Stalked: Monika, Founder of Layana London
27 August 2014
I always go by the saying 'life is too short to wear boring jewellery'!
In result, it's safe to say I have a lot of jewellery, but there are only a few pieces that I wear religiously everyday. One of them is my Great Frog snarling wolf head and the other is a ring by Dubini, who is one of my latest favourites and the reason I stumbled accross Layana London, the online destination for unique jewellery designers. After becoming rather obsessed with wanting to buy everything on the site, I thought it was about time I stalked the person behind scouting out all these incredible jewellery brands.
So here we are...
What do you do and why do you love your job?
I am the founder of Layana London, an online jewellery specialist. The aspiration for the company is to offer jewellery that is both distinctive and beautiful and to present it in a simple and uncluttered surrounding.
The amazing thing about Layana London is that I get to work with fantastically creative people, some of whom will be deservedly famous, and provide our customers with pieces that are unique and beautiful. It is a great feeling to see the customers putting the pictures of their new pieces on their social media or writing back with thanks. Plus I get to wear a lot of jewellery for work – what’s not to like?
Why did you decide to start Layana London?
I started Layana London because of my love for jewellery and the creative talents who design it. I tried my hand at designing as well, and completed a few courses including St Martins College, but ultimately I decided to focus on the business side.
Where do you find new talent?
It would be nice to say that I just come across them while on exotic holidays, but it doesn’t really work like that. I do a lot of research, visit endless local of galleries across Europe (and sometimes beyond), and trawl both press and internet. But then some of the designers came through personal recommendations and I get an increasing amount of interesting leads, which is nice.
Who are the emerging jewellery designers to watch at the moment?
In terms of up and coming designers I think Benedetta Dubini is a very exciting talent. She creates unique pieces combining old with modern elements. We stock her latest collection featuring ancient Roman coins. It is beautifully crafted and there is something humbling in wearing an item that was crafted literally thousands of years ago.
In terms of established designers I am a huge fan of Tomasz Donocik whom I represent in the UK. I also adore jewellery by Shaun Leane although I did not get the chance to work with him – hopefully one day.
Where do you shop and where do you eat in London?
Online shopping has always been my thing. I was an early fan of Net-a-Porter and its male sibling/partner, Mr Porter. I also like Matches and mytheresa.com.
At the same time, there is something unique and romantic about just coming across a small boutique that has just the perfect pair of shoes or bracelet. My most recent “discoveries” are Mooi in Kensington and Mouki Mou in Marylebone.
When it comes to food, London is such a great place for eating out! My favourite neighbourhood places are Abel Lusa’s restaurants on Old Brompton Road. I have been a happy customer for 12 years so I don’t really need the menu! Another great place in the area is Il Trillo on Hollywood Road – Roberto and Fabrizio Bartucelli have truly brought a bit of Tuscany to London with them. And they make great Negroni's!
How would you define your particular style?
This may not go down very well, but I will take jeans over a cocktail dress each and every time. There are obviously occasions when I need to dress up, but normally nice shoes, a great bag and some beautiful jewellery will jazz up any outfit. I guess plenty of people have said it before, but thank you, Kate Moss, for blazing the way!
Five items you can't live without?
My rings, a big dose of sunshine every year, sunglasses, ginger and lemon tea in the morning. And a cheap and cheerful hairclip my friend got me in Hong Kong – I still have it, 4 years on.
STALK THE STALKER ON