Vita Fede Boxes: The Making Of
Luxury accessory brand Vita Fede marries “life” and “faith” in all aspects of its design, mission, and ethos. Designer Cynthia Sakai has a global perspective on design that integrates her deep curiosity and compassion for people with her impeccable eye for detail. From her artistic collaborations, to her enthusiasm for traditional hand-craftsmanship, to her support of universal clean water access, storytelling underlies every Vita Fede piece and partnership.
Sakai ensures that every design element of her line pulls from the rich traditions and stories of the artisans around the world who handcraft each piece. She draws upon European, Asian, and American influences to create luxury items that are not only beautiful but thoughtful. As JD Boujnah--one of her creative partners--notes, she incorporates a versatility into her luxury objects that heightens their quality. “There is a modular aspect to all that she designs. The second use aspect is so important--for instance, creating a ring that can flip and transform into a different ring--that attention to detail and creativity is what embodies her designs."
Hadi Madwar, the Head of R&D at Madovar, took this design philosophy to heart in the creation of the boxes for Vita Fede’s line. The box highlights the elegance of black-and-white packaging design while integrating the look and textures of Italian marble, which is a nod to the Italian craftsmanship that Sakai employs in her accessory design and manufacturing.
The Italian marble inlay is inspired by samples of actual slabs of marble from Northern Italian quarries, and the design pulls from research into Italian finishings and interiors. Ultimately, the vision for the box was for it both express the luxury and artistry of Vita Fede accessories by also becoming a decorative object itself. Sakai collaborated on the project, and Madwar notes that both companies connected over their shared passion for masterful design and perfectionism.
"A lot of precision is involved in both jewelry making and box making. Many details can only be known through experience, as in this case with the folding of the box, which has to be perfect.” That level of precision translates to Sakai’s work, which considers every element of a piece’s functionality and mastery as inherent to its appeal.
The Madovar box for Vita Fede is in many ways emblematic of Sakai’s creative process that thrives on the brand’s collaborations with international artists, artisans, and causes. Vita Fede is in a perpetual state of creative flow: The walls of its New York offices are adorned with the calligraphy of famed Japanese artist Masako Inkyo (the company will soon carry Inkyo prints); the line collaborated on a photo series with celebrated photographer Charlie Bennet that paired jewelry with his food photography; and, in New York, Vita Fede jewelry can be gifted with an exquisite bouquet from Ariston Florist (floral design is another of Sakai’s loves).
With the Madovar collaboration, Madwar found it to be “a natural coupling because we do a lot of work by hand. That’s what really drew us to her line--that level of care that she communicates through her product. It is a multicultural brand. We were very inspired by that and that she is reclaiming handicraft in fine jewelry.” Even Vita Fede's charitable support of clean water initiatives is quintessential of the brand’s appreciation of people and process (ten percent of sales go to benefit Charity: Water). “Life and faith--how can we support a cause that combines those things?" Boujnah emphasizes. "Water is the base element that combines them because it is essential to life and the future.”
He stresses that Sakai’s ultimate talent is her inclusivity and collaborative spirit that thrives on discovering and embracing the gifts of others. “Every collaboration [at Vita Fede] is a true collaboration. We want to tell stories. The past, the present, the people we meet--[the desire to collaborate] comes from a real place. We want to collaborate on and create beautiful products and connect over causes we care about.”
- By Daphne Muller -