Marina Raphael of Swarovski family to present her luxury leather goods label in Paris
Marina Raphael, 21, a recent graduate in Business Management at King’s College, London, has been at the helm of her eponymous leather goods label for just over a year. The high-end Marina Raphael label has already won over several leading physical and online retailers like Harrods and online luxury specialists Moda Operandi and LuisaViaRoma, and is also available in the boutiques of many luxury hotels. One of Marina Raphael's assets is that its founder and leader is a member of the sixth generation of the Swarovski family, owner of the world-renowned crystal business.
“Swarovski doesn't have a financial stake in [Marina Raphael] but is a great help to me. For example, I use their quality control office, and they are highly demanding. They also put me in touch with top suppliers, and they provide advice and assistance on crystal appliqué, since each of the handbag models in my collection is decorated, more or less discreetly, with crystals. It is all part of my heritage,” said Raphael, who is Swiss-Austrian on her mother’s side, the Swarovski one, and Greek on her father's. Raphael, who speaks five languages, grew up in Greece, where she has also based her company.
Marina Raphael handbags are produced in Italy, in workshops near Florence, and are priced between €590 and €1,500. They have an evergreen appeal, their generous volumes making them ideal everyday accessories. The best-selling item is the Riviera, available in leather, suede and in a summery raffia version.
“I’m aware of the fact that my handbags are an investment. But I regard them as items that can be handed down to the next generation, not as something you discard when the season is over,” said Raphael, who has 12,000 Instagram followers. She is a typical example of the entrepreneurs of her generation: always connected, very keen on travelling but also taking care to produce in a responsible fashion. “I can’t say that Marina Raphael is a 100% sustainable label, but I’m working on it and I’m trying to find the right solutions. I make small production runs, I use leather offcuts from leading labels for certain parts of the handbags, and I’ve cut down on plastic usage. The Spring/Summer 2020 collection will be plastic-free,” said Raphael.
The label’s next step is to boost its retail footprint and enter the French market. Marina Raphael will present the Spring/Summer 2020 collection to buyers in a Parisian showroom during the next Paris Fashion Week Women's, scheduled from February 24 to March 3.
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