The hunt for the absolute perfect leather handbag is very similar to the one for the absolute perfect pair of high heeled shoes: it seems almost impossible to find them, and when you do, chances are that the objects of your desire do not actually fit into your own lifestyle. Elena Karavasili is a very young and exceptionally talented handbag designer who is here to prove all cliches wrong. Her work is flawless, and her stubborn love for minimalism seems to form exactly what women need: elegant handbags that can follow you throughout the day, transforming every outfit. Never loud, always in a subtle way. I stumbled upon her designs a few months ago, and was instantly smitten. These are the handbags every gentlewoman should carry along, I thought to myself.
Established in 2015, Elena Karavasili is a contemporary handbag brand conceptualised and designed in London. The designer taps into her Greek heritage and international background to create a minimal collection of accessories.
Luxuriously handcrafted by Spanish artisans, the brand’s creations stay true to the values and techniques of traditional craftsmanship.
Inspired by the movements of Minimalism and Classicism, Elena Karavasili creates precise designs, executed in high-end materials such as nappa leather, pony skin, nubuck from Italy, and carrara marble from Greece. The seasonal subdued color palettes further highlight the simplicity of each piece.
The brand envisions a handbag that transforms traditional leather goods into progressive designs with functional aspects, based on the needs of he modern woman.
This talented young woman takes us into a minimalistic and luxurious atmosphere, by discovering stunning colors and carefully crafted leathers. Muted tones of underbrush, animal skins and sophisticated monochromes are part of each collection. and, yes, the leathers sourced, are from the highest grade and environmental certified, to ensure the final product adheres to the brand’s quality standards.
As for the designer, Elena Karavasili graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York and subsequently from London College of Fashion. Having established a distribution and loyal following in Greece, her home country, she is now addressing an international audience. Need I really say more?
“I wanted to create a brand that is minimalistic in its aesthetics, functional in its design, feels luxurious and is attainable“, she says smiling.
ON PERSONAL STYLE
Who is your favorite fashion designer in the world?
I love Issey Miyake’s work.
What perfume do you wear?
BERGAMOTE 22 by Le Labo.
What watch do you wear?
Which are your favorite colors?
Black! And neutrals.
Name the one piece of clothing, jewelry or accessory you simply could not imagine life without.
Skinny black jeans and vintage round sunglasses.
Which fabric describes you and your personal style best?
Linen, because it can be very versatile.
Name the woman you have looked up to, while growing up. Who inspired you to be the woman you have become?
My ballet teacher because she taught me discipline and how hard work pays off.
What is the first thing you would teach your daughter, in things style?
Always feel comfortable with what you wear and don’t pay too much attention to trends.
Name the most stylish woman (dead or alive).
What inspires you the most for your designs?
The main characteristic in my designs is the linear pipping technique created to evoke a linearity and decorative simplicity. This derived from the texture found in the columns of many Greek monuments.
When did you know that this is exactly what you wanted to do?
I think it was in high school I always loved art & fashion, I remember when I was 15 I organized a fashion show with recyclable materials. Since then I fell in love with seeing a creation come to life.
Is the Greek / Mediterranean -heritage-influence visible in your collections? As part of who you are?
Definitely. Ancient Greek principles of art such as symmetry and balance are the foundations of my designs and also reflect the way I view life.
How important are the components/materials used? What really constitutes luxury, when it comes to exquisite accessories?
In order to create a truly contemporary accessory there must be transparency in its production and that starts from the materials. Making sure that the leather I select doesn’t cause any pollution like water contamination in its tanning procedure is crucial to me. Allowing the material qualities to speak in each design and knowing the product’s whole production process in my opinion constitutes luxury.
Who is really the woman in your imagination/creation process? What does she look like? How does she think?
My dream client looks at fashion and accessories as an investment and appreciates craftsmanship and the timeless attributes of the materials used. She doesn’t have a specific image, but reflects a confident and dynamic lifestyle with strong values.
What can we expect from you in the future? What will be different?
I would love to collaborate with artists and create leather goods with a cultural message. It is hard to say what will be different, but as the brands grown so will the designs and options available to the customers. Adding some customizable features is something I am really excited about.
Where do you imagine yourself to be ideally in –say- ten years from now, professionally speaking?
I imagine myself still working on my brand and expanding into other accessories.