When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
VAHINA TAHI is a new, prestigious brand of fine jewellery based in Paris created in March 2014.
The origin of my name VAHINA TAHI comes from my roots and childhood in the Hawaiian Islands. It means “Unique Woman”, an ironic hint to the inspiration for this brand.
Since my childhood I always loved jewellery from the shells I used to pick up at Waikiki beach to my contribution to the successful launch of two French jewellery designers.
From this experience I turned my passion into a profession.
What’s your background?
I grew up within the fashion and architecture environment in Paris, Milan, Cologne and Cape Town with a French-Vietnamese mother and a German father.
I studied at Penninghen School of Design and Interior Architecture in Paris and then Jewellery design and Photography at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I graduated from Studio Berçot School of Fashion Design in Paris.
I started at Glamour and Jalouse magazines in Paris and left to New York to work with Peter Lindberg’s agent.
My collaboration with Aurelie Bidermann, a Parisian fashionable Jewellery brand gave me the clear conviction to launch my own brand.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
My sister Chiara Kamala joined the project after 14 years in marketing, sales and client development at Louis Vuitton. She was responsible for the launch of watches and high-jewellery in North America.
We share the same passion and are complimentary within our own respective activities.
In addition all our creations are manufactured by hand in Italy by renowned suppliers with very high-end artisans to be working for the most famous Italian jewellery brands.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
I would start with smaller collections, in order to be able to invest capital in other business functions such as Brand communication.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
We position ourselves as a luxury brand exclusively made in Italy with very precious materials, which is not the case for many of our competitors. With the current economic situation retailers are “afraid” to take risks on new fine jewellery designers.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
Every morning I listen to Radio Montecarlo in Italian, it reminds me of my childhood and makes me feel happy.
2016 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
One of our main goal is to establish the brand as being recognisable for its innovative concept: 2 jewels in 1. We are the first Brand to have created reversible fine jewels!
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
We are extremely successful with the international Press VOGUE, L’OFFICIEL, ELLE, INTERVIEW, GLAMOUR… who find our designs ingenious and very original… which is really rewarding and energizing for us.
We are soon going to work with one of the biggest fashion bloggers as she adores our collections!
Which city do you definitely feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
I feel most at home in Paris, but I admit that my heart belongs to NYC.
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
A few drops of my Annick Goutal perfume, my hydration cream from Amore Pacific and finally, my red lipstick from Lipstock Queen – All that Jazz.
Butterflies in your stomach!
Best thing about London to you?
Good energy, great shopping and the cutest accent ever!
Statement shoe or statement bag?
Both! Oh well, if I really have to pick one… then shoes!
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
Favourite Love song?
“Besame Mucho” from Consuelo Velasquez
Best place for a Coffee?
Café Cluny in NYC
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
Maybe not the best, but one that I read recently and that caught my attention: “Don’t complain unless you tried to change it”
If you could spend 24 hours anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Japan! So, let me get my bag ready and off we go!
In future, how do you plan on expending the company?
We are working on increasing our Brand awareness through communication and strategic retailers. We need to further develop our online shop and presence in social media and at the same time enter new high potential markets such as the US via selective department stores.
You can find us at Fenwick and Kabiri in London or at www.vahinatahi.com