Interview with Vaneesha Advani of Designs by Sonia and Kapade Fashion Labels

Designer/Store Owner Vaneesha Advani
with fashion icon Iris Apfel!
Please share with readers a bit about yourself and your journey to becoming a jewellery designer.

I was a clothing designer by profession, but somewhere it all changed. The journey started when I was visiting my family in Accra, Ghana, West Africa in 2007, a year after I had moved to Netherlands. It was the materials I saw in Ghana which influenced and inspired me. Usually when change takes place it is rather organic, at least that has always been my experience. The materials and craftsmanship both impressed me. Initially I started to bring in the raw materials from Africa - mainly beads - and would finish everything in my workshop in Eindhoven using Italian leather.

My first collection which I took to Paris Fashion Week was a success with the Japanese clients. Before I knew it, I was producing and designing jewelry. Once my designs were accepted by the buyers, I continued expanding my jewelry line and adding new materials. That is why I use a lot of linen ribbons, Japanese yarns and leather in my collection.

How would you describe your jewellery line - aesthetic, materials, inspiration, palette, etc.? Who do you see wearing your designs?

I am inspired by sculptures, bells, water pots, masks, paintings, abstract art - anything which fascinates me. I find a way of making it happen. Of course things don't always turn out the way I want to, but when I see them year later, I find them rather fascinating. On the other, hand I also don’t get attached to any of my designs.

The best way to describe my pieces would be as wearable art. The pieces are a mix of contemporary as well as classic - a mix of old and new.  Somehow I have managed to make old pieces look new and new pieces look old. All are statement pieces, worn by women who are rather bold and not afraid to stand out.

Congrats on the grand opening of your new boutique Kapade Fashion Labels (101-440 West Hastings) - "KAPADE meaning clothes - a new clothing concept". Can you please share more about how you came to open Kapade?

Actually Kapade was a fluke.  It is not something I planned, but now I am here and I am growing into it everyday. It is quite a different experience. Usually I am the one going to the shows and presenting my Jewellery. This time I am on the other side. The change is a bit unsettling and nerve wracking because it is new to me. On the other-hand, I am also excited about the unknown.

Once I decided I was going to take the store, buying it was easy. I curated all the designers for it. I knew most of them personally and as well a professionally through the showroom in Paris where my collection. Deciding what to buy was the most exciting experience. I am grateful to designers who, despite being very busy, produced the pieces for me and delivered just on time before the store opened. I guess that was my advantage of knowing almost all of them personally. Otherwise I would have had to place an order 6 months in advance.

Who is your target client?

I would say starting age anywhere from 30-60's but it depends, since age is just a number. These women are worldly. They take interest in world events, theatre, arts, politics , etc. In nutshell, they are well travelled, ageless, progressive and are not afraid to stand out.

The store offers "Exclusive clothing and accessories from European fashion labels and New York fashion label exclusive to Kapade." What exclusive labels are featured in Kapade?

The labels offered are -
  • Mutsaers from Netherlands - known for their high quality handmade handbags and one of the oldest companies in Netherlands. I know them personally as I used to use their leather for my jewelry.
  • Elementum - known for seamless dresses which are multifunctional.
  • Ablesia - an industrial designer/product designer. Therefore her garments have an interesting edge to them.
  • Nrk from New York - has interesting shapes to her garments. Very Japanese,
  • Uli Rapp from Netherlands - works with textiles. She screen prints chains and beads, giving them the illusion of chains and beads. Extremely lightweight, playful and luxurious at the same time. Statement pieces for sure
  • Designs By Sonia (my label) - the pieces are more like wearable art and mini sculptures. 
Almost all of these labels are sold worldwide in galleries and high end retail stores.

Where can readers find out about upcoming store events or new labels arriving?

Definitely on the store's Facebook and Instagram pages for now, but I will be announcing the next move soon.

Links -


  1. Hardworking people always work hard on their dreams. Congratulations for your achievements.
    Baba's blessings and greetings to all those who walk into your dreams and make it A SUCCESS.

  2. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.


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