The Last Word: Sheila Vance

Sheila Vance’s life was turned upside-down when she lost her only son Sam, a 19-year-old college freshman at UCLA, to addiction. Determined to turn personal tragedy into something positive, she founded the Sam Vance Foundation to help youngster’s battle similar problems. The foundation receives 100 per cent of the profits from her Sama Eyewear Visionaries collection.

With a French father and Iranian mother, Sheila was raised in Europe and lived in Canada before moving to Los Angeles to start her company. Her innovative eyewear collections or “jewellery for the face” have been featured in many major Hollywood movies, such as Tom Cruise’s sleek, high-tech frames in Mission Impossible III and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s iconic sunglasses in T3: Rise of the Machines. She also produced a custom range for music legend Stevie Wonder’s most recent concert tours.

What was the last thing you did before answering these questions?
Ha! I was just speaking to Nelly, the rapper, after he sang “Happy Birthday” to me.

When was the last time you were star struck?
When I was introduced to Princess Diana in London in 1997. I met her at Kensington Palace just a few months before her passing. She was the most amazing woman I have ever met – very down to earth and kind.

What was the last song you heard that made you cry?
I’m known to be an empathetic person and I’m easily moved with happy or sad songs, especially when they’re in movies. But I think the last song I cried to was “Let’s Dance” by the late David Bowie.

What was the last memorable meal you ate?
Risotto with white truffle at Madeo in Los Angeles. For me, Madeo is the best Italian restaurant in the entire world and it was white truffle season when we visited. They made a special risotto that day that tasted like heaven.

What was the last great piece of advice you heard?
My husband suggested that we get a dog to provide balance, promote health by walking and create a peaceful home environment. I am now loving my dog, Brando. His breed, Bernese Mountain, are known for companionship and gentle behaviour. Brando gives me unconditional love and kindness regardless of what mood I am in.

What was the last thing that really inspired you?
Reading about Apple founder Steve Jobs. I admire the commitment he had and the trust in his own instincts that changed the world forever.

When did you last feel like a teenager again?
I am pretty free spirited and totally fearless, so I feel like that at least once a day.

When was the last time you felt homesick?
To be honest, I rarely feel homesick when I travel abroad since I love being in new places. When I’m away, I actually try to do all things that I usually do at home. When I’m going to be away for a long time, I just take my loved ones with me.

What was the last brilliant idea you had?
Using precious 24-carat gold on the lens to create a golden glow. I woke up with it one morning and immediately started working on it.

Where was the last holiday you took?
Cheval Blanc Randheli in The Maldives. I have been to the Maldives several times and always come back with great memories. This last time, my husband surprised me for our anniversary. This hotel and their services was the closest thing to perfection. We had a huge villa with a butler, our own chef and an amazing view – all for just my husband and I.

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