You've probably seen her awesome Instagram snaps with her gorgeous jewelry, however, we thought it was time we get up close and personal with Leila Kashanipour of LEIVANKASH. From the inspiration behind her jewelry pieces, to what she packs when she jets around the world, Leila Kashanipour of LEIVANKASH talked to us about style, jewelry and success. Check out her interview below.
LEIVANKASH has become a very successful brand? Tell us a little about how it all started.
It all started after I graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2009 - I went on to work for incredible brands such as Suzanne Syz, Stephen Webster & Asprey of London, to gain experience and understand the business better. After completing the diamond course at GIA in early 2011, I decided it was time to start something for myself and here we are today, four years into LEIVANKASH.
What is your own definition of success?
Coming out stronger from hard times and tough experiences is what I define success as!
Do you feel like your background has impacted your jewelry making?
Yes of course, my Classics collection that includes sub-collections such as Flora, Totem & Damocles are all made in a very Persian feel, in story, finish, and carat of gold plating and gemstones used. For my SS15 collection, L'Etoile de Botteh that is in stores now, the inspiration came from two dominant motifs in Persian and Middle Eastern culture. The eight pointed star seen widely in our architecture and art as well as the Paisley shape used regularly in Persian carpets, art and vintage fashion.
Give our readers some tips on how to stack up rings or bracelets and not look over-done?
I like to go heavy on the hands and wrists with rings, hand cuffs and bracelets...and to avoid looking too bling, I keep the neck and ears mostly empty! I try to visually show how to stack without overdoing it on my Instagram account @LEIVANKASH.
One piece of jewelry you can’t live without?
At the moment it's my Yas enamel necklace, Lily hand cuff and Leila ear cuff. You can find them all at Bloomingdales Dubai, Saks Dubai and Bahrain as well as Impression Doha.
We’re really curious about this one, what gave you the inspiration behind the Unicorn collection?
Childhood memories and the unicorn from cartoon series, Care Bears, and fascination with these quirky magical creatures that lives in adults long after!
How does it feel when you spot celebrities wearing one of your pieces?
It's a wonderful feeling! Not sure how I can exactly explain, but it feels pretty surreal.
Who is your style icon?
I love Giovanna Battaglia!
When in a rush, what is your go-to outfit?
Boyfriend jeans, booties and an easy shirt or T-shirt with plenty of LEIVANKASH!
You jet around the world a lot, what would you say are your travel essentials?
Business cards, laptop and LEIVANKASH jewels, as when you have your own business even on holiday you need to be on top of things! I also pre-plan my outfits, so I don't over pack plus 2 emergency outfits.
What is a typical day like in the life of Leila Kashanipour?
I wake up at 7.00 am, check emails and Instagram. Have a meeting usually over breakfast, as I do not really like breaking my working day and get out of the office. Till 6:30 pm it's all work, whether in the workshop, studio, designing, sample making or emailing; we do not really stop. After work, I usually go to a Pilates or TRX class for an hour. Back home, make dinner, watch a movie or an episode of Suits and I sleep around 12-12:30 midnight!