To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the expression “less is more”.
I mean, yes off course it applies when you are dealing with a lot of crap, in which case I assume you would prefer “less”.
But let’s get things straight here, everyone can do less! That’s why I rather go for “more is more”, it’s just about how well you execute the “more” part right?
So in case you are a person that is confident to do “more”, please read on to learn about Vanina!
Vanina is a jewellery brand started by 2 girls in Lebanon. And as I said, if you like “more”, you will definitely like the jewellery from Vanina! They are the ideal brand for some eye-catching over-the-top statement jewellery pieces. And guess what, its hand-made too!
During Vogue fashion Dubai experience, professionelle boutique launched an exclusive pop-up store named “House of 5” presenting designers from 5 international cities around the world. One of the brands turned out to be Vanina, and I got invited to have a chit-chat with the girls about their thoughts, life, and off course the bling bling!
Cease fire collection (made out of matches!)
Can you describe Vanina in 3 words?
I would say audacious, as our jewellery is always something unexpected and daring. Joyful as we really try to make other people happy with our pieces. It’s important to be sure people like what we are doing and to put a smile on their face! And as third I would pick ambitious, as we don’t set limits to ourself, if we really want something we will go for it!
If a Jewellery designer is physically not an existing job, what would you have been, or what would you do on a daily base?
I would have been in a totally different field. I studied marketing but actually I think I would have been in a NGO (non-governmental organization) working in Africa on something that passionate me. It important that you love what you do!
From what do you get inspiration?
We are surrounded by a lot of inspirational things! Mostly we get our inspiration from Lebanon and the people who work with us. But one of the biggest factor is our Culture. You can feel the Lebanese background in out jewellery!
“JE NE VEUX PAS RESTER SAGE” collection
Do you ever get inspired by dreams?
It’s funny because Joanne (Vanina partner in crime) and I were talking about this yesterday, as we always imagine and dream about our days. Specially when we are under pressure. So in our dreams we sometimes can clearly see whats next or what we want to do. It can even happen that we find the solution to a problem! I dream a lot about collections, or the mood / trend of a future collection. It’s quite strange in a way!
Do you still remember you last craziest dream?
I am sure I had some crazy dreams but we have been so busy in the last two weeks that I can not even recall having a good night of sleep! So as far as I know I had no dreams at all hahaha!
Vanina – Unlocked collection
Most creative people have some small weird habits, and obsessions. Would you say you have one?
I’m not sure if I have weird habits but Joanne and me are extremely organized and structured. Next to that, we are obsessed with sports and working out. We need our portion of workout and we put everything aside to make time for this. Some people say we are crazy and they don’t understand where we find the time. But basically working out helps out to take our mind of everything and just mentally relax!
If anything was possible, what would be the next step you would take Vanina?
It would definitely be to expand our brand more. We started Vanina at home as a fun hobby, but it has become so succesful that we are now hoping to open our first boutique in Beirut. And it would obviously amazing if we can take our concept world-wide from there.
Do you still remember making your first Jewellery piece?
I still remember it very clearly as we lost the piece! Joanne always though it used to be at my house, and I though she had it with her. Turned out we both do not have it, so it is gone! Its was a piece just like out first coin collection, and in the center there was a picture of Kate moss pasted on a piece of glow in the dark plexi glass! Attached to that was a very beautiful chain that we found in the souq which we specially used for our first piece… Unfortunately we can’t re-create the piece as we will have to find the exact same Kate moss picture from a magazine, and we can’t find a similar chain anymore!
Vanina’s first collection – the coin collection
If you could take the life of an artist for one day, who would that be?
There are a lot of designers or artist that I like, but out of all I think I would pick Stella McCartney. I love her philosophy, her way of working and how she got so succesful as she runs several brands. She does it in a very calm and thought through way. I would love to see for a how she does it!
From experience I know any girl would be more than happy to receive Vanina as a gift! Did you guys ever got unhappy with a gift? And what do you think is the best reaction to an unwanted gift?
It depends on the person who is giving it to you! If it is someone you don’t really know you obviously have to smile and say thank you while covering your real thoughts! But I still remember the last gift I got from someone very close. I smiled, said thank you, and then went to exchange it…! (names and details are left out on purpose ;-) )
What’s the biggest life lesson you can share with us that you have learned in the period you were building Vanina?
There are a lot of things we have learned, as we started the brand when we were very young. Joanne was studying architecture and I studied marketing. We learned a lot from the creative and managerial point of view. But if I have to give one advice, I think we don’t have any limits and we don’t have to put any limits to ourselves. We can teach ourselves a lot of things. If you want something you just have to set the goal and go for it!
So for the final question, if you were at home, and the fire alarm goes off, what are the 5 things you would take?
My lenses hahaha, because otherwise I can’t see! My car keys because I can’t leave without my car, especially in Beirut. And I would also take my passport off course. I guess naturally you take these thing like my money etc but the most important thing to me would be my picture albums with pictures of the family.. They are irreplaceable!
Check out below the pictures of the stunning Vanina jewellery pieces and pictures of the event.
Byblos treasures collection
Tatiana wearing “unlocked”
Me and Tatiana from Vanina