By Nazanine Nouri
Sahar Asvandi is the British-Iranian designer behind the luxury handbag label S.Joon, and one of only four designers selected to participate in NET-A-PORTER’s Spring-Summer 2020 prestigious Vanguard program.
The global luxury e-commerce brand’s mentorship program offers promising designers mentorship by NET-A-PORTER professionals to help them become successful, sustainable businesses.
U.K.-based Asvandi designs luxury leather handbags that are made in Italy using the highest-quality Italian leather and skilled Italian artisans.
Here’s how Drapers’ online magazine describes it: “The tagline for contemporary accessories brand S.Joon is ‘British-based. Italian made. Persian roots.’”
“My heritage is definitely part of who I am,” Asvandi told Harper’s Bazaar Arabia in February.
The brand’s name, S.Joon, is a portmanteau composed of the founder’s first initial ‘s’, for Sahar [dawn in Farsi]; and ‘joon’ – a Persian term of endearment that is used at the end of someone’s name to mean ‘dear.’
S.Joon’s designs are “inspired by a love of vintage handbags, and combine sculptural shapes with contemporary details to create classic yet distinctive pieces,” Asvandi explains on her website www.sjo.online. The brand is “founded on the philosophy of buying well and buying less,” focusing on detail, quality and Italian craftmanship.
Asvandi, who trained as a solicitor, then spent 10 years working as a contemporary dance teacher and choreographer before launching her label. S.Joon began as a way to supplement her work: She started selling vintage bags on Ebay and noticed the demand for saddle bags.
She launched her brand in the spring of 2019 with styles including the classic saddle bag, which “will always hold a special place in my heart as it is where my journey began,” as she told Harper’s Bazaar Arabia.
One of her proudest moments has been having Net-a-Porter as her label’s debut stockist in the fall of 2019, only months after launching her brand.