In Conversation With Vanessa Bellan of V.BELLAN Jewelry

In Conversation With Vanessa Bellan of V.BELLAN Jewelry


For as long as she can remember, Vanessa Bellan has always created and worn her own jewelry pieces. One of her earliest memories as a little girl is making beaded earrings and necklaces to sell at family yard sales in Massachusetts. As an adult, Bellan pursued a career in jewelry design, where she worked on teams for private label brands and retailers, and as a consultant for jewelry designers.

She continued to create pieces to wear for her own personal use, which soon caught the attention of those around her. After years of creating custom pieces for clients, Bellan decided to launch her first capsule collection, entitled “Enteresant”, in 2016. The collection, a compilation of all the pieces she’d created for herself over the years, allowed Bellan to establish her aesthetic for simple yet edgy designs that can be worn every day.

After suffering a personal loss in 2019, Bellan found solace in her work. The following year, the Haitian-American designer launched her collection as a gender-neutral jewelry brand called V.BELLAN, offering statement earrings, chain link necklaces, sleeve cuffs and more, made from gold, sterling silver and brass. Today, the New York-based designer’s pieces have been worn by Insecure’s Issa Rae, actor Delroy Lindo and journalist Elaine Welteroth, while the brand has been featured in Forbes and WWD.

As a Black-owned brand, diversity in the fashion industry is important to V.BELLAN’s plans to grow its wholesale business. “Diversity in fashion means everything to me,” Bellan says. “It’s giving people the opportunity to come together to create, to brainstorm, and to reflect what we see in the world. It means being heard, it means being seen, and most importantly, it means being represented.” 

The Folklore Edit spoke to Vanessa Bellan about her transition to being a creative director of her own brand, why jewelry is perfect for self-expression and why she chose The Folklore Connect for her business.


V.BELLAN founder and creative director Vanessa Bellan

How would you describe yourself and what you do?

I’m a passionate, creative, stubborn, loyal, and loving person who is a creative director and jewelry designer.

How would you describe your brand ethos and how is that reflected in your collections?

V.BELLAN is a brand that offers designs that provide an effortless statement that allows our customers to wear their VB items every day—on any occasion, making it a daily wardrobe essential.

Our solid gold personalized pieces are meant to document all of our life’s most memorable moments that remind us of where we’ve been, and where we’re going. Our gold collection’s sustainable nature is made to pass it down from generation to generation. Our seasonal brass and sterling silver contemporary collections offer fashion capsules that show our love of clean lines and structural design, which gives a clean, yet edgy aesthetic.

You started out in the industry working on design teams of private label brands and with major retailers, and as a jewelry consultant for designers. Tell us about the transition to being creative director of your own brand. Was it an advantage to already be in the industry and have transferrable skills, or was it more challenging than expected?

The transition to being a creative director for my own brand came easily, as the launch of V.BELLAN was created in memory of my daughter who passed away in 2019. Before launching my own brand, I worked in the jewelry industry for more than 10 years, so designing through my grieving process was a natural outlet for me. It helped me work through my depression and create pieces that I envisioned my daughter would want to steal from me as she got older, and it allowed me to document where I was in my life journey with my solid gold personalized pieces. I’m able to pass on these personal stories with a tangible item to my son and future grandchildren.

V.BELLAN jewelryV.BELLAN jewelryV.BELLAN jewelry


Since your first collection in 2016, and the launch of V.BELLAN in 2020, the global fashion industry has changed a great deal due to the pandemic, social change and push for diversity. How has V.BELLAN adapted to the current landscape? Has it had any effect on your business?

I launched V.BELLAN in 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic, on what would have been my daughter’s first birthday. It was during a time when everyone was home, sharing stories and it felt like a raw time, emotionally, for the world. Especially, Black people. I decided to share my story of grief and the response was astounding. I had people that I knew—and also strangers—sharing their stories of grief and loss. People also wanted to document where they were as well, and wanted custom jewelry pieces. This was also around the time of the fashion industry’s decision to give designers of color an opportunity for exposure.  So it gave VB and other designers a way to connect with new audiences.

The barrier to entry is high, and many designers of color are underrepresented in jewelry design. What do you think is the key to supporting designers and increasing the visibility of Black-owned brands to a global audience?

The key to supporting each other is to do just that, fully support. Show the world we can come together and celebrate each other, collaborate, share information and not gate keep. Coming together will force the world to take notice of our work and that will provide opportunities for all of us.

Jewelry can be personal, but you really personalize your designs. Your initials are a recurring feature in your designs, and each piece is custom-made. Why do you think jewelry is such a great tool for self-expression?

Jewelry is so personal. It is a way to document all of our life’s most memorable moments that remind us of where we’ve been, and where we’re going. Just like when we hear a song and it reminds us of a specific time of our life and we remember what we were doing when we first heard the song, what we were wearing, the type of person we were at that time—jewelry is the same way. It’s a tool of memory, self-expression and personal style.

             V.BELLAN jewelry at The Folklore Connect x RAISEfashion NYFW Showrooom   V.BELLAN jewelry at The Folklore Connect x RAISEfashion NYFW Showrooom  

You recently participated in the NYFW Showroom hosted by Connect and RAISEfashion, and you’re showing at Coterie this week. What would you say are the benefits of market appointments and trade show for your brand?

Participating in the NYFW Showroom hosted by Connect and RAISEfashion, and having a booth at Coterie is such a blessing for my brand. Getting an opportunity to have one-to-one chats with buyers and share your brand story while having a chance to walk them through your collection was an opportunity that I’m not sure I would have had on my own.

You’re one of the new accessories brands on The Folklore Connect. What would you say is the main reason for signing up to join the platform? How does The Folklore Connect meet the needs of your brand’s wholesale business?

My main reason for signing to The Folklore Connect was for the opportunity to work with a company that sees the beauty and potential in Black designers’ work—and wants to help us achieve greatness. Connect provides opportunities for designers to connect directly with buyers from all over the world, which I have not seen from any wholesale showroom. Also, The Folklore Connect team members are warm, helpful, and encouraging. Win-win all around.

Discover and shop V.BELLAN here


The Folklore Connect is showcasing V.BELLAN at the Coterie trade show in New York at booth 5952 from February 21-23.

New to The Folklore Connect? Sign up to shop wholesale or apply to sell as a brand