After graduating as Parsons’ women’s wear designer of the year in 2014, Victoria Hayes decided to try her hand at her own label while doing her master’s in design management at Pratt Institute. “I initially decided to launch my own collection halfway through my graduate school studies, as a way to keep my hand in the fashion industry. I was getting upset that I wasn’t participating in fashion anymore and wanted to get back to building my own portfolio of work,” she explained.
Internships at Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Suno, Etienne Aigner, Cynthia Rowley and Lisa Perry gave her the tools she needed to develop her craft. Aesthetically, though, Hayes aims to be known for her distinctive approach. “For me, it’s about subversive femininity. I have always been drawn to the combination of beauty and aggression. In general, I am focused on surface detail, color and fabrication. My clothes are designed to be seen from a mile away. I like a lot of visual impact and boldness, go big — I am less interested in subtlety.
“I have always loved to paint and I often develop bold prints based off my hand-paintings,” she added. “I also love embroidery and customized 3-D embellishments. I try to incorporate these time-consuming but beautiful details into my garments as I feel they are part of what can elevate a garment into being something very special and out of the ordinary.”
Her fall collection definitely reflects this, pushing the envelope yet remaining polished. Examples include a PVC-belted, bishop-sleeved top paired with a gold pencil skirt, sequined tunic and matching pants sets; jeweled mid-length dresses; hot pink velvet suits, and graphic bright coats with feather details.
Hayes described her customers as women who want to make a statement and be seen. In fact, her celebrity roster is already quite impressive: Lady Gaga, Kelly Rowland, Andra Day, Kelly Osbourne and Chrissy Teigen to name a few. But sales and production will be her focus moving forward as she wants to establish her collection as an international designer brand.
“If I am honest with myself, I don’t think my clothes are revolutionary, they aren’t meant to be. I’m testing out what I think works and what people realistically want to wear and own and cherish being the operative word. I believe the luxury experience that comes from wearing and feeling great in garments that have been made with genuine attention to detail, love and a lot of care will always be sought after by thoughtful design-enthusiast consumers,” she said.