par·a·dox \ˈperəˌdäks\ n: any person, thing or situation exhibiting an apparently contradictory nature.
"Lena Erziak is bold. It is fun. It is adventurous, and daring. It is inspirational — in a make you smile and lift you up kind of way. Lena Erziak is classic, spirited, refined, flirty, glamorous, sophistication with an edge... "Lena Erziak reflects the way women live today. And how they live is by embracing the 'and' in life. A woman can be a mother, a lover, an artist, an executive, a warrior and a siren — without compromise. We survive in a life full of paradoxes. This collection — which taps into the myriad dimensions of our heritage, from Belgian understatement to Moroccan bohemia — is designed with that in mind." — Leona and Hanna Erziak
The name Lena Erziak belies its backstory. There is no Lena; there's two. Actually, the duo behind the curtain are sisters Leona and Hanna Erziak, who, in the collaborative spirit of the company, combined their first names for the moniker. If Lena Erziak — founded in 2009 and relaunched in 2016 after a two year hiatus — feels like it speaks to a woman's many moods and lifestyles, it's because the brand is a product of two creative heads and their diverse backgrounds. The sisters are the youngest of eight and have roots the world over. They were born in Belgium. Their family hails from Morocco. Hanna is based in Paris; Leona, who lived briefly in Kenya, currently resides in New York. Both still have homes in Marrakech. And their CVs are equally eclectic. In fact, as the daughters of two creatives — a seamstress mother, who crafted intricately embroidered bridal caftans for upscale clientele, and a Master Potter, a sculptor father — they were initially pushed away from the artistic fields. "My mother knew how hard it would be," recalls Leona. "She told us to secure yourself, go into business and if we still loved the arts, we could come back..." Which is exactly what they did. The two studied communications (Leona) and international relations (both), and went on to become successful real estate developers. But the call of the creative continued and, after the market collapse of 2008, the sisters decided to go for it. In 2009, they débuted a collection of handbags: Lena Erziak, garnering editorial praise from Harper's Bazaar, Elle, InStyle, Vogue Japan, L'Officiel and Women's Wear Daily, to name a few. Celebrity clients soon followed, including Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Mamie Gummer, Eva Longoria and Diane Kruger to name few. The Lena Erziak story continues today. With an eye on accessible luxury, the sisters are introducing shoes for Fall 2016, with other launches to follow. As Hanna puts it, “We are sharing our world.”