Courtesy of Marina Raphael

Fashion Designer

Marina Raphael

Charlotta Poppius / August 16, 2019

Before accessories designer Marina Raphael got into fashion, she was managing events. As part of the Swarovski clan she has always been surrounded by artists and photographers, fashion and interior designers and has been exposed to incredible gatherings.

How do you choose what to go to and what to avoid?

It is very important to attend events that have some emotional significance. Whether it is supporting a friend, a family member or an organization that is working on making a positive change in the world, I always try to show my support by attending these occasions.

How long does it take you to get ready?

If it is something like a red carpet event, where you also have this excitement of getting ready and choosing the perfect outfit, it obviously takes much longer than usual. That is because you are also thinking of how to combine it with the perfect hairstyle, jewellery, makeup and accessories. If it is something more casual, like a cocktail party, it takes significantly less time to get ready since you can just put on your favourite little black dress and be done in no time.

Born to a Swiss-Austrian mother and a Greek father, Raphael splits her time between Greece and the fashion capitals working on her eponymous line of handbags.

Any insider secrets on what to wear?

The most important thing for me is to feel confident in your own skin and to be true to your own personal sense of style. By dressing up with the aim of feeling good and not trying to impress others, you can instantly feel empowered to portray your unique personality. However, I also encourage everyone to take a few fashion risks because it helps you define and outline what truly speaks to you in regards to dressing up.

What is your arrival strategy?

I don’t really have one as I feel it depends on the event and the organization hosting it. Usually, if it is a big event, there is a time slot, but even if there isn’t one, I am generally the type of person who likes to be on time. When you walk in, I believe it is important that you always greet the host first and thank them for having you. Most of the time, though, hosts have very limited time to offer you as they tend to be going around making sure that everyone is having a great time.

What is your drink of your choice?

I believe that you can never go wrong with an Aperol Spritz. It is such a light and fun drink that is perfect for every occasion.

Where do you stand on event food?

I am more of a fan of a buffet and finger food, because it gives you a chance to socialize more with the rest of the guests and it creates a more relaxed atmosphere to the event. Whereas if it is a seated dinner it is more difficult to meet and talk to people since everyone is specifically placed. Of course, it really depends on the type of event, but generally I believe it is very important, from a hospitality perspective, to offer food at any event, even if it is a small cocktail party.

Do you dance or decline?

I definitely dance! I am also a huge 1980s fan so as soon as I hear any music from that decade I immediately head to the dance floor. Good music can really make or break the atmosphere of an event, and by making sure that people will want to dance to the music you play, you can instantly elevate the mood and excitement of any party.

How to you incorporate social media when you are attending an event?

Personally, I believe it is meaningful to incorporate social media in social events because it allows you to share the effort that has been put in and the inspiration behind it, as well as offer new ideas and perspectives. So much work, love and detail goes into each event that should be recognized and seen by as many people as possible. However, if is a more intimate event with family and friends, it is more important to be present, rather than spend time engaging with social media outlets.

What is the best event you have ever been to?

Some of my favourite things to attend are fashion-related events, because I want to show my support for this industry that I am so passionate about. I recently attended the Resort 2019 Jacquemus show in Aix-en-Provence and it amazed me how it was so beautifully immersed in the French countryside and how it really highlighted the nature surrounding the area. I also loved attending the British Fashion Awards that Swarovski was very fortunate to be a part of. It was really important to me that I was able to be there, as not only was I supporting my family, but I also wanted to show my appreciation and support to the British Fashion Council for all their incredible work in the fashion industry. This cause is especially dear to my heart as I have just entered it myself with my luxury handbag brand.

What are your favourite kinds of events?

I tend to prefer events where you get a chance to meet new people and support a good cause. Increasing social awareness about many important topics of today is something I am passionate about and being able to meet like-minded people who share this passion for doing something that can make a true change to the world is really inspiring to me.

What comes to mind when you think about favourite venues?

My favourite venues have to be the ones that have a story behind them. I really like attending (and hosting) events in places that have a cultural and historical significance. I personally hosted my SS19 presentation at the Goulandris National History Museum which has a special meaning to me as it has a remarkable history behind it and I am lucky enough to also be one of its collectors.

What makes a great event?

The atmosphere, the music and the people attending. These three factors, I find, to be the key to a successful event, as it created a welcoming feel to all guests and allows them to enjoy every moment of it.


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