By Natalie Schack
We can't even watch the news right now. With email scandals mixed with assault allegations mixed with name calling mixed with tweet tiffs—it seems like no one on the boob tube has a claim that can hold any water.
Well, at least you know your purse can—well, kind of. What, have you not gotten wind of the leading candidate for your new piece of arm candy, locally designed Neoprene bags from Razuvan? They’re ahead in our, er, internal polls, and will be making a public appearance at HONOLULU Fashion Week as one of our new Marketplace additions. But, while her brand may be up-and-coming, designer Irina Razuvan herself is a seasoned fashion industry insider.
Before moving to Hawai‘i to be with her spouse, a UH Mānoa Ph.D. student, Razuvan racked up some serious style cred in her native Vladivostok, Russia, receiving her M.A. in fashion design, winning numerous design awards, and scoring an internship and then position as fashion designer for Cherdak Forever studios. She held that position for a solid nine years, working on projects that included full apparel collections, art exhibitions, T-shirt capsule collections and the uniforms for the Vladivostok International Airport.
Phew. That’s one mouthful of a résumé. Now that she’s moved across the world, Razuvan finally had some time to work on her own personal projects. Inspired by the energy and outdoorsy lifestyle of the Islands, she looked to sporty surf and jog aesthetics for a mini line of six intricately hand-stitched pieces with sleek, wavelike lines, an eye-catching, ultra-modern feel, bold colorblocking and futuristic Neoprene. Razuvan taps into all her technical skills to stitch together these pared-down pieces, which come in an oceany teal or lava-rock black, and three sizes: a deep tote, shallow crossbody and, our favorite, a totally sporty clutch. We’re imagining wearing ’em with upgraded casual classics to add some unexpected sci-fi edge to our ensembles, or for stowing essentials while on the go in workout gear.
Either way, they’ve definitely got our vote.
$100–$180, at the HONOLULU Fashion Week Marketplace, Thursday, Nov. 10, 5–9 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; and Saturday, Nov. 12, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Learn more at honolulufashionweek.com.