January 23, 2013
Q&A With NYC-Made Designer Ramiro Encizo
I love supporting NYC-made designers because there are so few left sadly. Ramiro Encizo is a luxury handbag designer who interned with the legendary Judith Lieber and works with local NYC leathersmiths to create exquisite leather bags with his signature heart nameplate. I recently had the chance to visit his showroom and ask him a few questions.
1. Why did you want to have your collection made in New York?
I knew I wanted to have everything made in New York because clients certainly appreciate it. I love being able to work with very talented craftsmen who have been doing this for many years. It is also quite convenient that they are in NYC so that I can check on progress during the production of any handbag.
2. What was it like working with the legendary Judith Lieber? What lessons did you teach you that helped you with your own business?
Working at Judith Leiber was such an incredibly fun adventure. I built some great relationships there and although Mrs. Leiber sold her company many years ago, she still has a great following of fabulous clients. Being introduced to these women was my biggest inspiration to start my own business. I learned that there is a small but certain market for ultra-luxurious handbags as prospective clients at Judith Leiber were often surprised and disappointed when they could find what they needed.
3. Where do you find your inspiration for your collection?
I found inspiration for my collection in jewels I kept on obsessing about, so I searched for alligator/python skins with deep jewel hues. The latest collection is also named after Sheikha Noor AlSubaie of Qatar, the Petit Noor tote is small and almost decadent but certainly elegant.
4. Are you going to expand your line? If so, what's next?
I have so many ideas for my line! First I have to establish the brand as a luxury handbag line and I'm the future I would love to expand to more accessories. Shoes are high on the list with belts, furs and in the not so near future - eyewear. It would be a dream come true to establish my Ramiro Encizo New York as a high luxury lifestyle brand.
5. What advice can you offer up and coming designers about the fashion world?
The best advice I can offer to new designers is: Find what you love to design and devote yourself completely. I always knew I wanted to design; I wasn't sure if I wanted to design gowns, lingerie, outerwear etc. and then I discovered the amazing world of handbags. If you're a new designer trying to build your line, I suggest staying focused on the one thing you love to design. It will show in your designs and your clients and supporters will recognize it as well.