Springtime. New beginnings, flowers, spring cleaning & sprucing of old items, Easter rabbits. What has Spring got to do with my guest this week? My guest is Aphrodite, who hails from New York and her company has just been launched in 2019 (New Beginnings); her company name, Harmonia Lily, is very florally (Flowers); her business is concentrating on making vintage accessories modern & accessible (Sprucing up of old items); and rabbits…. well her first limited edition vintage reproduction handbag “Freya” is a delightful bunny shape!
Hi Aphrodite and welcome! What inspired you to set up “Harmonia Lily”?
I have always been fascinated with vintage wicker handbags. The craftsmanship in them is unlike anything else. They are each handcrafted, and the details of each piece is remarkable. From the simple square bags, to the animal shapes, each one has a story to tell and it all started with one person sitting down and picking up materials to start weaving them.
You have spent years collecting vintage, so what is it about vintage fashions that you feel warranted a special modern makeover?
I don’t feel that anything deserves a modern makeover really. The thing about many vintage pieces is that with age it has been through many homes, hands, and simply can’t stand the test of time. Sometimes you pick up a piece and its meant to be admired and not adorned because of its age, and I want to be able to share it with the world. I want to recreate pieces that make people happy and will last them a lifetime so they can pass to down for generations to come.
I love the “Freya” – the first limited edition vintage rabbit design bag – so cute! What colours of the bag are proving popular amongst your customers so far this season?
Funny thing is that I thought pink and black would be the most popular colors, but it looks like purple and blue are proving me wrong! I even have a natural color bunny that I thought for certain people would love because colors scare people sometimes. Color takes people out of their comfort zone. But it is the least selected color out of the 5 of them so far!
Where did you get the inspiration from to design “Freya”?
Several years ago I saw a vintage bunny bag at a flea market that was in the worst shape imaginable and the price tag on it was even more ridiculous than the shape it was in. When I finally sat down to decide that this was what I wanted to do, I wrote out a list of items I’d want to carry under Harmonia Lily and handwoven handbags was on the top of the list. Then I had to figure out how to get the handwoven bags into animal shapes and that has not been an easy task!
Hypothetically speaking, which famous person would you love to see as the “face” of Harmonia Lily?
Someone like Dita Von Teese or Debi Mazaar. Both of them not only have style and grace, but they have such confidence that doesn’t say ‘I’m wearing this because I have to and it’s my job, I’m wearing this because it’s who I am and this is my style’
Have you any other new products/accessories in the pipeline for 2019?
Future designs of handbags will include a unicorn, a flying pig, dinosaur, and a few secret ones too! I have vintage inspired belt buckles, necklaces and bracelets coming towards the end of the year. If you keep a look out on @HarmoniaLily instagram, you might end up being able to win some of those accessories in a few weeks 😉
I love knowing how brands decide their company names – so what is the story behind the name “Harmonia Lily”?
Well my name is Aphrodite Rose. Aphrodite was such a strong woman in greek mythology, and in some stories her daughter’s name is Harmonia. I wanted to keep with the greek name line and name the company since this is now my pride and joy, my child. Roses and lilies also happen to be my favorite flowers, so wanted to keep the names just right. You’ll see as time goes on, that many of my bags will be named after gods/goddeses. Such as Freya, my bunny bag.
As you are based in New York, are your products available to purchase overseas?
You can purchase my products from anywhere in the world.
When designing bags to add to your collections, do you take into account your own tastes, your customer base, current fashion trends, requests, vintage quality or bits of all those?
A combination of all of the above.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
There is not a ‘normal’ day in my world. I can go anywhere from highwaisted wide leg pants and flats, to a dress and heels and flowers in my hair. Every day is a mix up.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites? (Apart from your own!)
There are so many to mention! I follow most of them on instagram, so if you wanted to find out you could stalk me there.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
For me personally, I love styles that are unique, bold, stand out from the crowd. I am a fan of Trashy Diva because they use vintage patterns and use modern patterns and prints for their clothing line. And they also happen to carry lingerie and shoes that are vintage style as well.
Boots or Shoes?
Depends on the outfit, and the season. I live in New York, so depending on the season, boots are necessary.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about Harmonia Lily.
You can find Harmonia Lily at www.harmonialily.com
Thank you very much Aphrodite for sharing your passion and future plans with us! I wish your brand continued success and I, for one, will be looking forward to seeing your new products as the year unfolds!
All photographs have been published with kind permission of Harmonia Lily.
© 2019, Linda. All rights reserved.