Our names, in part, are what make us who we are. As a child, I really wanted to have a more popular name — something like Sylvia or Jess — but as I grew older and no longer had the need to blend in or fit in, I started to appreciate the unique and simple name I was given.
As it turns out, Ona is not only my name, but also a word that has many meanings in different languages and cultures around the world. Here are some of them:
— In Catalan, which is my native tongue and the official language of Barcelona and the Balearic Islands, Ona means “wave”. Growing up on an island surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, I always thought that was very appropriate.
— In Euskera, the language spoken in Spain and France’s Basque Country, Ona means the “the good one” as used for a feminine pronoun. In Spanish, it would be “la buena”.
— My father, who is an artist and loves using the Japanese Sumi watercolor technique, once discovered in his research that “woman” in Japanese was pronounced “ohn-nah”, and that it has its own Kanji symbol. I thought that was so cool that when I was eighteen, and to my mother’s dismay, I had the Kanji symbol tattooed on the lower back.
— In Russian and serbo-croatian, Ona is the pronoun “she”. This makes for “Who’s on Next” type of conversations between my Croatian friends and their friends when referring to me.
— Ona was also the name of my great-great grandmother, born in Russia. We found this out after I had my name, so as my mother likes to say “it feels like this really WAS pre-ordained.”
I always love learning about the different meanings of my name, and I like to think that with each one I grow into its significance.
A BRAND IS BORN
Out of BINICHIC emerges the namesake brand “Ona Villier”
Some months ago, we met and instantly connected with New York-based Jodi Sandman of Crescala Fashion Development. We knew we shared the vision and the passion for creating beautiful, wearable quality objects, so we started on the path together to create “Ona Villier”.
At that time, our brand was BINICHIC, a handbag and accessories collection inspired by our Mediterranean Lifestyle. Bini represents the rustic, the natural the antique. Chic is how we mix it up with refined and designed things giving objects and space a new and inspired life.
As Jodi says: “We changed the name to Ona’s “namesake” because we thought her identifiably European and Romantic name was the perfect tagline for our beautifully European-made product. To us, the name infers a more refined and luxurious product.” BINICHIC will always be the Mediterranean Lifestyle —- the source of Ona Villier’s inspiration.
Moving forward, you will still see the subtle and unique screening of our original prints on the bags; and our beautifully crafted soft and supple leathers in modern and wearable silhouettes; and now we have introduced a few new trend driven silhouettes; more updated and elevated hardware, and some finishes that are new for us, that make the product even more special. All of our bags are still made in Menorca in their entirety by very talented artisans. In the near future, we hope to add some simple jewelry and other accessories.
Ona Villier: Luxury Handbags Made in Spain
As a graphic designer and the co-founder of the brand, creating the logo and the collateral was a dream job and also one of the hardest projects I have ever taken on. What would be the “perfect” way to represent the brand and also my own name? After many versions, feedback and quite a bit of reflection, I decided that what felt true to me was using a stylized version of my signature. I wanted it it to feel personal and with its own character.