Leila Vibert-Stokes, Founder of Leila Vibert-Stokes Ltd
A print designer and digital illustrator specialising in colourful, sustainable and nature-inspired home interiors
After graduating from Central Saint Martins with a degree in Fashion in 2009, I’d already started to become unsure about the reality of the industry I was set to break into. With more emphasis on logistical and administrative-based tasks than actual designing, I opted to go into print design to fulfil my creativity.
I completed an internship, which I absolutely loved, and then moved to Beijing for just over six months. Supporting myself as a print designer for a sportswear corporation, it was an exciting time to be there because China’s economy had just started to boom after they’d hosted the Olympic Games only two years before.
When I returned to the UK, I landed a job as a textile designer for an amazing print studio in North London. It was an incredible place to work, as the director encouraged us to experiment and really push the boundaries of print design.
The six years I spent there were fantastic, but a couple of things happened which put the whole industry in limbo – the Eurozone crisis being one of them. I handed in my notice at the end of 2016, did some freelancing work and then set up a greetings card subscription business with a friend, which lasted about a year. Our lives diverged and we couldn’t agree on the best way to take the company forward, so it was for the best to step away from it.
In 2018 – still freelancing, which included sales work for my previous employer – I went on a trip to Shanghai and had my ‘epiphany moment’. The unpleasant but strangely nostalgic smell of China’s polluted air got me thinking about a lack of sustainable products available on the market, so I resolved to do something about it…
After a year spent getting back on my feet and finding the right headspace to undertake a new venture, I launched my pieces online in June this year. The provenance of the materials I use is of utmost importance and I strive to create items which are bold, colourful, fun and celebrate maximalism.
My dream is to see the fashion market flooded with sustainable products that cover a wide range of aesthetic tastes.