The luxury handbag brand Analeena can best be described in its own words; unadulterated luxury, unquestionable craftsmanship, undeniable art. With contemporary designs made by experienced craftsman using traditional techniques, Analeena’s collections recall luxury of a bygone era.
Created in 2008 by Lina H. who honed her skills working for Hermès and Gianfranco Ferre, Analeena aims to bring back the standards of true luxury that seem to have been lost in the masstige movement of recent years. Even as an emerging brand, Analeena has attracted the attention of the fashion and luxury lovers and has been adulated by celebrities. The brand has been dubbed the “Rolls Royce of handbags” by the fashion press and some pieces have been compared to the iconic bags of Hermès. Undeterred by her youth and the colossal size of the brands she is geared to compete with, Lina H. surges plods Analeena ahead with a clear vision and a sure talent. We caught up with Lina in Paris and asked her ten questions.
1. Analeena is a young brand yet already recognized as one of the few brands that still respect the true values of luxury? What led you to create Analeena particularly in view of the current economic challenges?
I was inspired and for me inspiration has a mind of its own. Inspiration may not necessarily be in line with the economic situation but it doesn’t matter. I was convinced it was the right time.
2. Your bags and small leather collections are made of exotic skins, mostly crocodile, lizard, python and ostrich. Why this choice of materials and not leather like other designers?
Analeena is pure luxury and that means using only the finest and most exquisite skins. For example, the inside of all my bags are lined with soft lambskin instead of the low-priced fabrics that most brands use. For me, luxury has to be respected to its highest standards.
3. In addition to being light-weight, Analeena’s bags are also known to feature innovative touches like the discreet umbrella sleeve underneath the bags; the elegant mini flashlight inside the bags; the sleek bag hanger and so on. Is innovation part of your brand’s DNA?
My approach is a mix of design, quality and practicality. A lady’s bag carries her daily necessities, so it needs to be light-weight yet durable. I see the innovative features as necessities. Imagine a situation where you cannot find your phone, lipstick or other items in your bag, it’s easy to use the flashlight to find them. The bag hanger is to give the Analeena bag a place at the table which it deserves! Haven’t you heard the saying, “bag on the floor, always be poor!”
4. Your bags are highly sought after although the starting price is $2,000 and the average price is $6,000. Has this pricing approach been a challenge or are your clients price insensitive?
Analeena customers understand quality, durability and true luxury. Our bags are made of the finest skins that exist and by the finest workmanship in Florence, Italy. They are a lifetime investment and an heirloom to be passed down from generation to generation. The older they get, the more beautiful they become. When you see an Analeena bag you quickly understand that they are priceless, so price tags become irrelevant.
5. You seem to have attained success for such a young brand. It’s well known that your first collection sold out within two weeks at Harrods in London. What is your secret?
Harrods is a great complement to Analeena as we share the same values. The Harrods customer understands Analeena because they appreciate true luxury. It’s a winning formula.
6. It is said that celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Moss are fans of your bags and others like Blake Lively and Dita Von Tesse have been spotted with your bags and clutches. We’ve also seen your bags on TV shows and on the red carpet. Have celebrities contributed to your success?
Celebrities have given my brand good visibility in addition to stores like Harrods, Bloomingdales and other retailers. I’ve also been lucky enough to receive wide and positive press coverage. Some magazines have even called Analeena the “Rolls Royce‟ of handbags and this is very flattering. They have all contributed to making Analeena better well known.
7. What about the internet and digital and social media? Have they contributed to the success of Analeena?
The spread of information and media about Analeena on the internet has been fantastic.
We are thankful to all our online fans and everyone that has contributed to spreading word about Analeena. The positive press and media have been widespread and unanimous.
8. What has been the biggest challenge for you in developing the Analeena brand?
Working with exotic skins can be challenging, from sourcing to production and even delivery. It is difficult sometimes but my passion keeps me going.
9. Do you have any advice for aspiring creators, designers and entrepreneurs in the luxury industry today?
Experience is crucial. Before launching your own brand it is enormously important to have gained as much insider knowledge and practice as possible in all areas from sourcing to production, logistics and even retail and marketing. And never take your “L” tag off as you will always be a learner.
10. If you were to give luxury a second name, what would it be?
To learn more about Analeena, visit www.analeena.com