In this episode, Arthur Zaczkiewicz, executive editor of WWD, interviews Jazmin Veney, founder, and designer of the fashion footwear brand. Veney shares insights into the brand, her inspirations, and why advocating for the black community and women’s equality is so important.
Here’s the episode:
And here’s an excerpt of the audio transcript:
Arthur: Jazmin, welcome to WWV Voices!
Jazmin: Hi, Arthur. Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Arthur: Before the show you mentioned you used to have your own podcast. What was that about?
Jazmin: I did. It’s called She Radio. It was two of my friends and me, and it ran for a few seasons. We had a few seasons. It was live internet radio at 8 a.m.. It was crazy. It was chaotic. But it was a really good show. I don’t even know if it’s still available on Apple Podcasts, and I’m not encouraging anybody to go listen to it at all, but it was a great time. Wait until they hear about us shouting She out. But it was fun. This makes me miss it. I’m using my old podcast mic to talk to you and everything.
Arthur: Thanks for digging out the old podcast microphone. Let’s talk about Arch NYC. What was the impetus behind launching the brand and the company?
Jazmin: Sure. I launched Arch in 2018. I was two years out of college, and I wasn’t feeling great about where I was in the industry. I had faced two layoffs, and I felt like I wasn’t on the path that I was really feeling strongly about and excited about when I graduated college. When I graduated and got a job, I felt like the management around me had so much control of my career, and I was like, this is insane.
They control my money, they control when I get paid, how I get paid, the projects that I’m working on, and it was really a control moment. I really just needed to carve my own space. I needed to feel like I was owning something. And my creativity was being fed, my voice was being heard. It was my opinion that mattered in my brand.
When I first wanted to create my own brand, it wasn’t footwear. I thought about selling lip gloss first. I thought about selling sunglasses. I knew I didn’t want to do clothes because I worked in fashion apparel, and my background was in fashion merchandising from LIM College. All of my corporate experience was fashion marketing experience, with some beauty here and there too.
So it really came from a place of wanting to carve my own space out, wanting to have my own thing. I didn’t feel like there was a lot of competition at the time, and so that’s what kickstarted it. I was in my room one day, and I was like, well, sunglasses feel like … I don’t know. I don’t want to do that.
With lip gloss, I was like, that’s a beauty company, that’s not a fashion company. And I was looking around my closet one day, and thought, ‘What would people would trust my opinion on?”
And that’s where footwear came in.