Interviews

Inside Look: Vanina

It started out as a hobby. At the age of 19, best friends Tatiana and Joanne began selling their jewelry creations to their entourage out of their own homes. I still remember how crazy we all were about their work. Receiving a Vanina package as a gift was always so exciting! Tatiana and Joanne really used to inspire us as teenage girls. They were designing personalized and unique items at affordable prices, and people just kept asking for more.

Today, Vanina, whose name comes from the girls’ favorite song by singer Dave, is considered a reputable, international lifestyle brand offering RTW (ready-to-wear), accessories and jewelry collections.

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With the co-founder and co-designer Tatiana Fayad

But Vanina is more than just your typical fashion brand. Tatiana and Joanne have messages to communicate. For instance, they collaborate with NGOs and social enterprises to raise awareness on social and environmental issues. They are also solid supporters of Lebanese artisans and local productions. “Even if we need to pay a higher price, we make sure that all of the materials we use and all manpower are 100% local,” says Tatiana.

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In 2008, Vanina hit the international arena. With points-of-sale in over 20 countries, the brand now achieves around 60% of its sales abroad. Some of the main international selling points include Tomorrowland in Japan (their biggest client), Anthropologie in the United States (mainly for Vanina shoes) and Colette in Paris (for the “Just Saying” jewelry collection).

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Above everything, what amazed me most about these girls is the complicity that they have toward each other. We all know that it’s not easy to have a business partner, especially at such a young age, but with them it’s different. Tatiana and Joanne respect and trust each other blindly, and don’t see themselves as just business partners. They’re still those two best friends who once had a dream, which became a teenage hobby, and has now become an international success story.

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New This Fall

My favorite items from Vanina’s fall 2015 collection are definitely the Leaves jewels. The two designers used a special 3D printing technique, with recycled paper carved out to form the organic fractal geometries of tree leaves.

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Also make sure to check out online or in store Vanina’s “Bar à Bijoux,” where you can customize your own necklace or bracelet using a wide variety of charms. It’s the perfect gift idea!

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