Fräulein speaks with Marina Raphael:
You were born in Greece. What is your relationship to the country?
I have lived in Athens my whole life, and at this point in time I cannot imagine myself living anywhere else. Other than having my family and friends here, I also love the country and the people. Even though I had the chance to live in the UK for 3 years, while I was studying Business Management at Kings College London, Greece truly feels like home.
How did it come you decided to base your company in Greece?
I honestly believe in the potential that there is here in Greece. The people are extremely hardworking and there are many highly educated individuals who are not offered enough opportunities to thrive. My team in Greece is proof of that statement. Without them, I wouldn’t have achieved as much as I have in such a short period of time! I really believe that a Greek brand can meet international standards.
Are you proud to be part of the Swarovski family?
Being part of such an entrepreneurial family is something I am very proud of. It helped me realize how important it is to create something of meaning, as the Swarovski brand was built on the vision of the founder, Daniel Swarovski, who wanted to create “a diamond for everyone”. Today, I try to live up to the legacy set by my ancestors, and carve my own path, by creating accessories that empower everyone carrying them, allowing individuals to feel confident in their own skin.
Due to you being part of the famous Swarovski family, would you say that it helped launching and boosting your brand?
Growing up I was very lucky to be exposed to the world of business and fashion. I am fortunate to have strong, confident, passionate, and hardworking women as my role models, and had the chance to learn early on about the value of quality and attention to detail. Knowing how each single Swarovski crystal is cut to perfection, with such meticulousness, inspired me to instill high craftsmanship into my own brand. That is why I make sure that each stitch and seam on every Marina Raphael design is made with the same detail and precision as a Swarovski crystal.
What inspired your brand?
The strong women in my family. These sophisticated and elegant women have been my muses during my journey of building my own brand. Their innate poise and the endless support they have shown me is something I try to translate into my bags, as I strive to make every person carrying my creations feel as confident and chic as they are.
What is your future goal?
My goal is to grow my company on a more international level and keep creating modern investment pieces that adhere to the highest quality standards. I would love to explore new ideas and design concepts through collaborations. I really believe that conversations with other creative individuals open your mind to new possibilities and push your creative boundaries. Looking forward, I would also love to expand my retailers, and eventually open my own flagship stores!
You and Evangelie are friends. How long have you been friends?
We have been friends for about 2 years now, but it feels like much longer! When you really click with another person, you feel like you have known each other for a whole lifetime! Although we might not meet up on a regular basis, we know that we are both there for one another when it really matters. We have many things in common, and our personalities complement each other so well, that whenever we meet up, it’s as if not a day went by.
You and Evangelie coincidentally sat next to each other on a flight coming from Paris Fashion Week. How did it come that at this point you decided to collaborate? How did the idea of a party bag with 5000 Swarovski crystals form?
It was Evangelie that actually proposed this collaboration and came up with the idea of a fully crystalized micro handbag. Once I heard her vision, I instantly fell in love! We are both crystal lovers, and could not wait to create a bag that really embodies all the fun we have when we are together. Crystals bring out a sense of joy and happiness and remind me of my favorite time of the year- the winter holiday season!
Why did you choose the colors black and pink?
We chose the two handles as an ode to one’s adventurous duality that shifts from classic spirit, depicted in the black handle, to edgy modernity, with the pink fluorescent handle. The two colors are also a symbolism for mine and Evangelie’s complimentary presence!