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May 22, 2012

Social Innovator of the Week: Leila Kashanipour

Today on Nokia Connects we are highlighting the young and creative driving force behind LeiVanKash Jewellery, a social innovator with brains, ambition and above all else, a great eye for design and fashion! We caught up with Leila Kashanipour this week for a quick chat about her career so far. 

via LeiVanKash

Leila launched her jewellery company in 2011. Since then she has gone from strength to strength in the fashion industry, featuring in Vogue, Elle, Tatler, Harper’s Bazaar and Grazia (here is a more exhaustive list). After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2009 she started stocking boutiques in London, Paris, Dubai, Los Angeles, New York and Milan. So, pretty much all of the focal fashion hubs around the world, but she didn’t stop there! Leila also worked for the fashion giants Suzanne Syz, Asprey and Stephen Webster.

via LeiVanKash

She now focuses on lots of her own projects and has very little time in the day to do anything but work! As you’ll see from our brief interview with her below:

–     How old were you when you knew you wanted to go into fashion and jewellery design?

Although I always took major interest in design and fashion, when I was younger my true passion was a mix between Chemistry and Fine Arts. Combustion formulas and the periodic table were my bestfriends up till the age of 17 and painting still life with acrylic was my hobby. After I got my international baccalaureate, I had a change of heart, and it was really during my foundation year at Central Saint Martins that Jewellery Design knocked on my door…

–     What has been the biggest challenge in your short career so far?

Before setting up my company, my role was being a jeweller and a designer. After setting up the company, things slightly changed whereas now I have to run my small company, and that means sitting on top of the accounts, managing my small team, working with third parties, managing my time as well as the people I work with, handling all the Social Media networks, communicating with my PR and sales people as well as designing new pieces, overseeing production and personally making all the bespoke orders. It’s been quite a transition, I need more hours in the day and at times find things very difficult, but at the end of the day, I love what I do and the outcome is totally worth it.

via LeiVanKash

–    What advice would you give young jewellery designers starting out?

In my view its really important to get work experience before going on your own venture. My internships with big jewellery houses such as Asprey and Stephen Webster with two completely different design aesthetics taught me discipline, time management and team work. I also learnt the importance of branding and ultimately creating pieces that reflect me and my style for LeiVanKash Jewellery.

–      Where do you see the company in the next 10 years.

I would like for LeiVanKash to organically get global recognition and at the right time to have its own flagship store. Most importantly I hope to maintain the ambition, drive, creativity and brand identity that I go forward with today.

via LeiVanKash

If you would to like read more or check out some of Leila’s jewellery then please head to her homepage and explore! She has been supplying jewellery for some big time names recently, including Rita Ora above (more celebs and models are on her blog). You can also find out more about her on Twitter and Facebook. Add, comment and follow away, she is very cool!