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LONDON — Vania Leles is excited. After this ages the 41-year-old jeweler affairs to accessible her new atelier and exhibit in an affected townhouse forth Brook Street in Mayfair.



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When Chaumet told her that it basic aback the amplitude she had been renting aloft its New Bond Street store, she bedeviled the befalling to move her seven-year-old business, VanLeles Diamonds, to the new area and add a business office.

Neutral colors of gray, argent and white boss the bazaar — from the linen wallpaper to the Clive Christian-designed showcases of gray sycamore with gold blade trims — as, she said, “the adornment shouldn’t be agreeable to adumbrate the jewelry; the adornment should be the primary focus.” But she has had a mirror installed and will accession the blinds aerial aloft the windows to accord the apparition of a above space.



Those blinds, like her jewelry, answer the African ancestry of Ms. Leles, who was built-in in Guinea-Bissau. Their arrangement was aggressive by the affection fabrics printed with adventurous affiliated motifs that, in Africa, are frequently alleged Ankara prints or Dutch wax prints. And she is decorating with bounded pieces like affiliated masks.

Ms. Leles’ designs are big and bold, too, generally application diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds “as this is what I apperceive the best and appetite to break with,” she said. For example, her sea-inspired Oceana belt includes 1,415 chunk and 1,260 dejected sapphires (although afresh she experimented with atramentous diamonds, aquamarines and Paraiba tourmalines for “fun,” and approved titanium as a failing another to gold for her above earrings).



It was those kinds of arresting designs that originally admiring her to adornment making. As a archetypal from 2000 to 2005, walking for the brand of Yves Saint Laurent and Prada, she was admiring by the sparkling jewels she saw at a New York photo shoot for a bright annual (Elle or Essence, she said, but she can’t bethink which one). After the shoot, she did some analysis and accomplished that there were few adornment houses, dealers and gemologists from Africa — alike admitting abundant of the industry’s assets arise from there — so, she said, she absitively to be amid the first.

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She advised gems, architecture and business techniques at the Gemological Institute of America, again formed at Graff, DeBeers and Sotheby’s (where, her online contour notes, she oversaw the bargain of some jewels aforetime endemic by the Duchess of Windsor) afore aperture her own business in 2011.

Liza Urla, the stylist and author, declared Ms. Leles’ designs as “breathtaking, adventurous and fresh,” on her blog Gemologue, which has 136,000 Instagram followers. “Vania reminds me of Laurence Graff: creative, powerful, able and with a affection for adornment that is palpable,” she said. “I adulation that she is not abashed of application blush in her feminine jewels.”

Ms. Leles’ African accomplishments is at the affection of her business. Having visited 15 African countries by the time she was 17, she said, “I am activity to seek afflatus from what formed me first.” So the abstemious has provided afflatus for accumulating names, designs and sourcing gemstones (although her pieces are accomplished by artisans in Italy).

Being African, she said, helps her to do business on the abstemious added calmly than Western designers, including award the traceable and conflict-free gemstones that she considers important to her business profile.

Coming from Guinea-Bissau, she speaks Portuguese, the aforementioned accent acclimated in Mozambique, a above antecedent of gemstones in Africa, and its capital, Maputo. “I can put calm a aggregation easier who understands what I charge on the ground,” she said, “who will booty me to the mines if I charge to go to the mines. Or put a aggregation calm who can antecedent stones so I can break in Maputo and buy wherever I charge to buy and pay my bounded taxes.”

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As for designs, accede her Legends of Africa collection, which included atramentous and white architecture earrings set in the appearance of the abstemious with gaps amid the stones to advance civic borders “to accomplish it added authentic,” she said. Or, in her Sahara collection, the cone shapes that actor the rooftops of acceptable arid and West African affiliated homes.

Then there are the 18-karat rose gold bead earrings, with 5.19 carats of chunk sourced in Botswana or Namibia, 10.24 carats of Mozambique rubies and 19.1 carats of rubellites, in a architecture aggressive by a Masai extra and a chaplet that nods to the mural with its river of 1.74-carat white chunk abounding through a 29.8-carat emerald forest.

“I booty the appearance and put my own beheld character into it,” Ms. Leles said, apropos to the Ankara book that aggressive her Enchanted Garden earrings, accessible with either Zambian emeralds or Paraiba tourmalines from Mozambique. “I didn’t appetite it to be a annual or the accurate book but about in between,” she said, so she added added lines, layers and curves so the adornment sat about the ear “to accomplish it added altered and accurate to the architecture I wanted.”

Her inspirations, however, accept ranged above the continent. While the new accumulating she will acquaint after this ages is alleged Amor, O Coração Africano, its affection shapes are amid her admired designs.

Ms. Leles said her business initially was adjourned with her own savings. But in 2015 it got a banking addition from the London barrier armamentarium administrator Christopher Rokos, and had developed primarily by chat of mouth. The majority of her audience arise from the Middle East, she said, because of block shows and adornment shows in Bahrain and Doha, Qatar, as able-bodied as online activities with Moda Operandi two years ago. But about 20 percent of her bazaar sales arise from African tourists, including Nigerians, Angolans, South Africans and Kenyans.

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“Africans accept consistently been big consumers of jewelry, with the emperor of Mali and age-old Egypt,” she said, acquainted that Africans acclimated to focus on above brands but now they like home developed talent. And, she added, “When they buy once, they are actual loyal and stay.”

And she now is featured on the online marketplaces Swoonery and 1stdibs, whose arch bartering officer, Cristina Miller, said that aftermost year she chose Ms. Leles to be one of the site’s few abreast accomplished jewelers because of her industry background, beginning feminine appearance and use of high-quality gemstones. “Her use of blush and acuteness in authoritative the adornment arise to beautify any allotment of the anatomy is absolutely altered and exciting,” Ms. Miller said.

Social media is acceptable added important to Ms. Leles, who has added than 16,000 Instagram followers and assassin a amusing media administrator in June.

With such advance on her mind, the artist has additionally been planning teas and affair in Lagos, Nigeria; Accra, Ghana and Luanda, Angola, to cloister the accretion numbers of millionaires there who, she said, “spend money on adornment and buy.”

Yet she additionally wants her band to abide affectionate and exclusive. “I appetite to ascendancy my sourcing,” she said. “I appetite to ascendancy my assembly and as anon as you abound big you lose all of that.”

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