Khirma Eliazov launched her namesake collection after years of working as an accessories editor for multiple major fashion publications. Who better to launch a successful handbag and small accessories line than someone who has literally seen everything in the market? Since 2009, Eliazov has been designing luxurious leather and exotic skin bags that are uniquely created for style and comfort. In addition to being carried in the most acclaimed retailers around the world, four years ago, Eliazov opened her first shop in the West Village, New York City.
Having spent a majority of your career in the fashion industry, what can you say was your biggest learning curve as a designer?
Production and finding a way to design that doesn’t stifle your creativity, but allows you still to execute something beautiful and well made that allows margin for profitability.
Was starting your own brand something that you’ve always wanted to do?
Not always, but after I worked as an editor and then spent so much time working with brands and designers on their marketing and brand strategies, I realized I really wanted to create a brand. It’s so amazing to be able to envision something, execute the idea, and have someone else enjoy it.
I love that all of the names of your bags represent women that you admire. How did that idea come about?
Actually the bags represent women who I not only admire, but have been an integral part of helping me build the brand. They have made so much of this journey possible and enjoyable.
Where do you source some of your exotic materials?
We source our exotic materials from all over the globe. They are all farm raised and humanely sourced. I’ve been very adamant about checking into all the tanneries and factories we work with.
How long did it take to develop the most comfortable cuts for your handwoven handles and adjustable shoulder straps? Why was that such an important detail to you?
The shoulder strap is handwoven because I always hated having my favorite bag that I couldn’t wear cross body without hurting my shoulder. The straps are woven not only for the signature and beauty aspect but also for the comfort. I want all my bags to feel like a present you are buying yourself that’s not only beautiful, but also smartly created to suit your needs.
Can you describe a bit of your design process?
I’m very inspired by my travels and the architectural details and colors I see. When I get back from a trip, I lay out all photos of the trip and pull my inspiration from those locations. I also spend a lot of time speaking with customers of ours on how to improve on styles they love and items they need in the market they are unable to find. Then the design process begins from there!
The pretty purple lining in your bags has become an easy trademark of your brand. Why did you choose this color?
I wanted something that was bold and regal and distinct. I love the idea of opening a bag and being surprised by the bold color inside.
What are your favorite handbag trends for Fall 2016?
The saddle bag is my favorite trend for Fall. I think it’s a beautiful, relevant and incredibly useful shape. It inspired me to create our new bag the Dee Dee saddlebag. I love it so much so that I gave it two flaps.
To say that your collections have been well received is quite the understatement. What has been your biggest accomplishment with the brand thus far?
I’m actually really grateful for every accomplishment because they have all played an integral role in the one that came after and the ones still to come.
What’s next for Khirma New York?
We are launching our first all leather line and I’m so excited about it. We’ve had so many requests for everyday bags in the designs I’ve made in all leather. I was waiting for the perfect time to launch it and I believe Spring 2017 is it!
Describe the “Khirma woman” in three words.
Fearless, feminine and smart.