I recently asked the question on our byVINNIK Instagram stories, "How has wearing byVINNIK made you feel?" Some responses shook me to my core as a fashion designer and made me realize that what we do in design and interacting with our clientele is NOT the norm. I make it a point to go above and beyond for my clients at my brand. We've been conditioned to believe that our clothing isn't a commodity with the rise of fast fashion and endless copycats. I know my original designs cater to people of all sizes, ages, races, and geographical locations. If you want to wear my designs, I will make you feel welcome.
Our clothes speak volumes about who we are, whether actual or perceived. On a scientific level, it has been proven that what we wear even impacts our mood and self-worth. When designing, I want to create something timeless that people will love to wear for many years without limiting myself to neutral colors. I want people who wear my designs to feel like they are the center of the universe! I guess the comment cue Rihanna's hit song "Only Girl (In The World)" by one of my longtime clients summed up the byVINNIK experience.
From the 30+ responses to that initial question about how our clothes made people feel when wearing them, I saw several repeated themes that stood out. Divas commented that they felt beautiful, powerful, regal, glamorous, confident, and the most popular comment... "TRULY SEEN." How incredible is that? It makes sense why byVINNIK has such a high rate of returning customers seeking our new limited edition collections made in small runs.
I teared up reading one of my clients write byVINNIK made her feel "Like I'm finally living my best life.” Having personally seen her confidence grow this year while taking risks and trying new things, I couldn’t help but feel good. There was a photo she posted heading out wearing hot pink lipstick with rhinestone cat eyes in one of my designs during the winter in NYC, beaming with joy! My designs and this incredible community we are all part of inspired her to go out and find other things that allowed her to express her individuality. Another of my more humorous clients wrote, "Like I have my shit together! Also, I feel seen, knowing I'll have access to my size." I chuckled thinking about all those times I've thrown on one of my dusters over bike shorts and a tank top during LA's insane heat while schlepping heavy bolts of fabric around melting. Sometimes, one article of clothing can be the difference between looking like you care or a complete hot mess. It was also SHOCKING reading one of my clients who wears some of my brightest and boldest patterns used to wear all-black and just whatever fit. I had NO idea!!! I cannot picture Jen in anything devoid of colors, textures, and especially patterns! Even in fitness videos she posts, she ALWAYS wears color.
While I sometimes feel sad that I'm no longer singing opera, I know that fashion design was what I was meant to do. Fashion, even more than music, has given my life purpose. It has given me a platform where I am in charge and don't have to deal with gatekeepers trying to stifle my personality, intellect, and creativity to fit their vision. I can be myself and create a path for other divas to express themselves through these original designs and accessories I’ve personally curated. At byVINNIK, you better believe if you want to wear my designs, I will do everything in my power to make that happen! There are NO gatekeepers. There are no rules. There’s just a woman behind the screen who SEES YOU and wants to give you better options when getting dressed.
Photo Credit: Kaleigh Rae Photography & Rimi Sakamoto