When you wear a Victoria Jane McKenna blouse you feel empowered, sexy and beautiful. The luxury designer brand’s vision is to deliver clothes to women that flatter the best areas and embrace the female body.
Here, we go behind the brand to find out more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
The first collection was launched in January 2018, I spent years dreaming of making clothes for women that make them feel sexy, confident and empowered. In 2014 I had an ischemic stroke, which meant my career as Project Manager. I felt I had lost everything and it took a year to recover enough to start thinking about the future again and then the next hurdle of a divorce made my mind up to make my dream a reality. This paved the way for the brand’s message ‘every cloud has a silver lining’, embracing the glimmer of hope when terrible things happen to us that weren’t part of our original plan.
Whats your background?
I studied law at university and graduated but ended up in Telecoms sales, working my way up to Project Manager. It gave me great experiences travelling the world, working with people, managing budgets and of course delivering projects. I was always artistic as a child with mostly a love for still life painting and drawing but not following my heart at college, I chose the academic route. Art and creativity runs through my family, so it’s great to finally embrace it.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
I sit as sole owner and Creative Director within the business but I have a team of expert consultants whom I work with to cover PR, Marketing, Accounting and brand development. I feel it’s really important to invest in people who have the expertise that I don’t. It’s hard being on my own but it’s worth the dream!
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
Yes, there were some hard lessons I learnt in the early days. So I would seek out expert advice on the business side about trademarks, brand development, attend business expos. I have now covered most of these but it would have been a lot less stressful! I would also seek out a fashion mentor much earlier.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
The hardest thing has been leaving my old lifestyle and moving back to my family who support me. I have sold most of my belongings to get me to this point and receiving this support as a 37 year-old women from my family has been humbling and extremely motivating. It’s given me a renewed outlook on life and helps me to keep in touch with the reasons behind the brand.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
My favourite drink is a really sweet bourbon.
2018 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
I am introducing the signature collection in another colour and adding another collection during the latter part of 2018. My plan is to build ethics in to the brand (already using recycled packaging) but I will be getting involved with charitable projects. Making sure the community benefits from my business is important for me and to build a stable, sustainable brand so I can provide employment.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
The highlight has been the outpouring of love and support from family, friends and the reactions of the public to the designs. It’s amazing to receive lovely comments from people I don’t even know and especially women as they are my target audience.
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
I have spent time in Paris and New York and they are wonderful cities, but I am British and proud of that so London!
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Liquid eyeliner – I always wear eyeliner.
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream – I am prone to dry lips so it keeps that at bay.
A bottle of water – this is an essential beauty product!
To me, style means putting out there an essence of who you are, where you’re going and what you stand for. It’s unique to the individual.
Best thing about London to you?
I love the diversity of culture in the city and the endless options of things to do. I love people watching with a coffee and especially looking for the individuals embracing fashion, all manner of styles going on in the city!
Statement shoe or statement bag?
Due to practicalities (living in the countryside) I can’t always wear a beautiful shoe, but I always like to have a wonderful handbag on my arm.
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
My grey Hervé Léger dress, it rarely comes out as it’s really special so it would be a must in this scenario.
Favourite love song?
I Walk The Line by Johnny Cash
Best place for a coffee?
A cosy coffee shop off the beaten track or sometimes I’ll even pop into a pub for one as there’s usually a varied crowd.
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
Listen to everything everyone has to say, but choose your own path carefully.
If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I have always wanted to visit Dallas, Texas where my Grandmother was born as she always talked about it. I’ve never forgotten.
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
I intend to expand the business slowly so I would like to see my products in boutiques and eventually a concession within a luxury department store. Moving in to the overseas market is part of the long-term objective as well.
Find out more…
Facebook: Victoria Jane McKenna Ltd