The Story Behind the Brand
My name is Yliana Yepez and I am the founder and creative director of YLIANA YEPEZ luxury handbags.
This is my story and how I started my company.I fell in love with the fashion industry as a model at the age of 16. I had always dreamed of being an actress, but a chance visit to a handbag factory changed my life, planting the seeds of wanting to start my own business. At that time in Venezuela, women’s accessories were mostly limited to black and brown bags, and I saw an opportunity to make beautiful, colorful handbags that broke this mold. While modeling, I also studied, earning a business degree which led to starting my first company with a friend from college—Blues by Kyky. We ran this company for 18 years and developed it until it was a household name with a nationwide reach of eight standing stores.
In 2009, I moved to NYC with the idea of continuing to grow Blues by Kyky, but after a few years, I decided it was time to bring that chapter to an end. While we closed the business, the passion for handbags never went away, and it led to the creation of YLIANA YEPEZ in 2013. It was time to dive in with the sharks.
People told me I was crazy to open a luxury handbags company in New York, but like earlier challenges, I knew I was ready and I pushed forward.
As I’ve grown and evolved, so has the business—but I’ve never lost sight of who I am:
"I am Latin, I love color, and I am Venezuelan"
I’ve been fortunate to work with Bloomingdale’s as one of the first department stores that took a chance on me and believed in my work, and others have followed.
As a result, YLIANA YEPEZ has become a company recognized around the world by actresses and fashion industry insiders, with features in top magazines and over 300 publications. Our bags have been seen on major red-carpet events around the world like the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, the Grammys, the Goya Awards in Spain, the César Awards in France, the Cannes Film Festival, and more.
At the same time, we’ve been growing our brand’s presence in other countries. Today, YLIANA YEPEZ has expanded its reach from a one-design category into small leather goods and evening minaudieres.
Our greatest hits include the Mini Giovanna clutch and the Braided collection, which highlight our custom-made, high-quality leather designs crafted in Italy and Spain.
YLIANA YEPEZ keeps evolving and reinventing itself in order to stay on the cutting edge of new projects and future possibilities. Our focus is always on our client’s needs, finding new ways to create less waste and design with a purpose.