Fashion, interior design, and travel are just a few things that come naturally for Anat Marin. Over the past seventeen years, Anat has worked her way into the fashion industry by creating high-end leather bags, clothing, art, and accessories. Her one-of-a-kind designs attract fashionistas from all over the globe, including big name celebrities like - Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Hilary Duff, Charlize Theron, and more.
With her passion for art and desire to create new and luxurious products, Anat ensures that each-and-every creation is comfortable, unique, and beautiful. To find out more about Anat and her journey in the fashion world, check out the Q & A below.
When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a designer?
I was doing Interior-design, and it all started because I had been looking for a big bag, but at that time everyone was carrying small bags. One of the fabric-stores I had been visiting was selling pieces of leather so I purchased one and I made a bag for myself. Everyone was stopping me on the street and asking me where I got my bag. So, I decided to look into designing my own handbags, and that’s when I started to create.
I started with seven bags, and it took almost nine months to finish. I didn’t know anything about the fashion industry, but I love fashion, style, and art. I just had such a good feeling, like beginners luck.
I’ve always just created what I liked and what I thought looked good. I made big bags, and nobody had a big bag at that time. Everyone was carrying these small Louis Vuitton bags. So that was how I started, and I just had such a good feeling in my gut, and I knew: “This is what I want to do. I want to make bags. I want to be a Designer”. And when it was all finished I took my bags to California Market Center in LA and I found a sales-rep within 30 minutes. It was ridiculous! It doesn’t usually happen that fast. After only seven months, my bags were in 70 different stores - and that was my beginning.
What inspires you to create something new?
Mostly, it happens when I’m traveling. All over the world I see all kinds of colors, fabrics, and buildings. The shapes of things I see brings me to the table and inspires me to create a new design. And sometimes it’s not just a bag, I use leather in framed art, on mirrors, bowls, clothing and accessories. Its just something from within me – from my heart. I want to create - it’s the artist in me to want to create something new and unique. There are also some big designers that have really inspired me - Alexander McQueen and Roberto Cavalli, for example. With Roberto it’s mostly the fabric and the combination. With Alexander- his ideas and the detail he puts into his designs.
What brought you to the United States? Where are you from originally, and how does the fashion scene differ?
I first came to America to visit family, and I didn’t know if I was going to stay. I came from Israel to America in 1990, in October. The fashion is really different. In Israel, we get more inspired by European fashion. Twenty years ago, fashion was really different in Europe and America, but today with Facebook, Instagram, and social media, the fashion from Europe travels fast – and I like that.
What are the greatest challenges for you as a designer and how do you overcome them?
Well there has been a lot of challenge during the 16 years that I have been designing. One of my first challenges, is that I like my designs to be new. I like to create something that is not there. When I was new in fashion, designing unique items, my top-selling bag design was copied. I learned that have to be strong and not let this affect my energy and presence. Fashion is a difficult business. If others are stealing your designs and taking the credit from you it can drag you down. But, I’m in a place where I won’t give up. I really push myself and create all the time – new stuff, and won’t let myself get down. It is a challenge to bring new stuff to the fashion world. I’m going to continue, and one day I’ll be recognized for bringing new designs to the world - so I never give up.
How is fashion different today, then from when you started out?
Well when I started there was no Internet, there were no websites or social media. It was mostly fashion shows, and I think it was more fun, to tell you the truth. Today, with anything you do, it doesn’t take long before everybody knows and copies you. I also think that we don't have enough time to enjoy what's new before people feel they need to buy the next thing. Now that we have online shopping it’s different than when you go to store and you feel what you buy and enjoy it for a while. The internet makes it easier to market yourself but there is more competition and now everyone is a designer. When I started there were real designers and real fashion and you could appreciate it and take time to enjoy it. And now I feel like everything moves so much faster. There are lot of talented people, however, so it is good that their work now gets to be seen.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career—what would it be?
If I could go back I would say; don’t be afraid, and be confident, and believe in yourself. Because when you start—you are so insecure, and you always think that you’re not good enough, and not everybody is going to like it. So, this is something that I tell everyone that is new in fashion - just do it, don’t be afraid, love and believe in what you’re doing. Today I am more confident, and I know what I’m doing—that’s why I think more is happening for me now. Just believe in it - when you believe in something; things happen.
How do you want people to feel when wearing or using your handbags, accessories, and clothing items?
First-of-all, when I design something - I really want them to feel like they have something different, and unique, and good quality. Every time I create a bag, I want you to feel like it’s nice and different, and easy to carry. I don’t want you to feel like you’re suffering, or its really heavy, and so I try to combine everything - to be different, beautiful, and comfortable.
If you have the chance to meet Anat, you’ll find a beautiful soul who is thoughtful, down to earth, caring, positive, and lovely. She works tirelessly and puts her heart and talents into every creation. She embraces life and treasures time with her amazing family.