Local fashion stylist Victoria Genevieve has been incredibly busy of late. In addition to launching her exclusive styling suite at One Warwick Park, she has also created a dress hire agency – Genevieve’s Wardrobe – both of which she now runs alongside her existing personal styling business, both locally and in London.
And if that wasn’t enough to keep her on her perfectly shod feet Victoria is still carrying out online wardrobe detoxes as well as her weekly Instagram Live shopping sessions at Kitch on the High Street in Tunbridge Wells. These were both borne out of the pandemic when none of us could go shopping and have proved so popular that Victoria has now made them a permanent fixture in her weekly schedule.
“I’ve always loved fashion,” she beams as the SO team arrive in her beautiful and bijoux new styling suite at One Warwick Park Hotel.
“As a toddler I loved dresses. I was always obsessed with outfits and making them work. And now I just want to make getting dressed fun and effortless.”
Victoria launched her independent business Victoria Genevieve Styling in 2004 after having her first child and graduating with a degree from the London College of Fashion.
She started her styling work because she says women go through many changes and challenges in life. “That makes us question ourselves and put others first. After having my son, I definitely went through this and wanted to help others who felt the same.”
Since then Victoria, now a mother of two, has seen her client list steadily grow – something she cites due to her inherent passion for fashion and natural eye for style.
“I think that is very clear to all my clients. They trust me because they know I will get the job done in an effortless and fun way.”
“For me it’s about helping women love the skin they’re in through finding joy in clothes. After studying for three years at the London College of Fashion I can genuinely say that I have proper knowledge and experience and that speaks volumes.”
And although there was a period of uncertainty for Victoria during the numerous lockdowns as she couldn’t see her clients face-to-face the talented stylist quickly overcame this with her What to Wear Now virtual parties which proved to be a silver lining thanks to their huge popularity.
But now Victoria is finally back to doing what she loves best: personal styling. As well as offering her clients exclusive sessions at high end fashion brand Matches’ townhouse 5 Carlos Place in Mayfair, Victoria is engineering grand plans for her suite at One Warwick Park Hotel.
“It launched in February and I want it to be a multi-functioning space. I host both private client sessions and also style parties but my new dress hire agency is now based here too. I’m also running pop-ups with independent designers – I guess I just want to give the town more variety when it comes to fashion.”
Victoria reveals she has local stores Fenwick and Kitch onboard and a number of other independents too including Onjenu, Mille Fleurs and TWSeven. She also has the ability to have pieces couriered down from London when required, so it really is quite the impressive sartorial offering.
Victoria adds that the styling suite works just as well for one-to-one appointments as it does for small groups such as hen dos or friends – hence her Style Parties offering:
“Everyone can have a bit of fun coming here but they’ll also have access to some great fashion pieces,” explains Victoria. “With the Style Parties I like to do a bit of ‘reverse styling’ too which basically means I show groups how to style up the basics – or a hero piece that only comes out at Christmas.
“We’re all guilty of magpie shopping where we pick out something – sequinned let’s say – and then it just sits in the wardrobe. What I want to do is show you how to style it for the everyday – with a plain tee and pair of jeans. It’s about making your wardrobe work for you and having fun.”
Victoria adds that being based at One Warwick Park means that she can offer different packages where lunch, an afternoon tea or cocktails are included so the choice is very flexible. “The hotel has been so supportive of this venture which is just wonderful.”
In addition to all of the above, Victoria’s dress hire agency Genevieve’s Wardrobe will also operate out of the suite. It’s a clever idea where people can hire some of her coveted pieces for as little as £12 a day.
“I’m all about sustainable fashion so by doing this I’m hopefully encouraging people to not go out and buy an outfit for a wedding or the races and then never wear it again.”
“By renting one of my pieces you can still have something new – for not very much money – and there’s no obligation to wear it again or spend a fortune.” Labels in Victoria’s rental closet include Johanna Sands, Self Portrait, Ghost, Stine Goya and Ganni.
“I’m committed to people buying less. I’d say 70% of the wardrobe detoxes I do are full of bags of unwanted clothes that were bought online and were a mistake because you can’t see the quality or try them on.
“What I’m doing here is not ridiculously expensive – I’d say it’s placed and priced somewhere in the middle of high-end boutique and high street. The added extra here is that clients are getting great tips and being styled by me. I guess I’m trying to break the habit of bad purchases and encouraging people to have fun with fashion. It’s not an overnight change, it’s baby steps.
“Clothes should make you so happy, give you confidence and make you feel good about yourself. I want people to stop saying to themselves ‘oh that’ll do’. Prioritse yourself!”