Vitae London houses unique watches which do not only serve as a timeless fashion piece but also as a key to change the lives of African children who are either orphaned or live in poverty. Through the purchase of each watch, one child gains two sets of school uniforms, a bag and shoes for the academic year. NU People spoke to the owner and brains behind Vitae London, William Adoasi , to find out about the process of creating each distinctive watch and also about the impact he wishes to create.
What inspired you to start Vitae London?
Vitae is Latin for ‘Life’; and our mantra is to be the fashion brand that changes lives. I was inspired predominantly by my dad and his family. He was the first in my family’s generation to read and write. The long-term impact that this has had on my family, has inspired me to help more children of Africa and end all cycles of poverty. I wanted to link that in with fashion somehow as that is also a big passion of mine.
How did you come up with the variety of styles for your pieces?
I came up with the variety just from a lot of research. I knew the styles and colours I liked, so I went on to look at the current trends and what other people were doing in the market. I also made sure that my personal preferences were in line with what I thought would make an impact in the market.
What work goes into the design and creation of a piece?
There’s a lot of work that goes into creating a timepiece. Initially, we start with 3D drawings which the gets submitted to factories. We then receive samples in line with those drawings, which we have to critique each time. It took a lot of hard work at the beginning, but once we got one good prototype, it enabled us to get loads more with just variations of colours and styles.
What inspires you when you are creating your watches?
I really like watches of the 1960s era. I guess what’s really good about our watches is that they are modern classics. So, we are just bringing back styles of the old with a modern twist, with philanthropy at the heart of what we do.
What type of materials do you use for Vitae London?
We use Japanese Quartz Movement, Sapphire Crystal Glass which is scratch resistant, and we also use Premium Stainless Steel.
What makes Vitae London aesthetically unique?
I believe less is more. We have a really slick style which is very classy and not over complicated like some players in the market. So, the fact that we've actually kind of stripped the watch back to its simplest form, has enabled it to be unique and stand out in that way.
How do you wish to impact other people with your watches?
I want to impact the children first by providing resources for them to get to school. Another way is to impact the customers; to give them an amazing product that can make them feel good about themselves. At the same time, I also want to open up their horizons to giving back and enable them to have a heart that desires to give back more. I hope it just gives them the mindset to look for more avenues to change the world and impact people.
How do you want your consumers to feel when they wear your watch?
When our consumers wear our watches, I want people to feel a sense of ownership over the fact that they’ve impacted a life. And a sense of joy and pride that they were able to make a decision that has directly impacted someone living on the other side of the world.
Where can we purchase Vitae London watches from?
We have two major stockists. Our first one is in Johannesburg at Les Tresor and the second is at Utter Couture in Boxpark, Shoreditch. Besides from that, most of our sales come from our website. People tend to want to read more about our journey also and see stories about some of the children we have helped so far.