Fashion I.Q.: Behind the Scenes with Veronica Beard

Heather Dunhill gets the scoop on Veronica Beard, a new line that’s quickly become a darling of the fashion world.

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The power pairing of sisters-in-law Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson Beard has resulted in an American sportswear brand of their shared name: Veronica Beard. This modern-classic label has been on the rise since its inception in 2010–and even more so after its acceptance and mentorship with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, which supports up-and-coming designers by pairing them with some the most notable names in the industry. (To give you an idea of the magnitude of this opportunity, some of the former participants were Rodarte, Rag & Bone and Alexander Wang. It’s a major opportunity, and the whole thing is broadcast as a reality show.)

Tip of the cap to the team at The Met for tuning into this polished modern brand and adding it to their highly curated collection on St. Armands Circle. Pop over to see how chic you look in VB–it’s so easily wearable. And below, here’s a look inside the brand with the Beard sisters themselves.

Must ask about your highly coveted opportunity with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. You were often sitting across the table from some incredible (and intimidating!) industry names, like Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, Jenna Lyons, Reed Krakoff, Jeffery Kalinsky and Ken Downing. Did you connect with any of the judges the most, or get amazing feedback from one specifically?

Veronica Miele Beard:  It was an experience like no other. I learned a lot from Anna Wintour, notably that her primary focus is to drive commerce in the fashion industry, not just to call the latest trends. Ken Downing helped us feel confident about where we decided to reposition ourselves. Andrew Rosen is an incredible mentor–from production to being a product junkie, he has seen fashion from the business side and his insight is priceless.

Veronica Swanson Beard:  Stephen Kolb (head of the CFDA) told me that the power of our business will be the fact that we are our customer, and that we know her so well.  It’s true!  We’ve always said that, and it’s what keeps us honest.

Did you find that the experience translated into your design/business process? Did you see any changes because of it?VB FL14

VMB:  The experience definitely translated into our design/business process.  After a few seasons of reviewing data on selling, we continuously refine our line plan.

VSB: Yes! We are constantly thinking about our customer.  She is the topic of conversation when we are designing every piece of VB.  We want her to love everything she owns from us, and feel each piece is a can’t-live-without-it item in her closet.

Aside from the Fashion Fund experience, was there a moment when you felt like you’d made it?

VMB: I don’t think I’ll ever feel as though we’ve “made it.” There’s always something else to create, another season to think about. However, when you see someone walking down the street looking gorgeous in your creation, it takes your breath away.

VSB: God, I hope I never feel like we’ve made it.  The climb is the best part!

Lets talk about the Veronica Beard collection.  You’re known for striking a balance between impeccable tailoring and the new modern in classic clothes – how do you manage this and still stand out from the fray?

VMB: Our modern is classic with a twist. It’s a play on the iconics for today’s woman and lifestyle. We feel there is a void for this elevated transitional look in the contemporary market.

VSB: There isn’t a lot like us out there. We’re speaking to a lifestyle that’s real, and a lot of women are responding.

For the girl who loves fail-safe pieces, what two would you tell her to go for in your collection?

VMB: The Scuba jumpsuit and classic jacket with hood. Next would be the spotty print peasant dress.

VSB: The VB blazer with hoodie dickey and black Scuba leggings- you’ll live in both.

On the edgy end, I’m crazy (crazy!) about this leather and scuba sleeveless moto top–so chic with the asymmetric zip. Think we could style this up for one of Sarasota’s cocktail parties? Maybe even a black tie?

VB FL14 2VMB: Hair up in a bun, gorgeous coral/red lip with a fun bag and heels.

VSB: Perfect cocktail party look!  Sexy and cool and not screaming where it came from.

Is there a trend in fashion that you absolutely despise right now?

VMB: Pink hair.

VSB: I’m not a huge fan of the big combat boot look.  I like high heels–the higher the better.

And for fun….who is your artist crush?

VMB: Johnny Depp

VSB: There is no artist more handsome than my husband’s uncle, Peter Beard.

Favorite candy?

VMB: Goldenberg’s peanut chews.

VSB: Chocolate and Haribo gummy candy.

What was the last show you binge-watched?

VMBBreaking Bad.

VSBSouthern Charm on Bravo.

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