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November 13, 2023 —

Love What You Do: Léa Zana of Vaisselle

A love of visiting French flea markets, as a child, with her grandmother, has led Léa Zana to create Vaisselle - a contemporary table and homeware brand, with an eclectic, vintage feel
Léa Zana of Vaisselle an independent UK contemporary homeware brand
Colourful vintage antique style vases from independent UK contemporary homeware brand Vaisselle
Shelley Welti
91 Magazine online content editor,

Photography

Holly Smith
Photographer,
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Hi  Léa! What inspired the idea of setting up Vaisselle?

I worked in fashion for 15 years before creating Vaisselle and I knew that someday I would do something for me. I decided to take the leap before Covid. As I’ve been passionate about ceramics and its traditional craftsmanship since a young age, it was a no-brainer.

Léa Zana of Vaisselle an independent UK contemporary homeware brand

Colourful vintage antique style cup from independent UK contemporary homeware brand VaisselleWhat did you do before setting up your business?

I was a footwear designer for fifteen years. I started in luxury design in Paris, then moved over to the high street designing for Zara and Topshop.

Where do you find creative inspiration?

Travelling! I travel A LOT to get inspired. It allows me to discover unique interiors, different architectures and the way people in each region mix colours together inline with the sunlight.

All of these details are part of the culture of different regions, and I love to imprint them in my mind and then translate them into my collections.

Colourful vintage antique style vase sketches from independent UK contemporary homeware brand Vaisselle

Colourful vintage antique style vases from independent UK contemporary homeware brand Vaisselle

How would you describe your style?

Eclectic and authentic. Themes and influences that run throughout my work are flowers, nature and antique tiles.

How did you first discover your love for what you do?

My Grandmother was a flea market addict. I grew up with her in the South West of France and our Sunday pastime was to go to brocantes; not exciting for a kid, but that’s where I developed my eye for beautiful things for the home!

Colourful vintage antique style vases in process from independent UK contemporary homeware brand Vaisselle

Colourful vintage antique style tableware from independent UK contemporary homeware brand VaisselleColourful vintage antique style vases from independent UK contemporary homeware brand Vaisselle

Tell us a little about your work and creative process… 

I don’t overthink what I do. I don’t do moodboards or a lot of pre-work. My design process is constantly fed by everything I see every day. I keep those beautiful things in mind and then put them all together when designing a new collection.

It may be that I have seen an antique fabric with a special floral design or an item of antique furniture with a special detail that caught my eye. This will then lead me to think a piece around those “obsessions”, as I call them, and then the creativity flows!

What does a typical working day look like?

I start at 10am after my daily yoga practice and get on with emails, customs clearance and logistics issues. Mornings are for problem solving and admin. Sadly, due to Brexit, importation challenges are my main job. Afternoons are more creative; research, design, meetings with my makers or shooting new styles.

Colourful vintage antique style vases from independent UK contemporary homeware brand Vaisselle

Colourful vintage antique style vase sketches from independent UK contemporary homeware brand VaisselleColourful vintage antique style vases from independent UK contemporary homeware brand Vaisselle

Is there an element of your work that you love the most? 

Designing! It’s only 10% of the job though!

Is the online community important to your work?

Definitely! There would not be Vaisselle without Instagram! Vaisselle owes its success to my Instagram followers who have supported me since day one!

Working as an independent – what are the joys, and what are the challenges?

The joys are: freedom, sense of achievement and fulfilling a dream. The challenges are finances (I am self-funded) and customs chaos.

Colourful vintage antique style tableware from independent UK contemporary homeware brand Vaisselle

Colourful vintage antique style vases from independent UK contemporary homeware brand Vaisselle

Do you have any creative hobbies?

Sewing cushions and tablecloths and also painting furniture. Anything to make my home nicer!

QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS

Books I love… Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan

Creative heroes: Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld

Shops I love: Liberty and Sunbury Antiques Market

Inspirational places: Mallorca, Capri and Menorca, all the Mediterranean islands!

vaisselleboutique.com

@vaisselle.boutique

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