Cynthia Sakai on chasing your dreams and creating a jewelry empire with a cult following.
What’s behind the name VITA FEDE?
“Vita” was the first word I learned in Italian and Faith is the name of my puppy, which translates to “Fede,” in Italian.
You are a NYC based brand, yet your designs are produced in Italy. Why did you decide to produce in Italy and what are some of the challenges?
All of our designs are produced at family-owned factories in Italy, which makes every piece special. Their keen attention to detail and use of only the finest materials ensures superior quality. Operating in a different time zone than NY is a bit challenging, but so worth it as being made in Italy is an essential part of our brand DNA.
Your jewelry is really making the street style rounds, what’s your inspiration?
I gravitate towards clean and sculptural aesthetics which inspire my sleek jewelry collection. As I travel throughout the world, I always pay attention to what’s around me, the people, incredible art and architecture.. . The fact that a woman in Japan is wearing the same Vita Fede bracelet as someone in New York, yet styled in their own way, inspires me.
Since I am so heavily influenced from my travels throughout the world, I love that my pieces can translate for people across the globe.
Who is your style icon?
My grandmother and mother are my two style icons.
Do you have a secret talent?
I have my pilot’s license.
Can you describe a typical day?
As an entrepreneur, every day is different. I meet with each department on a regular basis to make sure the entire team is on track.
Creating every day pieces with special details inspire me.
What’s one piece of jewelry you can’t live without?
My grandma gave me an heirloom necklace that was beautiful but a bit dated so I redesigned it into a ring with sapphire and diamonds. Now I get to wear a piece of grandma Yasue every day!
You have grown a great business, any advice to young designers starting out?
Be sure you’re passionate about your business. You’ll need that passion to make all of your hard work feel worth it!
Special thanks to Cynthia Sakai
Images and Video courtesy of VITA FEDE.
This interview has been edited and condensed.