The fashion industry is constantly growing and changing. Recently, all the hype has been around the luxury street style industry with brands like Off White, Yeezy, Vetement and many others gaining more and more popularity among fashion lovers on the daily.
When you think about the fashion industry, it’s typical to imagine an all-female environment. Although more than 65% of people working in fashion are women, only 10% of them work in luxury street style.
Why are there less women working in the luxury street style industry? Are they scared to break into this world? Do they feel that this industry only caters to men?
We interviewed Veronica Vaduva, 21, a Canadian entrepreneur currently living in Paris, France. Veronica recently launched a street style brand named SMHR+ with her business partner, Youth Smhr.
Her brand is unlike anything we’ve seen before in the luxury street style industry. In the first collection, they released six different accessory pieces in five different colour options.
What else makes this brand so unique is that each accessory piece can be worn either separately, all together, on top of basic or extravagant garments and it is all unisex! They are giving us the strong, confident, warrior vibes we all need.
Veronica took the time to sit down with me and answer some questions about her brand, the luxury street style industry, and what it’s like being a woman in a man’s world.
Q: What made you interested in working in luxury fashion, specifically the luxury street style sector?
A: Once I moved to Paris to attend fashion marketing school, I learned more about luxury fashion and realised this is the type of industry I wanted to work in. I think it’s basically where everything in fashion starts and where all the creativity stems from. The street style aspect of it came more from my personal style when I started finding ways to express myself through clothes. I saw myself leaning more towards street style. I think blending the two is the perfect mix of creativity and my personality.
Q: Describe your brand, SMHR+?
A: SMHR+ is a brand of luxury leather goods and accessories for those who want to be different and make a statement while still being true to themselves and staying on trend. It’s really for people who want to spice up their wardrobe and be seen in a crowd.
Q: What made you want to start a luxury street style brand?
A: My friend and business partner, Youth Smhr, came to me with this idea a few months back. At the time, I had already been attending school studying this, as well as working for luxury brands, such as Isabel Marant and Balmain, and for the KCD public relations firm. I was really inspired by his idea for a brand and I knew that with the marketing and materials that I could bring to the table, along with his skills, it could become something very unique and successful.
Q: Do you think it’s harder for women to become established in the luxury street style industry? If so, why?
A: Mostly because it is a very male dominated industry. Street style can be seen as more of a masculine style because it’s not usually very provocative or considered ‘sexy.’ If you are a woman wearing street style sometimes you are seen as more androgynous which isn’t always the case.
Q: Why do you think there are less women entrepreneurs in the luxury street style industry?
A: I think women are almost a little scared to work in luxury street style especially when they see that many of the famous designers or creative directors, such as Karl Lagerfeld and Olivier Rousteing, are men. Essentially it’s a business and traditionally most businessmen are well, men. Because of tradition, I think women are afraid that they can’t do it or that they won’t be taken seriously.
Q: Do you have any advice for women wanting to break into the luxury street style industry ?
A: My advice would be just to go after all your hopes and dreams. I’ve been talked down to by so many men and eventually I just realised that they are jealous. Work towards everything you want to achieve and if anyone hates on you or doesn’t support you, just use that as motivation. Don’t let people tear you down. I stopped caring about what people said about me or my work a long time ago and because of that I’ve been able to achieve so much.
To see more of Veronica, her team and the brand, check out the links below.