BY: MIRVAT GHANEM/ @Mrs.M
What secret lies behind the uniqueness of your brand?
I am independently owned company, meaning I have no investors pushing me to cut quality to raise profit margins. I pride myself on workmanship and unique design. You will not find a TE logo on the exterior of any of my products because I believe in Italian craftsmanship, practical functionality, exquisite materials and eye-catching silhouettes. My seasonless collections are named after meaningful places rather than chronologically because I design pieces that are meant to remain relevant for generations to come. As the late, great Karl Lagerfeld said, “Trendy is the last phase before tacky.”
“I pride myself on workmanship and unique design..”
How would you evaluate the success of you brand from last year?
Last year I traveled to the Middle East, Europe and Asia expanding my brands global footprint, which got me thinking about the intrinsic value of websites. In today’s world, sites are becoming more and more important because they act as a brand’s international storefront and I decided I needed to up my game. I spent the last few months working to make my site as informative as possible in an engaging, exciting and easy to navigate way. From spinning Swarovski clutches to top celebrity sightings to the latest Awards Shows to personal images of me and the owners of my factory, my new site is filled with visual stimulations, engaging articles, behind the scenes information about my signature details and of course, all my timeless designs. When you have a moment, please go check it out – we ship internationally 😉
How many collections do you launch in a year?
I typically design two larger collections each year while also creating new silhouettes and colorways throughout. I recently launched Bespoke by Tyler Ellis, which offers our clients a personally tailored experience that connects you directly with a member of our dedicated concierge team to customize your one-of-a-kind handbag. We work with personal stylists to curate multiple looks for their client’s jet-setting lives and international red carpet galas, corporate event and wedding planners to deliver the perfect gifts for large affairs and much more.
Do you have a team that supports you creatively? What role do they play in improving the business?
I do not have a design team; all design is done solely by me and executed by the supremely talented, multi-generational Italian artisans at my factory. I do have a small team of A+ people who are essential to me and my business. In order to succeed, you need the back end of the company running efficiently so scalability is possible. Strategic PR and marketing advisors are also vital because brand awareness is incredibly valuable, especially when building a boutique luxury brand. The product is in the end what the consumer buys, but it takes a dedicated, insightful team of trusted advisors to move the brand to the next level. I am truly thankful for the special group of women and men working alongside me.
To what extent do your surroundings matter while creating a collection? How do you arrive at the final designs?
Prior to COVID-19, I would design most of my collections on my flights home from Italy, after visiting Lineapelle (the bi-annual leather fair) where tanneries showcase their new leather/skin collections and I choose samples. It was me, my swatches, my notebook and 12 hours with zero distractions, allowing me to focus purely on design with the fair still fresh in mind. I am unsure about the status of Lineapelle this fall, but because I wasn’t able to attend the winter fair earlier this year, I designed my Spring/Summer 2021 collection from home, and included a few skins from a previous season that I had treated with a lamination effect giving them a fresh vibe. I’m incredibly excited about SS’ 21 as it’s filled with electric, bright colors and exciting new shapes!
Tell us about your latest Spring Summer 2020 collection? Where is it sold in Dubai? Are you planning to open any standalone stores in the region or worldwide?
My SS’20 collection is called Piuma Road, named after a beautiful street in Malibu Canyon that embodies southern California’s laidback roots, while exuding the romantic and timeless feeling of a bygone era. The rugged desert landscape emboldens the rich Italian leathers with colours reminiscent of the morning sky. I chose electrifying lizard hides and supple snakeskins, pairing them with my classic silhouettes. The dramatic juxtaposition of textures and hues highlights the rarefied beauty of each design – eternal jewels that will last a lifetime and more.
Currently, I do not have plans to open any stand-alone stores. I’m waiting to see how the retail industry recovers from COVID-19 and re-evaluate as the situation evolves.
After investing in and creating accessories, do you have any plans to foray into jewelry, watches, and or perfumes? What are your future plans for the brand?
I’m in the process of finishing a large renovation on my home, which inspired me to create luxury homeware items. I’ve created quilted leather note pads, python floor pillows, fox tissue holders, alligator candle holders and Orylag blankets. I’m thinking about a luxe bathroom trash can next .
I would love to create a scent with my husband. He has an incredible nose and I’ve always wanted to design a vintage inspired perfume bottle!!
I’m also expanding my men’s collection…belts, cigar holders, golf score card holders, totes, attachés… we shall see where 2021 takes me!
“I am working on designing an exclusive collection for the brand..”
With all these commitments, where do you find time for yourself? Family and friends?
I am a huge believer in balancing work and pleasure. I can work from pretty much anywhere, providing internet availability, so my husband and I always try and tag on a personal trip when traveling for business. We aim to work smart and enjoy our life together.
Do you have any new projects planned for the Middle East region in the coming months?
I’m incredibly excited about a potential collaboration with a UAE based couture designer. I am a huge fan of her spectacular work, and my clutches have already been paired with her gowns on A-list Hollywood celebs! We are finalizing the details now, so we will keep you posted!!
I am also in talks with a luxury hotel brand, which also happens to include my favorite place to stay in Dubai! I am working on designing an exclusive collection for the brand. Think rich pops of color, island inspired prints and water-resistant totes…
Tell us more about your next collection – FW 2020. What is the inspiration behind it and what should your customers expect to see?
My FW 2020 collection is named Lyon, which is inspired by nature’s inherent beauty by embodying its vibrant hues. From unique silhouettes embellished in sparkling Swarovski crystals to exotics reminiscent of the rich hues of a Peacock’s feathers, these are eye-catching designs that will resonate for generations to come! The French countryside’s tranquil atmosphere allows one to step back and enjoy all of nature’s incredible gifts to humanity.