We had the pleasure of speaking to the co-founder of 0711 Tbilisi, Ana Mokia, about their new brand that is quickly gaining attention and following worldwide.
So you started selling outerwear, how did that evolve into bags?
We started by selling beanies five and a half years ago, and we launched those for the sole purpose of creating a hype for our online store ‘More is Love’ which received so much excitement all over the world that we decided to create a brand out of it. So, for the first two years, we did beanies, scarfs and gloves which were all hand-knitted, perfect winter accessories.
Fast forward two years later, my partner and I decided to introduce bags to increase our selection. They were instantly popular among our existing stock-list and influencers. Most recently we have added a leather variation but the very first bag was made from a plexiglass frame with woven yarn.
So talk me through the bags, tell me about this red one.
So this is the very first model, it’s called the ‘Copacabana’ and it is our most popular model. It comes with a removable strap and it can be worn with or without the strap.
How are the bags made?
There are a couple of frames, all homemade by women who work with us in Georgia, all of whom have a background in knitting as it is very popular there. Georgian people are very talented and extremely hard-working, knitting comes naturally to them.
As bags are so unusual, I’ve really never seen anything like them, how did you think of it? Was it inspired by the beanies?
Yes it was, we had all these resources and employees, so we had to come up with a new product. It was actually my partner who invented the bag.
It really is beautiful. And they come in different sizes?
Yes, a large and a clutch. The clutch also comes with or without the strap–which works well for day and night. They all come in different colours.
And now what are your plans now that you have extended into leather?
Well, the ‘Copacabana’ will always remain our classic model with the weaving, but it is necessary for us to introduce leather as well. Because of the selection, some customers aren’t as keen on the weaving style and prefer leather. We’ve now introduced our first leather models in just three main colours; white, brown and ginger. From the shape you can see that it still resembles our classic ‘Copacabana’ model. For the next season we plan to introduce more leather models in different shapes.
How much does this one cost?
It would retail around $1200, with the woven ones around $800.
And does the woven style present any problems? For example, does the weaving ever loosen or come out?
The weaving doesn’t usually come out because it is weaved in one go – you can dry clean them to clean them if you need to.
On a personal level, what has been your biggest achievement and your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge has been to create a group of professional people that you can rely on, and imagining concepts as an owner of the brand. The best advantage is when you get the product back it’s all worth it.
What has been the best moment for you?
When you finish the product and you get appreciation for it. Like at trade shows or fashion weeks, and you see a store with your product.
Do you plan expand internationally in the future? Or open your own physical store?
Well we have just opened a store but of course we are looking to expand 0711 more.
And what is the story behind the name 0711?
0711 is a combination of mine and (my partner) Nino’s favourite numbers. It’s a funny story how we met–it was 2000 in Mexico, we were celebrating the Millennium for New Year’s but it happened quite incidentally, our families were both on holiday. After that we didn’t keep in touch because we were still quite young, but she started studying with my sister in London. A few years later, we met again and have been partners and friends ever since.
Do you have any messages of inspiration for emerging designers?
I would like to say just a small piece of motivation to new people in the industry that hard work does pay off.
– Interviewed by Aisha S Kothari, Photos by AISPI talent Ellie Bungay (See more of her work here) and transcribed by Heidi Quill
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