How she did it – Meet Iria de Ana

Journey of an Entrepreneur is not an easy one. Over the last one year I have worked closely with many and I can assure you that every one of them had a different idea of success. For some it was generating full time income on part time hours, for some it was hitting a six figure income. Some wanted to inspire while others wanted to enjoy the perks of meeting people from all walks of life or like – minded entrepreneur.  

Underneath the picture of a successful business there is the raw feeling of true success- whether it is financial inspiration, aspirational work life balance or meeting amazing people, for many, it’s the sense of that you’re finally doing what you were born to do.

Over the last one year I have met some amazing enterprising entrepreneurs, who are at different junctures of their journey. We all realize that it can be a lonely world too, where we don’t have mentors or that one friend at work who you could nudge for a coffee break when things got rough at work, there is no one to pat you on your back, handing you a Reward & Recognition.

In the true spirit of supporting one another, I have decided to bring forward some of these amazing entrepreneurs – their story, journey and what inspires them.

It was my pleasure to meet Iria, a beautiful soul and an extremely talented designer at one of my Fashion Exhibition – D’VIVA.   We talked endlessly about life, passions and all things inspiring.

The Story of Iria de Ana and how she did it.  

 

Iria de Ana is born out of the curiosity for details that make a classic and elegant piece, become chic and contemporary. My intention is to empower every person, that uses an Iria de Ana handbag, to feel self-possessed, chic and gorgeous.

I want them to feel ready to rule the world whilst carrying an easy to wear and luxurious handbag.

Each piece is handmade and is a work of art in itself.

Handmade by Spanish artisans, with Italian leathers, pampering every detail.

What three words describe you?
Curious, playful and creative.

 

How is the fashion industry changing?
I believe the control of fashion trends is in the hands of the public and the pace at which it moves is extraordinary. There are many new drivers and influencers that are changing the way the industry moves – It is no longer for the big French Maisons or Italian designers to decide. Also that the consumers have had enough of empty fashion:  is there something more? Something that will link you to the brand at a deeper level: a story, a motive, a connection. This is quite powerful.

What are the biggest challenges in your career?
Definitely choosing the path of my Company. The most difficult aspect being deciding what things to not do. In a world with no limits or constraints I would do it all, attend every event, run every pop-up, but it’s not like that. A lot of effort goes in to deciding what to do and saying no kills me! hahhaha.

What inspires you?

This last collection is called “The Warrior Queen Collection” and is inspired by warrior queens that have changed history.  From the Iceni queen Boudicca to Matilda of Canossa. These women knew how to command from a throne. But what is more appealing, is that they also wore their armours to go into battle with their soldiers, or commanded their own fleet of ships. These women are strong, wise, educated and hard to intimidate. But this is not only something of the past, we still walk among them. I adore these women. They are my inspiration.

How did you get into being a designer?

My mother says that growing up between Rome, Pontevedra and New York has made me appreciate art in a different level. I knew I wanted to work in art from a quite young age, but after an internship in a museum I decided that was not my path. Started reading about fashion, about its history and about creation, from an artistic point of view, and that caught my attention. After university I was fortunate enough to be accepted on to a Masters Degree program at the Instituto Marangoni, and I loved it, it was fascinating, challenging, and creative! Shortly after that I spent a month as an intern in DVF in their NY office, during NY fashion week, I knew I had found my true love.

From there, everything starting rolling: entered the luxury fashion industry via CH Carolina Herrera and Purificación Garcia, and continued with Amanda Wakeley before deciding to start my own brand.

What drives you?

Empowerment drives me. Helping those that have less, and the environment – which many times is the same – drives me. Knowing that we all have the chance to make the difference and change the world for a better place.

 

How has your personal life influenced your career?
When I was a kid, my parents, sisters and I would travel continuously. Around Europe and the US mainly, anywhere where we could admire nature or art. I am a nomad at heart, and that gives me the freedom of following the best next project anywhere it is supposed to be. Nature and art are still the two things that make me shiver in a very good way. And my mother and grandmother were always exceptionally chic and well dressed. My grandma passed last year, and I miss her very much. When I want to remember and feel closer to her, I wear one of her vintage blouses or jewellery. And this love for fashion has definitely been passed on generation to generation.

What was your greatest success in the past few years?
Learning that whilst having a successful career is very important, life is a lot more than that. My life has always been focused in studying, traveling, learning… but about 4 years ago I fell in love in London, and got married last year. Nothing has given me this much emotional stability ever. I have truly found a unique and amazing man, and the feeling of knowing we are a team for life is just amazing.

 

Do you have a Muse you wish you could see wearing your designs? 
Yes, I do! Got many, but I love the cool impeccable ladies such as Julia Rodriguez @julia.rguez. There is something incredibly chic and elegant in that type of effortless style. Or Gala Gonzalez @galagonzalez, so elegant. Also, the beyond gorgeous Renata Zanchi @renatazanchi. She shakes awesomeness into anything she wears!

 

Do you have a story you are particularly fond of, from the early years of your career?

I always wanted to have my own company – my husband reminds me this was one of the first statements I made on our first date! Seeing him use his Iria de Ana personalized cardholder, and my friends and family wearing my designs, was incredible – and just the start! It’s happened a few times when I’m out and about around London and people who know me will wave and point at their Iria de Ana accessory. Such a beautiful feeling. I feel so blessed. Of course, there is always more to do!

What are your plans for the future?

Keep growing, keep evolving, keep expanding. Work hard to make something that will change the world, change perceptions – become an influencer. And to continue with two of my core goals – promoting ethical methods of production and investing in our environment.

This beautiful trip has just started, and I want to enjoy the ride.

Thank you Iria for sharing your story. We wish you the very best & a wonderful journey ahead!

Sanchali x

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