Style Rules: Leila Kashanipour
Style Rules: Leila Kashanipour

Style Rules: Leila Kashanipour

Leila is the jewellery designer behind the Instagram account @LeiVanKash. From her favourite brands to the pieces she believes are worth the investment, these are the style rules she lives by.
Photography: @LEIVANKASH

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My style is best described as ‘off the beaten track’. I always try to stay true to myself even when I’m embracing trends – the way I dress should reflect my personality and I like to put a personal touch on everything, whether it's adding a scarf or a colourful accessory to bring a look to life. 

Statement jackets are my weakness. Whether it’s a tweed jacket or a more elevated cardigan, adding a strong outer layer can make everything feel more pulled together and polished. For something colourful and fun, I’ll add a silk scarf or shawl, and, of course, plenty of jewellery. 

It’s imperative never to look too ‘done’. If my outfit is quite smart, then I like my hair to look a bit messy. If I’m just wearing jeans, it’s better if I do my hair – honestly, hair is so impactful when it comes to completing a look. Light layers are such an easy way to look chic in the city in summer, too. Flavia Stuttgen wears dresses so well – she’ll put on one simple, statement piece and just look so stylish. 

My best piece of style advice is stay true to yourself. Don’t lose your sense of personality in the way you dress – that’s what makes you different. Even when it comes to trends, make sure it’s not a copy-and-paste version of something you’ve seen online. We all lose our way every now and then, but it’s so important to remember who you are. 

Jeans are one of my wardrobe essentials. Today, I'm wearing a pair of vintage Levis 501s, a t-shirt, a statement tweed cardigan and sandals. When I get dressed, I tend to start with the clothes and then add the accessories. 

There are so many brands I love. One of my favourites is Chanel – it’s so timeless and elegant. And Hermès – it's quintessentially French. I also buy a lot from Celine. I try not to get too fixated by brands though – it’s more important to buy what suits me and what makes me feel good. 

One of my most recent purchases was a suit from Liberowe. I had so many compliments when I wore it, and I just discovered Me & Em, too. The fit of the trousers is so flattering. I also bought some linen shorts from & Other Stories the other day, which are already proving to be very versatile.

Every spring/summer capsule wardrobe should include a simple pair of sandals that take you from day to night – Port & Paire are a go-to. A linen blazer – St Agni has really cool styles. A couple of thick cotton t-shirts from Tommy Hilfiger and jewellery, I love evil eye charms and I have a rainbow choker from my brand LeiVanKash which looks a bit more bohemian at this time of year.

I launched Leivankash in 2011, after graduating from Central St Martins. At first, my Instagram account solely revolved around the brand, but over the years, it’s evolved. My brand name is an abbreviation of my name and family name. I was very much into Dutch Vanitas paintings at the time, so you have Lei – my name – Van, which means from, and Kash. 

The pieces in my wardrobe I love the most are my Hermès Kelly that my husband gave me for my 30th birthday – I use it every time I travel. And my jeans – I live in them. My favourites are AGolde 90s Pinch Waist and I recently tried Citizens Of Humanity again – they’re so flattering. On the high street, Arket has the best jeans. 

My most treasured items are my jewellery pieces. I have a necklace gifted to me by a friend which has my children’s names on it and a bracelet which I designed and my mum had made for me by our family jeweller. It has my son’s name on it and I wear it all the time.

It’s worth spending a bit more on jewellery, shoes and bags – all of them can all pull an outfit together. If you buy well, they’ll last as well, and you’ll get good cost per wear. One of my most-used accessories is my Moynat bag.

There’s a lot on my wish list right now. I love the denim Tribute mules from Saint Laurent. And there are these Paris Texas mules that come in several bright colours. I also have a few weddings on the horizon and have seen an amazing pink Jenny Packham dress on Farfetch…

I’d say I’m a conscious shopper,. I don’t tend to regret my decision-making, so I like to think I’m quite sustainable. It’s so important to really think about the wearability of each and every piece. I also sell pieces through ReLiked and if I have a designer piece to offload, I use Sellier Knightsbridge

Maria de la Orrden is one of my style icons. She might have a lot of designer pieces but she wears them in her own way – it's never forced and I love the way she dresses. She’s more bohemian-cool, than super polished. And I also love Pernille Teisbaek

The secret to great style is never looking forced. It’s not about the brand or the statement piece, it’s how you wear it. You have to wear the clothes, not the other way around.

Follow @LeiVanKash on Instagram.

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