The handbag is the ultimate accessory for every woman. From tote to clutch, black or light, leather or suede, it can complement and complete her outfit, expressing her sense of style, bringing joy and carrying her most important items.
When it’s handmade and unique, unlike any other bag on the market, the appeal triples. Every woman wants her own unique bag. Greek designer Vasiliki Theodorou recognized this importance and incorporated all of these factors into her innovative, beautifully handcrafted handbag company, Miss Polyplexi.
In a sea of handbag brands, Miss Polyplexi stands head and shoulders above its competitors. All creations in the collections are handmade and designed by Vasiliki using their signature combination of knit, leather and metal materials.
Watching her beloved mother crochet everything from scarves to coats, Vasiliki learned to crochet at the age of 10 and decided to name her brand Miss Polyplexi in homage to her mother, Polyxeni, while also knowing the Greek word used for crocheting “Plexi”.
The handbags are coveted in elegant colors such as chocolate, gold, purple and classic black and gray and quickly become bestsellers. From the Monaco Bordeaux bubble bag to the navy blue Cosmopolitan bag with a silver metal chain and clasp, the site even has a section listing Vailiki’s personal favorites, including the brown and green Artemis.
GCT recently spoke to Vasiliki about her love of crochet and fashion, her brand’s philosophy of seeing handbags as art, and why every woman deserves to feel special when carrying her own one-of-a-kind handbag.
Where were you born and raised and where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Larissa which is in the central part of Greece but I now live in Athens for work reasons.
What part of Greece are your ancestors from?
My father and his family are from Karditsa, another city in the central part of Greece that belongs to the geographic area of Thessaly. My mother and her family are from Deskati near Grevena. My mother and father met each other during their studies in Larissa, where my mother’s family had already moved (to find a better quality of life) and they all lived here later, so I was born and raised there.
How long have you been interested in crocheting and how many years have you been crocheting?
Ever since I remembered as a kid I have had this strong memory in my head of how my mother used to crochet and knit every night and make all sorts of things like sweaters, skirts, scarves, hats, gloves, blankets for all of us. She could crochet and knit anything. It was so impressive. I would then watch them, play with the yarns, mix them up and my mother would always chase me to judge me. However, one day when I was about 10 years old, she showed me how to crochet and I’ve loved it ever since.
What was the first thing you did when you learned to crochet?
I started crocheting clothes for my barbies. I was so happy that I could design and crochet my own clothes for her. I chose the colors and made the combinations I liked. I imagined making collections for them as if they were my models. As I got older I made accessories for myself, my mother, my sister and my friends. However, it was still my hobby and I loved the fact that it allowed me to really express my creativity.
Were you interested in fashion as a child? What work did you do before creating Miss Polyplexi?
I was kind of interested in fashion since I was a kid. Crocheting has broadened my creative horizons. It was really self-expression as of course I could design and crochet my own clothes, accessories in the color combinations I preferred. I used to read a lot of fashion magazines, watched every documentary related to fashion, observed the women around me, how they were dressed, what they wore on every occasion and paid attention to all styling details.
Before founding Miss Polyplexi I worked in business administration and marketing – something completely different but useful to the way I run Miss Polyplexi.
Tell us about Miss Polyplexi? How did the idea come about? When was it launched? Who is Miss Polyplexi’s client?
Crocheting was and is my hobby because I love it so much. However, the starting point of this whole idea was when I decided one day to crochet a handbag. It was the only accessory I had never crocheted before. I was looking for a specific color and style bag to go with a dress for a friend’s wedding at the time and I couldn’t find any in the shops. Well I thought why not, I’ll try. My friends liked the bag so much that I suddenly started crocheting bags for them. I uploaded a few photos to Instagram and Facebook and started getting messages asking if I was selling them. At that moment, I thought about making a living. A women’s bag is something very special for her. Women cannot live without bags, they are their ultimate accessory that completes and enhances their outfit. It carries all sorts of necessary things for us.
Just like I had then and now have my own unique bag, I want all women to carry their own unique handmade Miss Polyplexi bag. The brand is aimed at all women who want to look different, wear unique works of art, understand their uniqueness and appreciate the handmade creations. Modern, but at the same time sensitive and filigree women always carry a work of art with them.
Are all designs yours? What is your favorite piece from the collection?
Yes, all designs are actually mine. My favorite bag from the current collection is the “Ophelia” Black Tote Bag. For me it is a statement bag. I admire its classic yet intriguing design. It is a timeless work of art, 100% handmade from the finest calfskin. It is adorned with crocheted bubbles that enhance the delicate design. It’s a bag that I can always carry, very elegant and practical for its size.
What influences you in your work?
Everything and everyone around me can be a source of influence. Conversations with other fashion designers and people in the fashion industry, a photo on the web, the raw materials, fashion magazines and media in general can influence my work and ideas. But what influences me the most is my own gut feeling, which I also trust the most.
What inspires you?
My travels are a great source of inspiration. I like to travel. I have visited many places so far and every time I go to a place I make sure I come back with ideas and materials that will be my source of inspiration for new bag designs.
Of course, big and world-renowned fashion houses lead the trends and inspire us all.
Meanwhile, Miss Polyplexi bags have their own character, modified and influenced by my own personality, which elaborates all these influences, creating a very special and unique result.
Why is it important to you to be able to offer original, handmade pieces?
Because in this way Miss Polyplexi bags will be unique and different from the rest. I’m always looking ahead, studying the trends, combining different types of materials to offer women distinctive works of art.
What piece of advice you’ve received in your life has stuck with you?
My father always said that hard work always pays off. Someone may not see results immediately, and this is where most people get disappointed. However, successful people keep going, patiently reaping the seeds of hard work.
What trends have caught your attention for the coming year?
Long fringes are a big trend for this year and on our website you will surely start to see models with long beautiful fringes that add movement to the bag and catch the eye while a woman walks the streets. Round shapes still exist and colors like black and white will have their fair share as they are eternal.
How long does it take to make a Miss Polyplexi bag?
It depends on! It can take from 2-3 days to 8-9 days. It really depends on what other things are going on in parallel and usually there are a lot of tasks I have to do in a day. 2-3 days is needed if nothing else is going on which is not the norm.
What can women expect from Miss Polyplexi this year?
Many surprises! Many new designs with many different material combinations will appear shortly. Our signature Monaco bag is being redesigned and evolving into a more elegant and stylish bag. We will also upgrade the inside of our bags by using even more stylish high quality linings to offer even better protection inside.
Stay tuned as there are also some great collaborations to come including one with Santo + Rini, a soon to open Australian online boutique passionate about sourcing stunning, unique and quality fashion products from Greece like our Miss Polyplexi bags . Australian ladies will be ‘one click’ away from having a Miss Polyplexi bag as Santo + Rini will stock some of our designs as well as some exclusives from June.