From a very young age Marina was passionate about the world of fashion and the evolution of design. Motivated and ambitious, at the age of 15, she ventured into the business world by managing events. It was the challenge of fabricating new concepts that enthralled her and helped her to develop a mindset that creativity has no boundaries.
Marinas' keen eye for detail borderlines an obsessive and meticulous pursuit for perfection, that stems from her heritage, the Swarovski brand. Entrepreneurial endeavours, aspiration for innovation and dedication to one’s kin are the lifeblood of the family DNA, and Marina is no exception. Born to a Swiss-Austrian mother and a Greek father, the designer has a natural affinity for exploration. Through her travels across the world, it has been her exposure to architecture, art and a variety of cultures that have instilled her global vision and helped her create a brand whose design speaks to an international audience.
Inspired by the women in her family, visionary and influential in their own right, Marina has set out to begin her own luxury brand in 2018 with the aim of empowering women. The designer believes that “dressing for any occasion should excite and engage the mind, awakening a wish to create, seeing a canvas in oneself, and in their wardrobe, a palette of colours."
Marina finished her studies of Business Management at King's College London in 2019, and continues to explore the horizons of the fashion industry.
"Dressing for any occasion should excite and engage the mind"
The Design Philoshophy
Creativity is defined only by the limits we set ourselves. Revolutionizing the traditional approach to design Marina Raphael empowers women to shape the art of dressing by their own rules. Sophistication and elegance are standards we set in all our creations that forge a timeless addition to the wardrobe. Made for women of today who move through the modern world with a sense of purpose and poise, we focus on bringing to the forefront of each collection values of function, form and feeling. Fostering a culture of continuous reinvention we aspire to provide an aesthetic that ignites and engages the mind. We aim to give life to wearable objects d’artes that leave a lasting impression and accentuate a woman's innate elegance.
A touch of genuine quality is instantly recognised and remembered. Made by hand in Florence, Italy, in the heart of the famed luxury leather goods district, our visions are brought to life by skilled artisans. Every seam, stitch and stud on all Marina Raphael products are crafted to the most exacting standards. The delicate surfaces are soft to the touch, and pleasing to the eye offering a refined feminine finish. We insist on flawless execution by sourcing the highest quality of raw materials and only the finest skins.
Setting conventional archetypes aside, Marina Raphael seeks to define the term of ‘the modern pioneer’. Evolving with the pace of technology is what sets us apart as we introduce bold creations that respect the benchmarks of classic design, while exploring modern materials and ambitious techniques.
The difference between a product and a masterpiece is passion. With a vision to create pieces that exude skill and marvel, Marina sets to find inspiration from the energy found in the natural and modern world. The designer creates pieces that would be recognisable and captivating from a distance but reveal intrigue and artistry upon closer inspection.
Our Sustainable Vision
Our respect for the environment and humanity is translated to a work ethic we hold very dear. Sustainability is integral to our value proposition as we make sure that the creation of each handbag is a result of unwavering dedication and impeccable craftsmanship. By employing the knowledge and experience of skillful artisans, we can ensure the most efficient utilization of natural capital. Simultaneously, the implementation of a near-0-waste policy, coupled with our fastidious efforts of upcycling, help us take part in the restorative era.
Our commitment to partnering with local men and women, situated in Tuscany, serves the purpose of infusing every step of production with their proficiency and dexterity, as well as a skillset passed down to generations. The passion for artistry underlines the essence of luxury that characterizes each statement piece we produce, establishing all our designs as timeless. Rigorous monitoring provides the optimum usage of materials, decreasing our waste through an absolute precision the masterful hands of artisans are able to accomplish, as we prioritize the support for these local communities.
We have made it our mission to continuously refine our processes and invent new ways to make mindful use of all our remaining materials, pushing our creative boundaries to reinvent them in new forms. By vigilantly tanning small quantities of leather, we consume less water and energy and through selecting top quality leather materials such as napa, suede as well as eco-wool, we introduce biodegradable properties to the bags, conscious of our environmental impact.
Our core partner, Swarovski, not only overlooks the production as a whole, but also shares our deep commitment to this planet.
Special Projects And Giving Back
It is important for us to partner with people who are aligned with our ethics and share our vision of creating a better tomorrow. It is in this spirit that Marina Raphael collaborated with the Black Jaguar - White Tiger Foundation in 2020. The sanctuary for endangered animals is based in Mexico and tirelessly works with the country’s government to provide hundreds of rescued species, that are born in captivity, with a loving home and the necessary food and best medical assistance available. Eduardo Serio, along with the help of devoted colleagues, friends and millions of loyal followers, has rescued over 400 (and counting) Big Felines, as well as over 300 other species , such as Bears, Coyotes, Birds and Monkeys, all of which came from a life of abuse in circuses, zoos and breeders.
Both Eduardo and the BJWT Foundation hold a special place in Marina Raphael’s heart. Her admiration for this incredible cause did not go unnoticed, as Eduardo named a lioness after her, to honor her strong advocacy for the cause.
The designer has created a limited collection of Swarovski crystal bracelets and notepads, which can be found on www.blackjaguarwhitetiger.org, in order to support Eduardo’s mission and spread their message of love, respect and unity. The accessories have raised $20,000 thus far and Marina Raphael aims to continue this collaboration by designing new items each season and contributing 100% of the proceeds to the organization’s fund raise.
Additionally, Marina Raphael actively supports organizations such as Mana, Elpida and the Macmillan Cancer Support, that offer support and care to all groups of people that are suffering from cancer.