An intense and meteoric rise has personified Leila Kashanipour’s journey as a designer, in the guise of her jewellery label LEIVANKASH. Fascinated by fine arts and chemistry as a girl, Leila intended to go into the specialised field of restoration and conservation, but soon realised her true calling was the art of jewellery making.
Undertaking a BA in Jewellery Design studies at London’s Central St Martins in 2009, American-born Persian Leila was on her way to becoming an accomplished designer early on. Her striking, hand-finished pieces within the Classics collection caught the eye of buyers in London and Dubai, who began stocking her pieces as early as her first year, hinting at the promise the young artisan implied for future success. A second year collaboration with fashion house Eskander further cemented the designer’s credentials, a successful union that continues today, with bespoke rings and pendants stocked by the stores globally.
Out in the world as a graduate, Leila took up design positions with jewellery giants including Stephen Webster in London, building on her talents with practical knowledge of the upmarket jewellery business. Following a diamond course and subsequent qualification at GIA, it became apparent that an eponymous line was timely. LEIVANKASH was launched in 2011, and has continued on its ascent, with many accolades collected in the short time since its
inception, including being selected by Professional Jeweller magazine as a Hot 100 Designer, as well as high-profile collaborations with global brands such as Louis Vuitton and Nokia.
LEIVANKASH is split into three collections – the Classics, L’Etoile de Botteh and Oculus, each with their own distinctive style and finish. While the Classics were inspired largely by Leila’s Persian heritage, L’Etoile de Botteh poetically combined her Persian roots with the contemporary feel of London life. Her most recent collection, Oculus, is largely inspired by the graphic lines and abstract shapes of London’s skyline, with pieces finished in a sleeker, cleaner style to the more romantic, hand-finished aesthetic of her earlier Classics. While each collection has a distinct voice, all three work in harmony together, and can be mixed and layered to create individual looks.
Over the last four years LEIVANKASH has continued to develop and evolve entering into the world of semi-precious fashion jewellery. Designs combine artisanal detailing with precious and non-traditional materials, showcasing postmodern themes and a consistent fashion sensibility. It is this individual style and innovation that has garnered LEIVANKASH an illustrious following, including the likes of Erin Wasson, Cara Delevingne, Olivia Palermo, Florence Welch and Rita Ora, amongst others.