Transcript| 23 feb 2016
I want to tell you the story of VANLELES, London's new and best-kept jewellery secret, which is different from anything else you'll find on Bond Street, and it brings the voice of Africa to luxury jewellery.
The woman behind this brand is Vania Leles who, having given up her job as a model in New York, embarked on a decade-long journey to learn the trade of being a jeweller.
"Well, I think I've always loved jewellery, going through my mother's jewellery box back home in Africa, in Guinea Bissau. But when I was a model living in New York, although I was working well, and everything was fantastic and I was having so much fun, I wanted to build something that I can do for the rest of my life."
Having worked with some of the best names in the industry, today she has earned her place on Bond Street. However, Vania Leles offers a very different type of service to her clients. It's personal and she takes them on a journey with a soul.
I always believed that the beauty of jewellery shouldn't start at the shop floor. It should start where it all begins, at the mines and the communities around the mines. I think that's very important to me. And more and more of my clients want that beautiful story linked to their piece of jewellery. This is the moral duty I have, because I am one of them.
My collections are all inspired by my life, memories, and by the things that I loved growing up. So, if we cover Legends of Africa, for instance, I called it this because it embodies all the memories that I have growing up. Lyla's Bow is a collection I designed in honour of Lyla - a young girl, a friend of my daughter.
What I really love about VANLELES is that it is such a breath of fresh air on Bond Street. And Vania brings her personality and her passion for Africa into the world of fine jewellery. She combines it with a knowledge that she has so studiously earned, with great craftsmanship. So this will appeal to people who want a jewel with a beautiful story to tell.