Nika, tell us a bit about yourself.

I own two businesses, one is a luxury leather brand called Paradise Row, where we supply the best quality leather to businesses like interior designers, hotels and restaurants, we also produce a direct to consumer range available through our site and through Soho Home’s flagship store for people who want the ultimate luxury gifting. My other business is 7WenlockRoad, where we hire out our studios to other brands for shooting lifestyle content. On the side, I also have set up a network called Zanaée which spotlights Iranian women who are trailblazers in their respective creative industries with the aim of changing the narrative around Iranian women, which is greatly needed at the moment especially with the Women Life Freedom movement.

What was the inspiration behind Paradise Row, how did it all begin?
Paradise Row is named after a cobbled Georgian street in East London and at the end of the terraced houses there are a number of converted arches into restaurants and bars. It is the perfect depiction of old world London and the burgeoning creative London that we see today. This is what I wanted to encapsulate in my brand and therefore what inspired me to name it after this London street. 

What makes Paradise Row different to other leather goods brands?
We are contemporary in design and we allow the beautiful leather speak for itself without any disguise of embellishments. We work with vegetable-tanned leather which is the highest quality and most expensive type of leather in the world. The animal skin is placed in deep pits in the ground with vegetation such as bark, leaves and berries placed on top, and over months, the naturally occurring tannic acids converts the skin to leather, providing a natural patina and beautiful earthy colours. Vegetable-tanned leather is biodegradable after fifty years and is a sustainable alternative to chromium-tanned leather which make up 90% of worlds leather. 

What are some of the brand’s most notable achievements?
Our collaboration with Soho Home in this last year has been one of our exceptional achievements after branching out into homeware and stationery for our direct to consumer range. Being featured in publications such as British Vogue multiple times, The Financial Times, The Telegraph Luxury and Harper’s Bazaar as a sustainable brand have also been major highlights over the years, as well as being stocked at world famous luxury stores such as Fortnum & Mason and being in the main window of Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue, New York

Have you encountered any challenges as a brand, and how were they overcome?
Being a first time mother during the pandemic was the most challenging time for the brand.  Not only I had to focus all my attention to my baby without any support or childcare, at the same time, our wholesale completely stopped because stores and restaurants were closed and direct to consumer sales for our bag range stifled, because no one was going out. I had to tackle this life changing event in my personal life and once in a lifetime event affecting my business life at the same time. To say I suffered from burnout is an understatement. Fortunately for me, the Paradise Row’s branding was so strong it held out to expand our business to incorporate homeware and stationery and finally when things opened up we returned to working as a leather supplier for many of well-known London establishments today.

What’s your favourite piece?
My favourite piece always changed depending on my mood and season, but I can tell you what the bestsellers are. The Pearly out of the CORE collection, the LOVE bag of the EMPATHY collection, the Contrapposto of the HOURGLASS collection and the Deskmat, Laptop Sleeve and Coasters of our PARADISE ROW collection.

Most valuable piece of advice?
How you start your day sets the tone for the rest of your day. 

How would your friends describe you?
Energetic, content and driven 

Favourite STORIES product?
The Original, STORIES Nº.01 Eau de Parfum 

What is next for Paradise Row?
As well as expanding our business working with leading brands within the hospitality sector such as hotels and restaurants, we are also providing corporate gifting for many firms for their respective clients and employees and partnering with marketing agencies to provide top brands with branded merchandise in leather.


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