Calling all aspiring jewelry designers! For this weeks Insider feature, we have the lovely jewelry designer, Leila of LeiVanKash! I am obsessed with LeiVanKash jewelry at the moment and Leila is definitely one of the hottest designers at the moment with celebrities such as Daisy Lowe, Olivia Palermo and Zara Martin sporting her brand. Check out Olivia wearing a ring named after her above, as well as two of my favorite pieces from Leila’s collection!
How did ‘LeiVanKash’ come about?
The story really began right after I graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2009, finished my internships with Stephen Webster and Asprey of London and received my Diamond grading Diploma from GIA… Although I had been making jewellery and selling in some shops whilst I was in my first year, LeiVanKash Jewellery the company was officially launched in January 2011…. The brand name came about over coffee with some friends in a London restaurant. Lei is the abbreviation for Leila, Van in dutch means ‘from’ and Kash is for my family name Kashanipour.
How do you come up with a concept for each collection in jewelry design?
I either take interest in the subject or relate to it in some way… by dedicating a collection to that subject I feel like I explore and understand the concept behind it better. Flora came from my fascination with wild red roses, their mysterious sense of darkness led to the design of the now infamous Olivia Rose ring… the limited earrings then followed…
For Skullmania it was my admiration with Vanita still life paintings and the concept of Memento Mori…
The newest addition is the Damocles collection, which is inspired by the story behind the fabled sword of Damocles.
What tip would you give an aspiring jewelry designer?
Definitely get some work experience in at least a couple of bigger companies before starting your own venture. Learn the skills and ways to make pieces physically in a workshop so when it comes down to it you understand the process & know what designs are feasible and what are not. Do some research, experiment and find your interests and things that represent you.
What makes a good jewelry designer?
Obviously each jewelry designer has their own style and design aesthetic, as long as you stay true to yourself & preserve your brand identity you ar ein a good place. Determination, hard work and good branding is also key!