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Understanding this all too well is British handbag and accessory company VVA, headed by founder and designer Sarah Haran. There’s a common story of fashion designers finding their forté digging through their parents’ wardrobe as a youngster and from an early age, devoting their life to the industry. However, this is not the case for VVA. Sarah found her footing through simply assessing what she, as the director of an AIM-listed cloud computing company, required on a day to day basis. In such a senior position, naturally she faced a number of meetings each and every day, then having to find the time to attend evening socials. With this in mind, baggage restrictions presented themselves as an issue, spurring Sarah to seek out a multi-functional handbag, suitable for such a hectic lifestyle – she needed something that transformed effortlessly from travel to business to play, combining functionality and versatility with style. With the initial seeds sewn in 2011, VVA was born, utilizing the finest leather and metal to bring these sophisticated pieces to life.
Sarah speaks vibrantly about her keen interest in fashion and understands that key staples for her wardrobe was essential. She takes inspiration from ‘function over form’, believing there’s no reason the two should be mutually exclusive, with a taste for clean lines and uncluttered looks. Timeless in their aesthetic, Sarah aspires to blend vintage with new for a contemporary, stylish feel.
VVA is a quintessentially British brand at its core. When she began her business venture, Sarah committed herself to keeping products made in Britain. The thought of mass production overseas never appealed to the London-born designer. In the early days, manufacturing by hand in Sarah’s home studio worked wonderfully with lower numbers of handbags requested, however with the business growing by the day, VVA began looking for handmade manufacturing elsewhere, while remaining in the UK.
The process of finding a British manufacturer presented itself as a challenge, followed by setting up the business. Although costs may be high, Sarah emphasises that the reward has been more than worth it, giving the designer full control over both VVA’s supply chain and its manufacturing. It also allows any discussions to be carried out in person, as Sarah can just travel to visit the site.
VVA are dressed in elegant Italian leathers, and when one delves inside, they are greeted by a stylish suede interior with silver nickel components, designed and sourced by Sarah herself. Committed to perfection, Sarah utilises only the finest quality materials, an aspect she feels her customers recognise and truly appreciate with VVA. It’s this dedication to quality which has seen VVA’s handbags slung over the shoulders of customers all over the country, including a number of British celebrities.
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