In Style

Interview with ZANNAZ fashion designers Nazanine Matin and Zhanna Pikhulya

Nazanine Matin is one half of the new fashion Monaco brand ZANNAZ. She is working with Zhanna Pikhulya, the other half of these amazing luxury bags that are made with the same material than the famous “H” brand.

With their international profiles, passion and experience in the fashion world, the co-founders have decided to unite their strengths to create ZANNAZ, an exotic skin luxury leather goods brand including bags and accessories.

Their first collection has been presented at the new private sports club THIRTY NINE Monte rrlo and I had the opportunity to attend and the pleasure to discover fabulous pieces.

Nazanine and Zhanna explained that all the bags and card holders are made in an artisanal fashion by highly skilled craftsmen who have been manufacturing exotic leather goods for generations. Delicately showing the bags with gloves, they have also said that all the crocodile and alligator skins are sourced from certified tanneries and are approved by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

Perfectly fitting the beautiful Principality of Monaco, where the brand is based, ZANNAZ designs are classic, yet classy. The products are unique, made-to-order and allow the consumer to choose their desired colour and style. What I really like is that they can all be personalized with initials.

In the meantime of their busy schedule (they have planned to next showcase their creations in the UAE, Kuwait, London, and the United States), the lovely duo has been kind enough to talk to give us a 2-part interview about their creative vision, inspiration, and style secrets.

To connect to ZANNAZ head over to @ZANNAZ_monaco on Instagram.


Ladies, can you tell us about your background?

Nazanine Matin: I am originally from Iran and grew up in the Cote D’Azur, Switzerland, Canada, US, and the Middle East. I’m a Mechanical Engineer from UC Berkeley by study and worked over 15yrs in the corporate world. I completed my MBA in Luxury Management, as I was always passionate about fashion and luxury having grown up most of my life in the South of France. I am detail oriented and I love beautiful accessories, details, designs, and creating.

Zhanna Pikhulya: I am half-Ukrainian and half-Estonian but for the last 15 years I was moving actively between Ukraine, Austria, Russia, US and Monaco. I was modeling since the age of 15 and that gave me a great opportunity to observe the fashion business from behind the scenes. Later on I continued to work with a famous Ukrainian designer, Alexander Gapchuk, and together we were launching a second line for the brand.

After receiving my BA degree in Vienna, Austria, I returned to Ukraine to open a luxury spa salon. I sold it successfully after 5 years due to my nomadic lifestyle and moved to Monaco where I met Nazanine, and our friendship has grown into a business partnership.

What inspired you to create ZANNAZ?

NM: My passion for designing and being creative. I used to design medical devices and now I wanted to do something with fashion, which I have wanted to do since I was a child. Monaco seemed like the best place for luxury and when my friend Zhanna said she would be interested in embarking on this journey with me, it almost became a no brainer.

ZP: A chance really. When we met with Nazanine at the MBA course, I could see how hard working and focused she is. We are very different but we have a similar vision on core concepts of luxury business. Our approaches and backgrounds give us a unique opportunity to approach our customers in almost every part of the world. Monaco is a perfect platform for such an international duo like ours.

Creating handbags is every girl’s childhood dream and I am no exception. ZANNAZ is a combination of our names, and Nazanine and I are ready to make our humble but solid statement in the world of luxury.

We have noticed some bags have names related to Monaco, why is that?

NM: You are probably referring to the Grace bag. She was not named after Grace Kelly, but more because we look at her as our iconic bag for her beauty and elegance. She portrays a woman who is elegant and graceful; therefore, we named her Grace. The name fits well with Monaco, but I think we would have named her Grace even if we were based elsewhere.

How did you access these beautiful crocodile leathers?

NM: With quality, heritage and high standards being our most important criteria, we spent years researching and looking for the right sources. I first met our craftsmen four years ago and we spent the last year testing, prototyping, and making sure we have the top quality sources. If you are in this business, you know whom the top providers are and where to find them. The high-end luxury brands have their own crocodile and alligator farms and tanneries from where we buy our skins.

Is that true that Hermes uses the same material?

NM & ZP: We are still a small brand and we do not have our own farms or tanneries like the big luxury brands; therefore, we decided to work with the best. Currently we work with suppliers which are owned by the big luxury brands such as the Hermes Group, Kering Group, to name a few.

Are the bags unique?

NM: We design our own bags, so one could say they are unique. We try to keep them simple and elegant so that the beauty of the skins and the other details can be highlighted. We also like to make sure that our bags are practical and can cross over generations. We have a bag for almost every occasion – evening, day, etc…

How can I get a ZANNAZ bag? Where are they sold?

NM: We have a B2C model, so customers can place orders directly with us by contacting us at Our website will be ready soon but our instagram is up and running, so our designs can be seen there @ZANNAZ_monaco.

What are the prices of the bags?

NM: Our prices range from 3500 Euros to 14000 Euros for the collection that we recently unveiled. This is subject to change as we introduce new products and where we ship the products.

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