Celebs People

Rock Royalty: Vegan Designer Leah Weller

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By Chere Di Boscio

Music Artist, Model, DJ and now vegan designer, Leah Weller is also rock & roll royalty, thanks to her father, Paul Weller. Leah’s venture into music has already seen her perform at VFestival 2013 and Nobu Unplugged, and having started her modeling career at the crazy young age of five, Leah was recently featured in lead fashion shoots in British, Italian and Japanese Vogue as well as Vanity Fair, Tatler, Interview, Sunday Times Style, I-D and Instyle Magazine. But most recently, has designed a very rock-chick vegan friendly boot for Beyond Skin.

A passionate animal lover and vegan herself, here she tells us about Cowspiracies, vegan dating, and planting seeds.

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What turned you on to veganism?
I have always loved animals and never liked the taste of meat, so I suppose for me it wasn’t too hard a decision and it’s an ethical decision too, for the most part.

Also after watching Cowspiracy and other ethical documentaries on the dairy industry, I started making the connection more and just couldn’t eat dairy anymore.  I have only been fully vegan since January, and it’s the best feeling, but it is a journey and takes time but just taking small steps is already something.

 

What do you eat in a typical day?
On a typical day I eat mostly veggies, lentils and rice, nuts and fruits. On a good day some fries, a vegan burger, and maybe some of NAMA’S (in Notting Hill) raw cheesecake.

What are some of your favourite vegan designers?
I love Stella McCartney’s clothes, Beyond Skin shoes, Matt and Natt bags, but mostly I just buy the vegan options from brands like Pretty Little Thing, Missguided, H&M, Zara, Stradivarius…there are a lot of great affordable vegan options on the high street, which is great.

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Leah’s boot design for Beyond Skin

What difficulties do you face as a vegan?
I feel like it can affect your social life, as a lot of people don’t understand veganism, and it is harder to eat out as in London there are not as many options to choose from so you end up ordering a salad with no dressing or something. Also for a health point of view, you have to learn how to eat properly, as you can end up getting sick if all you eat is rice and pasta, like I did the first few weeks. But there loads of websites with recipes, food charts, and PETA has a vegan starter kit that can help.

Would you ever date a guy who wasn’t vegan?
I don’t think it’s right to judge someone in that way. Being vegan should be about setting an example, and informing people, not forcing it down someone’s throat as I don’t think that will achieve much. You plant the seed. I think it would be ideal if you find friends or partners that are consciously and ethically aware also.

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What are some of your go-to vegan beauty products?

I am always researching brands that are vegan friendly, I love Urban DecayBarry M, Rituals, Nars and Dermalogica.

Which vegan food can you not live without?

Mostly fruit, avocados, bananas, but I just discovered Daiya Cheese which is really good for a vegan cheese.

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What inspired your design for Beyond Skin?
I’ve always been into designing but I started thinking there isn’t much in the way of fashionable, affordable cruelty free fashion, so it got me thinking. Also I have personally found that it’s a big misconception, when people think of vegans you don’t associate that with fashion. So it’s something I want to work towards in the future, having a cool cruelty free fashion line with good quality items that everyone can wear. So having the opportunity to work with such a great brand like Beyond Skin has been amazing, it’s great to meet people who care about both aspects.

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