“Our goal is to create what we believe is true modern luxury. A brand can only be better if it can communicate directly to its customers, and vice versa.”
Cynthia Kozue Sakai is a designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Cynthia’s culturally diverse background and intuitive design sense have greatly influenced her life’s work. As a Japanese American, born and raised in California by her mother, who worked in luxury fashion, and her father, an architect, Cynthia had a knack for both design and entrepreneurship from an early age. She launched her first accessories line, Girlboy by Koco, when she was only 18 years old, and three years later, opened a multi-brand fashion showroom in Los Angeles selling to high-end specialty and department stores.
In 2009, Cynthia received a gift from a friend that would change her life — a stunning, handcrafted gold chain bracelet from Florence, Italy. Soon after receiving the gift, Cynthia embarked on her first trip to Italy to find and meet the local artisan that hand-crafted the bracelet, finally finding the boutique nestled on the Ponte Vecchio. That one meeting set into motion what would soon become Vita Fede. As Cynthia immersed herself in Italian culture, the first words she learned were “vita” – or life – and “fede,” which means faith. It was Cynthia’s personal faith in life that gave her the inspiration to launch the brand in 2009.
Today, Vita Fede is a modern luxury brand. The extensive collection of jewelry, accessories and beautiful objects share a unique global aesthetic, one that is timelessly classic, yet distinctly modern.
In 2014, Cynthia was inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Her passion for design is equaled only by her personal commitment to creating a business that is as philanthropic as it is creative. As a company, Vita Fede donates 10% of every sales dollar to support charitable causes.
Inspired by the brand name and ethos - Vita Fede meaning ‘life’ and ‘faith’ in Italian - the initiative launches with charity: water as the first beneficiary. Each $30 donated facilitates a one year supply of safe and clean drinking water for one person, with the aim to provide this life essential to over 20,000 people in developing countries in 2019. Often, this supply translates into access to education by keeping children in school during the time they may otherwise have spent collecting water - creating faith in their future.
“Finding the time to give back has always been a challenge but the desire to give back has always been a constant. I went back to the drawing board to create a new Vita Fede business model that made giving back seamless and effortless for all - our customers as well as our organization and wider team of Vita Fede’s partners and collaborators.” - a structure that allows both Vita Fede and its customers to effortlessly make a significant, viable impact.
Designer. Entrepreneur. Philanthropist. Cynthia believes in “vita fede” – having the faith in life to use your passions to make an impact on others and the world around you. She lives in New York City with her two adorable French bulldogs, Olivia and Sora.