From Sofia with love…and PLIK
This post is also available in: Bulgarian French
In search of a good story about design today we introduce you young and charismatic Vladislava Valkova – founder and designer of the brand PL!K bags.
Find out the story:
Tell me about the bags, where did this all start from?
It happened when the time was right, when I was ready and, as all other important things in my life, it just happened and I started this adventure and real passion of mine. An important stage of my life – music – has ended and I needed another sort of expression. I rushed emotionally, said I was not doing it at all cost but for fun. I create the PLIК bags and somehow find my place. I am following my path, finding inspiration in all that surrounds me and am evolving on the way. I’ve always had interest for interior design, shapes, beautiful objects and spaces, in my house there are thousands of folders with ideas, sketches of bags and jewelry, houses, old doors, persons.
Nomad at heart, I love new places, cultures, I like soaking moments, views, smells and experiences. That gives me energy.
Somehow, important things always just happen, they just find me.
Wordplay. All conceptual models of PLIK are actually real PLIKs (bags): PAPER PLIK is a leather bag in the shape of a paper bag which is one of the most popular and sold models with its clean lines and design that is elegant yet you can fit in a laptop, documents and all lady stuff.
LUNCH PLIK for instance is a leather clutch which folds or rolls up in the form of brown bag for lunch, PLASTIC PLIK is a leather bag in the shape of a plastic bag with an internal purse and hand bracelet. Models are recognizable and different, there are lots of new models and shapes which are now established as must-haves for the brand and people are looking for them – as for example HAND PLIK, MAX PLIK, 2FACE PLIK, but this was the concept and the basis I built on further.
How do you select the leather?
Once again, personally 🙂
One of the brand differentiators is that PLIK are not serial. Leathers are not repeated and once we are out of one color, it is almost never repeated exactly the same.
This way items are exclusive and sometimes there are only 2-3 bags of a kind of leather. This means possibility to see many women with the same PLIK are eliminated, which also makes our clients feel special and far from any mass scale. This is really a continuous work and process of combination of colors, leathers, linings, hardware, details, accessories. Periodically, I bring new models, even if not that often I wish to, as handmade requires lots of work hours, things don’t happen that fast. Time and attention are spent on every bag, every detail, every single client.
Why handmade is valuable? What are the possibilities for personalization?
Every PLIK is handmade from genuine leather by a master tanner and can be personalized with initials, name or message clients wants to bring always with them, every single day. That makes it very special, personal and shows attitude.
We’ve personalized plenty of things – name of a child, of beloved, family crest, a word that means a lot, love message … all symbols from the very personal universe of the bag owner.
For me personal approach is the most important, this a completely different level of service, seeing the person in front of you, feeling them, helping in their choice, give advice if necessary or requested. This makes service luxurious. Time is a luxury. The time you are giving to each client, the fact you are creating a bag especially for them makes them feel that way. At PLIK showroom the exclusive service for individual order is a personal offer from the very beginning of the process with the selection of leather, discussion of the project to manufacture the final product. Luxury is being able to own something designed specifically for you to embody your personal style and spirit. Individuality and confidence that nobody can imitate. This is what we strive to offer our customers.
In your opinion, what are the colors of this season?
I follow my own sense of color and shape. Without being pretentious. I have in my head accumulations of colors, combinations, images, people and events I’ve collected all over my travels around the world – like a movie. I am quite divers and do not commit to a specific color for the season. I think people dress up and combine colors in line with their daily mood and feeling for comfort. I do not like generalizations saying: this season’s trending color is nude, next one is pale pink and then – royal blue. I think classy and stylish things are timeless. Everything flows from shape to shape … in a constant cycle.
What about the gentlemen, are you offering models for them too?
I thought about them as well. There is one classic cross-body model bag PLIK UOMO with clean lines and minimalist design. It fits perfectly a laptop, documents and all sort of men’s secrets. 🙂 It suits both business and casual style.
What are the new things we can expect from you?
The showroom of the brand is already a fact, you can find there all the models, select leathers, colors, personalize, drink wine, have some nice chat and feel special. We have also a new segment PLIK Jewellery with handmade necklaces, belts, cuffs, bracelets which can be the perfect final touch to the bags and to the look of each lady. All jewelry can also be customized and manufactured in a color selected by a client as an individual order. In our Facebook page we update on a daily basis all models in different colors and types of leather, we communicate with clients on their personal preferences, customization, details and deadlines. Every client gets personal attention. The site of the brand is in a process of redesign. Lots of things are upcoming, I’ve got plenty of ideas and things waiting for their time to come. The only thing is to be healthy, to walk our way happily, to travel, to live and to be inspired.
Showroom: 96, Ralevitsa str.
Photos: Martina Todorova
*Plik (плик) means sort of a bag in Bulgarian.0