On Monday, sister-in-law duo Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard returned to the runway — their second show in the brand’s history — with an optimistic spring collection. The lineup was about color therapy, textural fabrics as prints (aside from a singular floral motif), and “suiting and sets.”
“It’s all about that polished look you have when you’re in a full head-to-toe look,” Swanson Beard said backstage before showtime. Suited looks, which ranged from skirt, dress, short and trouser sets with sharp jackets, blazers and vests, hit all the marks in a variety of saturated brights, gingham and plaid tweeds. There were also nice striped knit, blue denim and casual-meets-luxe caned leather renditions.
The advanced contemporary label is seeing immense growth — in an interview with WWD the duo reported the company is growing by 86 percent this year and “going to do in excess of $200 million in total revenues” — so a runway show for spring felt natural. Their bread and butter continue to be tailoring, jeans, interchangeable dickies and now, footwear, which were all present in new forms.
“I think people want wearable clothes they feel chic and confident in. We always talk about how we design reality, not runway. It’s heightened reality, you want to feel amazing but you don’t want it to be fussy or costume-y, and that’s what our customer wants from us,” Swanson Beard said. The collection expanded upon their customers’ lifestyles with a wide-legged style jean; layered striped poplin daywear; harness-style crop tops — said to be an evolution of their signature dickies; ruched day-to-night dresses, and specialty sequined plaid numbers.
“Also the quality of our product — we say our product is forward, not our brand,” Miele Beard added. “People try it and they come back. It was the ‘Wonder Woman’ cape that changed their life, so now they want to try the jeans. We filled that void for the luxury customer who wants a suit they can wear all the time and not spend a zillion dollars to wear with their designer handbag.”
Due to the recent success of their footwear — which appeared on the runway with new sandal styles in matching colorways — would the brand expand into handbags? “We’re researching the next steps to see what she really wants,” the duo explained.
“We’re a resource now for her,” Miele Beard explained. “Maybe they’ve thought about what to wear to the gym and throw on after, to school drop-off, to a wedding. We think about every single aspect, but it’s that middle of the road, aspirational but attainable.”