachel consciously transformed herself from a self-policing inmate of Foucault’s Panopticon to a fashion designer intrigued by the spatial consciousness and tendencies of the subway’s occupants: the majority of females sit with their bags on their lap, while the majority of males allow their belongings to occupy the space next to them. ‘Why?' She asked.

And with that question in mind, the Pussy Pouch was born.