The Ringleader
Female Singapore|June 2017
The Ringleader

Just what’s the appeal of Monica Vinader’s delicate, everyday friendly jewellery that’s turned her brand into a multi-milliondollar business worn by everyone from Kate Middleton to Kendall Jenner? Isabel Ong heads to her idyllic countryside studio in England to find out.

It’s the first week of April and Spring is looking good in the English countryside. On our threehour journey to jeweller Monica Vinader’s Norfolk headquarters by train and car, we – members of the Singapore press – whizz by a blur of endless green fields and unsullied blue skies. The office is housed in the Jane Austen-esque surroundings of Holkham estate: more unspoiled nature, herds of deer roaming freely, and also where the Earl of Leicester and his family – yes, nobility – reside.

The Spanish-born Vinader, 48, meets us dressed casually in a black leather jacket, white blouse, jeans and glitter pink Gucci loafers. Over lunch, she shares snippets of her life, travels and what she loves about working in Norfolk. Speaking confidently and animatedly, she is effusively passionate about her eponymous label, something that becomes only more evident during my one-on-one interview.

She has lived in “incredibly remote places”, she tells me. She grew up in Spain, but did a stint in New Mexico in her 20s, interning for a sculptor. She then moved to Argentina with her husband before taking root in Norfolk. Her parents’ antique and auction business played a part in cultivating this thirst for adventure. As a child, she would accompany them on buying trips to Sotheby’s, Christie’s and antique markets all over England, she recalls with a soft smile.


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June 2017