10 Minutes With: Veronica Swanson Beard, Veronica Miele Beard, and Ken Fulk
October 5, 2016
Sisters-in-law Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard are the design duo behind the eponymous brand. Their Spring 2017 presentation took place in the basement of their Madison Avenue boutique, where they launched their first flagship store just a few weeks prior to New York Fashion Week. With their new boutique, they created an intimate ambiance that feels more like an apartment than a store.
The backdrop of the Veronica Beard Spring 2017 presentation was a party in and of itself! Animal-print rugs, velour seating, bathtubs, and stiletto-packed refrigerators all played a role in the eccentric set design.
To create the scene, the pair partnered with Ken Fulk—event planner extraordinaire. Renowned for his layered interiors and over-the-top parties, he is a master of surprise, specializing in multidisciplinary designs.
We spoke with the designers and Ken to learn more about this exciting collaboration.
Neiman Marcus: Veronica Beard is well known for being an elevated American sportswear brand that strikes the balance between classic and cool. How would you each describe your personal style?
Veronica Swanson Beard: I would say my style is a mix of classic and bohemian, with a hint of preppy.
Veronica Miele Beard: My style is a little bit eclectic. I love to be classic with a twist.
NM: What inspired you both to leave your previous careers behind and launch the Veronica Beard brand in 2010?
VSB: We love fashion and spent so much time together at family functions talking about trends and what was missing in the market.
VMB: We knew we could use our strengths to come together and fill that void to create a brand that real women would respond to.
NM: Can you tell us a little about the Spring 2017 collection? What was the inspiration behind it, and how did it come to life?
VSB: We were really inspired by the nostalgia of the past decades and women who capture the American spirit. The collection is filled with feminine floral prints, preppy gingham jackets, and classic wrap dresses.
VMB: You can find a lot of iconic styles in this collection—a harmonious mix of past and present. It contains everything you need in your wardrobe for spring.
NM: Your collaboration can be described as a family affair. What would you say makes your collaboration successful?
VMB: We share a love for fashion and an understanding of how real women dress. We both want to design clothing that our customer can live in.
VSB: Also, being family, we always have each other’s back—we’re lucky that there are two of us.
NM: Speaking of successful partnerships—tell us how the collaboration with Ken Fulk came to life?
Ken Fulk: I’ve been a friend of the Swanson family for many years and a big fan of the Veronicas. Veronica Swanson Beard’s sister Alexis actually suggested the collaboration.
VSB: We wanted someone who could take our spring inspirations and translate them into a space. Working with Ken was such a dream—he really worked his magic!
VMB: He doesn’t do anything low-key, and we wanted to go big with our presentation and party.
NM: What was the vision behind the Stars and Stripes presentation? Explain how it went from an idea to reality.
KF: It really all happened the moment we entered the basement of the Veronica Beard store. For this was no ordinary cellar—it was a large space with very high ceilings. There was even a little kitchen and a bathtub. It just hit me that rather than being a glorified storeroom, this should actually be Veronica’s world brought to life.
VMB: Ken took our inspirations and created this ultimate throwback space that not only celebrated the collection but our brand as a whole. He nailed every single detail.
NM: How important was the venue selection process for the Veronica Beard Spring 2017 presentation?
VSB: We knew right away we wanted to host our presentation at our Madison Avenue store so we could show a full year of ideas from Veronica Beard.
VMB: We had the fall collection upstairs in the boutique and the spring collection downstairs in the basement.
KF: It quickly became the lynchpin for the presentation. Veronica Beard is about a point of view, not simply clothing. By creating Veronica’s Basement, we allowed the collection to be viewed as part of a holistic experience. Decor, music, and scent all became an integral part of the occasion.
NM: Ken, you are a curator of lifestyles—not only designing homes, restaurants, and hotels, but also choreographing unforgettable weddings, parties, and family getaways. Was this your first fashion show?
KF: Yes, this was my first show. Well, unless you count the ones I would force my friends to sit through as a child. I have been somewhat obsessed with fashion since I was 6 years old—selecting my own wardrobe and picking out the buttons for my little blue blazers.
NM: Who are your personal fashion icons?
VSB: Lauren Hutton, Jane Birkin, and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy.
VMB: I love Kate Moss, Jerry Hall, Ali MacGraw—but my list goes on!
KF: Gianni Agnelli and Sammy Davis Jr.
NM: Describe your favorite moment from New York Fashion Week.
VSB: I loved all the unexpected elements Ken added to our party, like the matchbooks and the stilettos in the fridge.
VMB: The DJ at our presentation and party was so good. She had me dancing all night long!