I'm a fan of distinctive accessories that tell a unique story. That's exactly why designer Khirma Eliazov's innovative clutches and handbags caught my eye three years ago when we first met at Henri Bendel. She was holding one of her first trunk shows after debuting her line. We talked about her inspiration and use of exotic skins like python, stingray, and crocodile. I was blown away by her fresh point of view. Eliazov definitely knows her accessories; she has worked as a freelance accessories editor for fashion magazine giants like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Teen Vogue and Glamour. That night at the trunk show, I scored a perfect purple leather stingray purse adorned with a gorgeous gold chain strap. The chain could also be worn as a necklace, Eliazov explained. Genius. It had been inspired by a similar chain design her grandmother had worn. Sweet! Since then, Eliavoz's unique pieces have been one of my favorite, with a list of celebrity fans that include Sienna Miller, Jennifer Lopez, Blake Lively and Alessandra Ambrosio.
Fast-forward to present day and Eliazov's designs can be found in over 50 department stores and boutiques around the world, including Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel, Intermix and one other extra special location: Eliavoz's very own boutique which opened last week in NYC's West Village at 102 Charles Street. At the grand opening last Wednesday, the chic locale was filled to the brim with family, friends, eager press and well-wishers. Some special attendees included Eliazov's close friends, whom many of her bags are named after. The Khirma Eliazov team is a close knit bunch that has been with her since the beginning. "My whole team is this amazing, passionate group of people that believe in the brand, believe in me and are like, 'let's get it done.' Everyone that works for me started as an intern. It's the funniest thing. And they all just stayed and they've made it happen, really. It's a team effort. It's definitely not just me."
The 850 square-foot boutique, designed in partnership with interior specialist Valerie Pasquiou, is meant to feel like you have just entered the designer's closet. It's a spectacular space. Upon entry, you're greeted with an army of stunning clutches hanging from the ceiling. (Could this possibly be what heaven looks like?) Towards the right, lies a dream-like mountain of exotic bags and clutches. Fresh flowers line the walkway. It's divine. In addition to bags, there are clothing, shoes, jewelry and beauty offered at the space, from designers KBL Eyewear, Kelsey Quan jewelry, La Soula fine jewelry, Sachin and Babi and Theodora & Callum scarves; many of them friends of Elaizov. Her showroom and office space is located behind the boutique. There, the walls are lined with Spring inspiration, fabric and art.
Along with the new store, Eliazov has another achievement to celebrate: the launch of e-commerce on her store's site khirmaeliazov.com. Now fashionistas near and far can indulge themselves with striking clutches and bags. Soon, the growing brand will expand into bracelets made of Swarovski crystals, the perfect accompaniment to an arm party. As the drinks flowed and hors d'oeuvres were passed, more and more people arrived to check out the new digs. I had never seen so much love for a brand. It was a true testament to the designer's warm and infectious personality. She has so much passion and excitement for her line, you just want to see her succeed. Eliazov's boutique opening was one of the most heart-warming industry events I've been to in a long time and I look forward to seeing her next venture. I'll be there to fete the occasion. Cheers and congratulations, Khirma! To see more images of the handbags and boutique opening, go to my blog: JoyLovesFashion.com.