Marina Rafael: Swarovski sixth generation forges her own path
Marina Raphael, a business management graduate, and a descendant of the Swarovski family forges her own path follwing the launch of her own handbag brand.
Marina Raphael honors family heritage with handbag brand. The sixth Swarovski generation, a business management graduate from King’s College, launched her own handbag line in 2018. The recently built entrepreneur, and designer showcases her collection of handbags on her website. The brand has equally gained remarkable prominence through numerous partnerships with fashion names such as Luisaviaroma, Moda Operandi and Harrods as well as specialty stores worldwide, such as Elyse Walker in California, Lianne Tio Luxury in Rotterdam, Esmeralda in POrta Cervo, among others.
The ‘made in Italy’ brand mostly operates locally, with the majority of its suppliers situated in the country, the same market from which almost all of its raw materials are sourced from, explicitly around the quarter of Florence, the city renowned for its first-rate leather.
The chain of production that derives in Italy, where the bags are crafted, then journeys to Austria where Swarovski undertakes the quality control of each product. The final halt of the products is in Greece, where a final quality check takes place before distribution to the brand’s retailers and customers eventuate.
“I always incorporate crystals in my designs, even in the most discrete forms, such as a crystal zipper, which are of course sourced by Swarovski, as an ode to my heritage,” says the founder of the brand, Marina Raphael, to MDS.
The founder of the company confides that she is positive that the first flagship store of the brand will be a success, this estimation follows the positive reaction received subsequent to the pop-up store that opened a few months back for the festive season. Although there aren’t currently plans for the brand to enter a new market, the owner, however, discloses to be open to opportunities that may arise. She adds that she is, “even willing to explore new product categories,” hinting that handbags may just be the starting point for the newly born Italian brand.
So far, all the products from each season have sold out
Although quite fresh in the market, the youthful company has managed to conquer the hearts of consumers and retailers. Despite the fact the number of products sold was not disclosed, “we are extremely lucky that almost all our products from each season are sold out and, more specifically, in the period of the last six months, we have seen a tremendous increase in sales,” said the designer.
The innovative company which is on the quest to redefine fashion rules and to empower its end-consumer through statement pieces, timeless products that bear no restrictions when it comes to ages nor style, “the women in my family also played a very important role as they have always been a great source of inspiration, that is why I chose to create handbags, an accessory that can be worn by anyone,” said Raphael. The designer’s entrepreneurial abilities started manifesting at the early of fifteen, the proactive teenage, now adult, designer, and founder of her own brand ventured into event planning as she sought her calling outside the family’s business, which now bears her own name, Marina Raphael.
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