I Started The Magazine To Recognise Rare Fashion Brands From Around The World (Everyday Fashion Available To Purchase Online). I Promised You I Would Hunt The Best Labels Down And I've Done Just That; I Introduce Victoria Road, Who Are Selflessly Breaking The Barriers Between Culture And Design.
The first brand I'm celebrating in the new edition is one I've been watching over the years, from starting up to launching they were always one to watch. US-based fashion label, Victoria Road founded by pioneering Founders Shannon Grewer and Megan Brosterman not only demonstrate how you can be an ethical brand with great service, sell online in style but serve fashionistas with an alternative to the bland high street fashion. With a unique combination of Pakistani techniques and Western cuts (something we struggle to see executed well in the UK), Victoria Road are leading the way in the fashion industry.
Victoria Road's Story
It all started when Shannon visited Pakistan and was taken back by the people, culture and fashion talent.
Most of us may be surprised a western even visited let alone saw it's potential, although it says a lot about the Founders' character. A selfless lady who saw beyond the media portrayal and not only brought back the beauty of a different culture but helped talented emerging designers we've never hear of to share with the world. I salute the Founders for giving women in developing countries a voice, a chance and the opportunity.
MEET HEAD DESIGNER, FARINA NAIMAT ALI
The Founders carefully crafted their team, consisting of Pakistani's, led by Head Designer, Farina Naimat Ali. Victoria Road go above and beyond to focus on the talents of a village girl who had a dream and wasn't going to let anyone stop her from achieving it even when the odds were against her. The pressure of reforming to societies norms and stigma of working in the fashion industry, which in Pakistan is near enough seen as a waitress equivalent in the UK. Yes, unless you're a wealthy family with Pakistan Fashion Week in Lahore or Karachi connections you've got more than an uphill struggle. We think we have it different in the UK but in Britain it's a walk in the park compared to Pakistan, where everything against you if you don't flash the cash and success for women, is rarer than blood diamonds. We can all take inspiration from Farina Naimat Ali's story.
As many of you know I'm very honest, so that isn't going to change, so here it goes. Just over a year ago, I'd never heard of the brand and received an email and I was expecting the collection to be ok, as all great stories by small businesses tend to hit the nail on the head with the story of the brand but fails on fashion, as it's either too western or too eastern and not fusion fashion or something you can't wear every day. Although Victoria Road and Farina Naimat Ali more than delivered their promise of 'bridging the gap between culture and design'. You could mistake it for a ready-to-wear New York Fashion Week runway collection, with stunning prints and exquisite classics cuts to give you identify, the collection speaks for itself.
As an inspiring fashion designer, business person or fashion lover we can all take a leaf out of Victoria Road's story. Don't give up on your dreams and amazing people with kind hearts do exist we just have to find them. As a business owner, we need to think to ourselves what can we do to be ethical and support upcoming designers from developing countries. And as a fashionista, conscientiously be aware of fashion labels trying to make that difference and support them in any way we can, even if you can afford it buy from ethical businesses like Victoria Road. And as a Fashion Editor, I will do my best to ensure I share alternatives so you have options to choose from.
I hope you will join me in supporting, following and most importantly celebrating Victoria Road.
You can find out more and buy the collection online at www.victoria-road.com.
I hope you enjoy reading the magazine, as much as I loved sharing the hidden fashion gems and supporting women promoting their fashion business. I'm always on the lookout for inspirational women running or thinking of starting up a fashion business. If you're one, please get in touch and you can join me at one of my exclusive meetups for women with fashion businesses.