In con­ver­sa­tion with Mon­ica Vi­nader

10 years since her very first cre­ation, the Fiji bracelet, we talk to Mon­ica about creative free­dom, build­ing a multi-mil­lion pound brand and why she loves Dubai

Emirates Woman - - #finejewellery - WORDS: NATALIE WESTERN OFF

What is your ear­li­est child­hood mem­ory? My par­ents’ busi­ness has def­i­nitely been a strong in­flu­ence. As chil­dren we trav­elled be­tween Spain and the UK on buy­ing trips, and from a young age I was in­volved with the busi­ness. I think be­ing sur­rounded by all these beau­ti­ful ob­jects and fur­ni­ture was an in­spi­ra­tion. And my mum’s love for jew­ellery trig­gered my ob­ses­sion with it. My mum has a large col­lec­tion of Art Deco pieces and was al­ways re­laxed about us play­ing dress-up with them – I think that’s where my mantra of ac­ces­si­bil­ity comes from. How do you stay true to your artis­tic in­stincts with the com­pany ex­pand­ing con­stantly? As a brand we aren’t driven by trends, but rather by stay­ing true. Our brand ethos is pro­duc­ing ev­ery­day fine jew­ellery, with a fresh at­ti­tude, with­out com­pro­mis­ing on qual­ity. With the 10-year an­niver­sary for Mon­ica Vi­nader com­ing up and a multi-mil­lion pound turn over, did you ex­pect the com­pany to be so suc­cess­ful? I be­gan cre­at­ing be­spoke jew­ellery pieces for my­self and friends, and the pieces would al­ways elicit such a strong re­sponse that I re­alised there was a larger ap­petite for jew­ellery that was play­ful and ac­ces­si­ble yet el­e­vated. I sat down with my sis­ter Gabi and we mapped out a busi­ness plan that set out to fill this gap be­tween fine and fash­ion jew­ellery. Soon af­ter start­ing we launched our Fiji bracelets which were an in­stant sell-out hit. This is when we knew there was a hunger in the mar­ket­place for our de­signs and started plans to ex­pand in Lon­don. You can never imag­ine the suc­cess a busi­ness will have but we have worked hard to build some­thing that filled a gap. To cel­e­brate we built on the fa­mous Fiji Friend­ship bracelet by cre­at­ing the new Nura Friend­ship bracelet, and part­nered with Women for Women In­ter­na­tional to raise funds and sup­port their work help­ing women sur­vivors of war re­build their lives. If you could get on a plane to­mor­row and go any­where for de­sign in­spi­ra­tion,where­wouldy­ougo? That is a tough one for me as I love to travel and there are so many places that I have a spe­cial con­nec­tion with. My fam­ily and I make a yearly trip back to Mex­ico and we travel back to Spain reg­u­larly to spend time with fam­ily. In­spi­ra­tion can come from any­where span­ning across art, ar­chi­tec­ture, de­sign, or na­ture. It might be an ob­ject I pick up at a flea mar­ket, a beau­ti­ful piece of ar­chi­tec­ture, or a pretty stone I find on the beach. New Mex­ico had a strong in­flu­ence on my de­sign in the early days – I spent some time work­ing with a sculp­tor there dur­ing my stud­ies, which is where my gem­stone ob­ses­sion be­gan.

“What I love the most about vis­it­ing Dubai is the in­spi­ra­tion I’m able to draw from the re­gion’s rich cul­ture. I love Ara­bic cal­lig­ra­phy and I also look for in­spi­ra­tion in an­cient Ara­bic coins and an­tique jew­ellery” – Mon­ica Vi­nader

You have made fine jew­ellery ac­ces­si­ble to the masses. What do you think it is about the brand that trans­lates to so many dif­fer­ent women? It’s al­ways an hon­our to see high-pro­file peo­ple like The Duchess of Cam­bridge wear­ing our de­signs. It’s great to see both celebri­ties and cus­tomers wear­ing my pieces and mak­ing it their own to fit with their unique per­sonal styles. My ap­proach is to de­sign col­lec­tions that will ap­peal to all women. Why do you feel Bou­tique 1 has been the right part­ner­ship for the Mon­ica Vin a der brand? Dubai is very in­ter­na­tional, so we are reach­ing both lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional cus­tomers – in­clud­ing from Suadi Ara­bia. We have such a great and loyal cus­tomer base in the re­gion, we feel that bring­ing the best ex­pe­ri­ence of our brand to Dubai is very im­por­tant so that our cus­tomers can eas­ily ac­cess it. When you come to Dubai is there any­where that par­tic­u­larly in­spires you? I love Ara­bic cal­lig­ra­phy and I also look for in­spi­ra­tion in an­cient Ara­bic coins and an­tique jew­ellery. The restau­rant scene here is fan­tas­tic, too. I love vis­it­ing Coya for its ir­re­sistible Peru­vian flavours. All Mon­ica Vi­nader pieces are avail­able at Bou­tique 1 in Mall of the Emi­rates and on­line: bou­tique1.com

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