Not only is The Movement Fam committed to featuring artists and models, but anyone we come in contact with who is talented, creative and driven. Shane Foran, the man behind Toronto-based Vitaly Design, is exactly that. Shane took some time out of his busy day to chat with us about his company, his inspiration and his future plans.
Cee: What up, man? Thanks for taking the time to chat to us.
Shane: My pleasure dude.
Cee: So break it down; tell us about Vitaly Design and how it came about.
Shane: Vitaly came about while I was backpacking around Asia. I kept having a dream about the Buddha sitting under the Bodhi Tree – this was a time in my life ruled by work – absolutely no balance. I knew little about Buddhism but thought it had something to do with balance. I knew South East Asia was a great place to explore it’s foundation and perhaps a way to level out.
I dropped everything I was doing and with my last pennies, flew there. I stayed for 3 months. I’ll be honest, I didn’t spend a ton of time exploring Buddhism, but I did spend time learning how to live.
Vitaly was born in the last month of my trip. I always loved fashion, but had never even considered doing something with it. I flew to Bali for my last month expecting to surf. A couple days in though, I checked out inland Bali, Ubud, and couldn’t leave. The people… the artisan lifestyle… the masonry… it was inspiring. A couple days in, I thought to myself, these people could make me anything I can draw – wouldn’t it be cool to have something with a taste of Bali and a taste of urban style? I drew up my first double ring. I had several people try to make it from there. A man named Ugenk, a great man who took pride in his work, had the skills I needed. When the first proto was done, I threw a message up on Facebook asking friends if they’d want one as a gift. The response was overwhelming and from that demand and a desire to produce more designs, Vitaly was born.
Cee: Amazing. Why jewellery design as opposed to any other form of creative expression?
Shane: It just found me… I will say though, as a kid, I produced a lot of music and that slipped away. That’s when my life became all about work. Vitaly has brought me back to the right side of my brain and I love it. I don’t imagine jewelry is all you’ll see from Vitaly.
Cee: You were born in Bali and spent some time there, which was clearly a huge inspiration on your designs. What in particular about Bali (and Indonesia in general) hit the creative nerve in you?
Shane: Technically I was born in Edmonton Alberta, but you could say I was born again there… I couldn’t say one thing in particular inspired me about Bali – the place is a epicenter for artists… there’s an energy there. I’m not a genius with words, so I’m not even going to try to do it justice.
Cee: Currently your range is two and three-finger rings, with very simple yet elegant designs. Do you plan on expanding from the rings into other jewellery or clothing?
Shane: Keep your eyes pealed for my next line, which should launch internationally in about 3 months. You’ll see some single finger rings, long chains and French cuff-links. My designs will always be androgynous – I hope to see some women rocking the cufflinks too.
Cee: Your work is stocked in various stores in Toronto, but also in Italy. Are you planning to expand into Europe? For some reason, Italy seems a great fit for your work.
Shane: My work was well received in Italy. Dolce (of D&G) actually took notice… as a new designer, I was pretty flattered. My plans are larger than Europe, to be honest. I’m working on an International roll-out. I really think Scandinavia in particular would receive my designs well, but I’d love to see some presence in Asia (Tokyo, Singapore and Malaysia) as well as the States, South America, etc.
Anyone reading this from NYC? Keep your eyes peeled for Vitaly in September.
Cee: Jewellery aside, what else inspires you? Specifically, do you have any artists (music, visual, etc) that really make you want to create?
Shane: This question is too big!
I could have answered this with a million names of people I worship, but I don’t think they come into play for Vitaly.
What I draw from for Vitaly… Black & White, Ying and Yang, Night and Day, Love and Hate, Time and One Life – Balance. I’ve always been interested in extremes… Vitaly is about juxtaposing extremes to find balance.
Cee: Great answer. You’re planning to add a section on your site that supports local Toronto musicians. That’s really dope; what is the plan behind that?
Shane: It’s simple – we’re all a team – let’s start acting like it. Being an artist is a hard gig – let’s share our networks, prop eachother up and bear-hug each other’s worlds.
The “Vitaly Family” section will be dedicated to artists in Toronto who want their art to be known and who know how powerful a good team can be. It will be musicians, painters, carvers, bloggers, designers of all kinds, etc.
Cee: If you weren’t designing rings, what else would you be doing? Where else do your passions lie?
Shane: The other loves in my life are snowboarding and traveling. I work for a media company whose media exists solely at ski resorts – I absolutely love my work. In my perfect world though, I’d be designing and traveling… I’d have no ‘home’.
Cee: Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring creative individuals?
Shane: Be good to people – you don’t have to be spiritual to believe in Karma… being good to others perpetuates more good. If you’re driven / love your art (job, sport, etc) and treat all those you meet with respect, I think you’re on your way to where you want to be, because people will want to see you succeed.
Oh, and don’t be a talker, be a doer.
Cee: Where can the people see and purchase your work online? Hit us with the social media links!
My Facebook URL is weak…
Someone wanna help me fix that?
Cee: Thanks for your time, man. We wish you much success!
Shane: Thanks! – Hope I didn’t talk to much… I tend to do that.