Leona Erziak

Designer Leona Erziak is beautiful, talented, and empowered. Channeling that into her clothing line, Lena Erziak, the designer aims to bring quality pieces that will make you feel your very best. Shoes and clutches, these designer pieces are truly one of a kind! Having turned her dream into a reality, Leona pours all her heart and soul into every design she creates. Open to the different cultures and individuals in the world, she channels all their beauty as that is how we progress! Keep reading on and discover more of Leona Erziak!

Share with us the story of how you started your brand. What inspired you? 

It all started with a dream and a strong desire to design something that will make women feel empowered and beautiful. Since I am myself a shoe and vintage collector, it only made sense. I found inspiration everywhere: movies, art, architecture, travel (pre covid time), or just sitting staring at perfect strangers.

While creating the different pieces, what did you hope they would bring to the consumers? 

I don’t think that I ever thought of it that way. I was always more focused on telling a story, a dream, hoping women would feel beautiful when they wear a piece of my collection.

Describe to us was your brand means to you. 

My brand is like one of my babies. Lol, I put all my heart into it.

The clutches are gorgeous! How does the process of creating new pieces go?

Thank you. 🙂 . As you know, the Lena Erziak core  DNA is the old Holywood era revamped into our time. So I tend to think of this heroine that will carry my bag and where is she going. It all starts with a vision that will be drawn, then the search for a myriad of materials begins. Following this, it’s about finding the right workshop that has the technical knowledge to create the mold. Hopefully, this vision will come to life with the first Prototype, it’s like the caterpillar becoming the butterfly in a way. This process can take time or be super fast but I can’t tell you the joy and excitement to see your vision coming to life.

You also have shoes! Tell us more about your design process when creating them. 

We do make shoes. The shoes are pretty much the same except that you have the fitting process that is even more meticulous because you need to make sure that the shoe fits like a glove. Also, a simple shoe may have up to 80 different components. Luckily enough we are making them in Italy which is the nest of the maroquinerie and it definitely helps reassure us as they have centuries of knowledge under their belts.

When faced with challenges, how do you handle them? Can you share an example?

We always have challenges, it’s part of the process. As my mother once said, it’s not the challenge that is problematic but it’s how we answer to the problem that makes a difference. Finding solutions to problems and challenges always teach us something and makes us grow more than we know. I am a problem solver, I analyze and oversee the whole situation, then take action by trying to find solutions. Sometimes there is no solution and part of it is to accept it and know that you and your team tried your best. For example, one time, we were working with this factory in Tuscany, and they were supposed to ship. Unfortunately, the whole factory burned down. Luckily no one was hurt but the bottom line was our whole production went up in smoke…. I learned that I will never ever give my whole production to only one factory- lesson learned.

Growing up, what did fashion mean to you? How has your perspective on it evolved? 

My mother was a seamstress and as far as I recall we have been in contact and played with plenty of different fabrics. My vision of what fashion did evolve because today I am convinced that to have a sense of style is way more relevant than being fashionable. Fashion goes out of style but to possess a  sense of style that will never be out of fashion. Having an attitude, a degaine like we say in French is way more interesting than being fashionable.

Which one of your pieces best represents who you are? 

All of them and no one of them. I believe I am very sensitive to my mood and I dress and create accordingly.

Tell us a story about a time you did something completely unexpected. How did it turn out?

Sometimes you create things that you are sure your clients will love and it’s a total flop and sometimes you create something and while producing it you start doubting and almost want to cancel it from the show and turns out that the clients and press love it. This is the magic of it. You don’t get to decide, you just never know.

In what ways do you believe having different cultural backgrounds has opened your view on the world? on the world of fashion?

I believe the more you surround yourself with different cultural backgrounds the more interesting your vision will be. You become more sensitive, more open, more tolerant. You see things through different perspectives which can only make you more empathetic towards others and situations that are different from yours. It nourishes you in so many ways. I am Belgian / Moroccan born and raised in Brussels and later on moved to Paris and now NYC is home but also spent a few years in Florence and London. In my mind, there is no doubt that these experiences shaped me extraordinarily and more than any words can describe.  They made me the human that I am today.  At the end of the day, what makes something (fashion-wise) or someone interesting is their differences.

What exciting things are in store for the next year?

We wanted to be part of the solution and decided to go sustainable and only produce our clients’ orders. I am also working on a couture collection that you will see soon. We also just launched during Paris Fashion Week our baby sister “Colette by Lena Erziak” which is sustainable and you can find the collection at Colettebylenaerziak.com


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