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
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