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Marina Raphael On How A Good Handbag Should “Start A Conversation”

The glittering handbag designer tells us about establishing her accessories universe.

"A good handbag should be a conversation starter," says Marina Raphael, a designer who knows how to do just that. She launched her eponymous label in 2018 with the goal of pushing the boundaries of handbag design, and she has managed to build a brand known for its glitz and glamour, catching the attention of everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Katie Holmes.

"I wanted Marina Raphael to inspire women to demand more from their accessories," she says of her motivation for starting the line. "We stand out in an exceedingly saturated market for our wearable objet d'arts that create a lasting impact." The label sells statement, structural bags, some of which are completely covered in eye-catching crystals (Raphael is descended from the Swarovski family, after all), but they are never impractical.

"A purse is pointless if it is not useful, but a well-thought-out utilitarian accessory for busy, modern ladies is what builds a devoted consumer." We focus on shape, utility, and quality via our incredible workmanship, so we have an immaculate foundation from which to be creative." "A purse is pointless if it is not useful, but a well-thought-out utilitarian accessory for busy, modern ladies is what builds a devoted consumer." We focus on shape, utility, and quality via our incredible workmanship, so we have an immaculate foundation from which to be creative." "I wanted to push the boundaries of what a staple item is," she says. "I enjoy incorporating surprising gemstones into our designs or going absolutely over the top by incorporating graphic and architectural elements into our items for impact." A good handbag should be placed on a table rather than on the floor."

Raphael is both the creative director and CEO of her own firm, which allows her to "always guarantee that creative decisions are guided by strong commercial objectives" - yet, while the company has developed swiftly in a few short years, it hasn't always been simple. "Being a new designer is undoubtedly difficult since you are competing not only with other emerging businesses, but also with major fashion houses." One of the most difficult issues I've had is retailers and the press questioning my expertise because of my age - but my team and I have shown differently through hard work, devotion, and tenacity."

The Covid-19 epidemic arrived just two years into company, bringing with it a slew of problems, but Marina Raphael emerged stronger. "During the epidemic, social media had a key part in the growth of my brand." The uplifting aspect of how we use gemstones lends itself incredibly nicely to it." Coming out of lockdown also altered customer behaviour, something Raphael claims she has seen significantly. They now care more about how products are made and who they invest in, she believes. This has been advantageous to her business.

Kate owns more than one Aspinal purse, including the Mayfair Midi. During a visit to a children's hospice in 2019, she wore the Blue Heart handbag. This one was created in collaboration with Beulah London, another of Kate's favourite brands, and while it is sadly no longer available, we have found a similar style for you. What's more, guess what? It is also available for purchase.

"The future of good business is sustainable and responsible fashion." This statement is supported by sales we have seen over the years from customers who want to learn more about the craftsmanship and eco-friendliness of a brand as they cautiously move away from fast fashion and invest in timeless and classic pieces. "It became clear, especially after the pandemic, that it was critical to re-examine the meaning of fashion and the values it allowed people to convey - choosing certain brands or designers is now more than ever a statement of values, and I love seeing this behavioural shift."

Raphael's ultimate goal is to create "contemporary heirlooms" - handbags that may be passed down from generation to generation. She has created a brand that mixes timelessness with buzz by focusing on workmanship, high-quality materials, and ecologically conscientious production, as well as embracing much of the razzle dazzle that lends itself so well to social media - and this is only the beginning.

Marina Raphael will soon be expanding its product line, creating cosmetic pouches and cardholders to complement the bags. There are also several exciting collaborations on the horizon. "We are unquestionably on our way to establishing an accessories universe."


Prada’s Cleo shoulder bag draws inspiration from vintage Prada. Given its streamlined and elegant design, it is easy to understand why it has been such a big hit with fashion editors and influencers worldwide. (VAT included, £2,300) This Prada Cleo shoulder bag, made of black leather, will be your top option for every outfit. And it’s not just the colour, either.

With advice from a celebrity stylist and a fashion buyer, the most significant bag trends for 2023 are here to help you get the new year off to a great start.

1. Belt Bags
2. Super Size
3. Hard Shell
4. Drippy
5. Utilitarian Pockets
6. Top Handle
7. Chainmail
8. Extreme Minimalism
9. Floral
10. Sequins & Rhinestones


The purse you once cherished gradually degrades, and before you realise it, all left is a shell of what it once was. Everyone is guilty of neglecting the maintenance of their handbag, but if you’ve ever had to part with a purse you adored, you now realise how important it is to properly maintain them.

Fortunately, professionals who specialise in professional purse cleaning exist, making it simple to get your expensive handbag back to its pre-damaged state. Don’t let a fantastic bag get stained. Baby wipes are an excellent emergency spot-cleaning method for those little everyday accidents.

If you adore handbags and can’t imagine going a day without carrying one, you should be aware of the various available styles.
1. Shoulder Bag
2. Satchel
3. Sling Bag
4. Quilted Bag
5. Clutch
6. Minaudiere
7. Hobo Bag
8. Wristlet
9. Beach Bag
10. Wallet