Designer Marina Raphael is part of the Swarovski family and brings a lot of this heritage through her accessories brand. Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Katie Holmes, Megan Fox, Paris Hilton, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Kelly Rutherford, Cynthia Nixon, Giovanna Engelbert, Jessica Alba, Camila Coelho and more love the brand. Spotted in And Just Like That, Gossip Girl and Dynasty as well.
Marina has also done collaborations with Swarovski and Giovanna Engelbert, Caroline Constas and created a best seller with influencer, Evangelie Smyrniotaki.
We have talked with her about her design process, inspiration and how to wear Marina Raphael handbags.
Tanja Beljanski: Please tell us about the design process and inspiration behind the AW22 collection.
Marina Raphael: For this AW collection Marina Raphael explores themes of metamorphosis, re-emergence and reflection. Fall is an ode to new beginnings but also echoes of an ending. Similar to the metamorphosis of a butterfly, it brings considerations of change and newness, while also prompting us to consider conclusions. With that in mind, I started to connect the metamorphosis stage of a butterfly with the thoughts that the Fall/Winter season provokes, as we often reflect on former versions of ourselves while simultaneously enticing new ones. Giving thought to the recent challenges we have faced, I also wanted to use the butterfly as a hopeful symbol of graceful transitions, inviting everyone to embark on a journey of transformation with confidence and poise. In that spirit of revival and renewal, we are breathing new life into our iconic shapes like the Riviera along with new additions like the Daphne, the Cara and the Bella bag.
“I wanted to use the butterfly
as a hopeful symbol of graceful transitions,
inviting everyone to embark
on a journey of transformation with
confidence and poise.”
TB: How would you describe the Marina Raphael woman while you design?
MR: The Marina Raphael woman is not defined by trends. She is defined by her confidence and elegance. The kind of woman I have in mind while designing, is able to showcase her personality through her own unique style and she is not afraid to experiment and mix and match vintage pieces with upcoming and established luxury brands. That is why I love seeing so many incredible and strong individuals around the world being creative and coming up with versatile ways to wear my designs such as a crossbody, over the shoulder or even as a belt bag.
TB: What are your favorite colors for a handbag?
MR: One of my favorite things about the creative process is choosing a new color palette for every new collection. Even though I had been mostly known for my love for neutral tones such as beige, caramel and black, I have always wanted to experiment further with a more fresh and rich color scheme. This is evident in our new AW22 collection, where one can find along with our staple tones of caramel, white and black, shades of ciel and grey complemented by textures like saffiano leather and lana wool. We also have some exciting collaborations coming up this season which experiment with much wilder colors and crystals. Watch out for those as they are perfect for the festive season.
TB: What makes your brand stand out in the market?
MR: Our designs are supported by ethos and culture. Marina Raphael has become recognized for strong, architectural silhouettes that push the boundaries of what is expected of a handbag. Like our collaboration with Swarovski where we created a functional bag out of a single piece of crystal. But I am equally proud of our values that make us stand out as a business. Marina Raphael is a fast-growing sustainable luxury handbag brand that promotes environmental consciousness and inclusivity without compromising aesthetics and affordability. As a luxury brand, we really pride ourselves on the incredible work environment we have created in such short period of time. We have instilled a work culture that is aligned with modern day values of tolerance, where every employee is treated with the same level of respect and given equal opportunity to shine. I believe it is the combination of our strong values, progressive work environment and our extraordinary team which have made us so successful in the short time we have been operational. Moreover, we constantly think of new ways to operate without negatively impacting our environment. By using local Italian artisans and modern production techniques, we have achieved a near-zero-waste policy that will set an ambitious standard for the future of sustainable fashion.
TB: How should one style their Marina Raphael bag?
MR: As a fashion designer, my biggest goal is to design for all these incredible individuals around the globe and inspire them to wear my creations and make them truly their own. I encourage everyone to wear their Marina Raphael bag in a way that showcases their identity and makes them feel truly empowered. Since our bags are designed to be classic pieces that never go out of style and fit in with every trend or season, I love seeing our customers carrying them from day to night and styling them either for a casual day of errands or a glamorous night out.
* This interview by Tanja Beljanski first appeared in the November 2022 issue of L'Officiel Arabia.