“Swarovski is and will always be part of my heritage.”
he luxury eponymous brand Marina Raphael was created by the heiress of the Swarovski family in 2018. Born to a Swiss-Austrian mother and a Greek father, the designer naturally takes over the Greek islands to set up her headquarter. Traveling across the world, Marina Raphael falls in love with the beauty that surrounding her. Architecture, art, and a variety of cultures influence and helped her to gain a global vision with a strong understanding of the international audience that enables her to design luxury handbags that please the most cutting-edge fashion connoisseurs.
Victoria Cellun: What was your intention when creating your eponymous brand?
Marina Raphael: From the beginning of Marina Raphael, our goal was to set the groundwork for an inclusive, sustainable luxury handbag brand. We wanted to create more than just a product. In this vast creative market, we needed to create something unique and extraordinary that at the same time caters to its consumers. It is a piece of art that stands for quality and practicality. It can be worn to uplift and elevate, magnifying confidence and empowering every individual to express their true self.
VC: Where do you draw your inspiration?
MR: I consider myself a people person, as I cherish the simple moments and things, a heart-to-heart conversation, a shared laugh, an individual’s beaming personality, all stimuli that spark my imaginative nature towards creation. Nature has always been of great significance to me. It is my own personal sanctuary where I can genuinely be myself, take a moment to relax, and observe and appreciate the raw beauty around me. Growing up, I was drawn to visual culture, from fine art to design, because it helped me interpret and see the world in my own eyes. To this day, I seek inspiration from architecture, sculpture, and interior design, as I admire the clean lines, geometric patterns, and sculpted silhouettes that bring any artifact to life. Through this collection, I wanted to capture today’s undeniable need for practicality and visual intrigue. More than ever now, when social gatherings are limited, I wished to create a collection of handbags to impress for even the simplest of outings.
VC: What do you like the most when creating a new collection?
MR: I am constantly fascinated by innovative materials and the wide range of traditional techniques combined with contemporary media that incarnate any idea. I am highly passionate about researching new sustainable processes, whether weaving, knitting, quilting, or embroidery and hand-dying, so I strive to incorporate them into my designs to create unique bags that retain a timeless aesthetic. Each collection is an opportunity to broaden our brand’s creative spectrum by introducing modern materials yet adhere to the future of sustainable fashion.
VC: Where do you produce your handbags collections?
MR: All our manufacturing takes place in Florence, Italy, the heart of the famous luxury leather goods district. Made by the skillful hands of local artisans, we strive for the highest quality craftsmanship. With attention to detail, every seam and stitch on all Marina Raphael bags are crafted to perfection.
VC: What does Swarovski mean to you? Will we find them again in the following collections?
MR: Swarovski is and will always be part of my heritage. Hence, I am always proud to include an element of it in each and every collection because I wish to honor and pay homage to my ancestors and their legacy. Whether in a captivating starry pattern or a discreet yet distinctive crystal detail, my vision is to offer a dose of sparkle that will give great confidence to any person wearing it. In this FW21 Collection, you will find crystals incorporated in unique geometric motifs and embellishments.
VC: Will you introduce your new collection at a fashion show?
MR: Even though we currently don’t participate in fashion shows, we always love to organize special events and host small dinners where clients, international press, influencers, models, etc., have a chance to view the collection and get the first glimpse! However, due to the pandemic restrictions, we opt for using social media to promote our products and get in touch with our customers.
VC: What is your favorite piece from the Marina Raphael FW21 collection?
MR: My favorite piece from this FW21 collection has to be the Quilted Micro Riviera because it combines our signature Riviera shape, which encapsulates the idea of a “modern classic,” but with a unique twist! This statement bag can be worn with any modern and contemporary look and make any individual feel strong and empowered.
VC: Do you have a showroom where we can visit you?
MR: Our bags are currently available to see at our headquarters in Greece, where we have a showroom and present our collection to clients and buyers. We also collaborate with various showrooms in Paris, London, New York, and Copenhagen during fashion weeks.
VC: Where can we find your collection?
MR: You can shop our collection directly from our website www.marinaraphael.com or at any retailers such as LuisaViaRoma Sustainable, HAMAC Beach Boutique in Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, Høyer in Norway, One&Only Resort in the Maldives, as well as in many other counties. You can find out more about our stockists on our website.