Courtesy of Veronica Beard
Veronica S. Beard and Veronica M. Beard, the sister-in-laws and masterminds behind, well, Veronica Beard, launched in 2010 with the fan-favorite Dickey Jacket and built a legion of fans pining for Veronica Beard’s polished, feminine tailoring and whimsical dresses. But even with a growing fanbase, Veronica Beard’s collections weren’t accessible to women of different shapes and sizes–until now.
The journey to extending sizes is a personal one for the designing duo. After Veronica Swanson’s mother and cousin had a difficult time finding Veronica Beard clothing that fit them, the sister in laws knew it was time to bring their brand to a whole new population.
“Veronica Beard is a sisterhood. When we started the brand, we set out to fill a void in the market to design clothing for all women who have all these demands, but we realized over time that we weren’t reaching women like Veronica Miele’s mother and her cousin who could never fit a Dickey jacket,” Veronica Swanson told ELLE.com. “It was staring us in the face that we needed to make an offering for all women and not just women of a certain size.”
The Beard sisters didn’t want to dive into a new market uninformed, and enlisted the help of Kedic, a female-led company that serves as the middleman between designers and factories to help bring each client’s dreams to life. “We’re very good about our research here. When we launched jeans a year ago, we educated ourselves on jeans for a year and we did the same thing with extended sizing. We worked with Kedic to consultant us on fit and sizes in the plus market,” Veronica Miele said. While Kedic help the sisters understand the behind-the-scenes process of producing extended sizing, it was blogger and founder Katie Sturino who helped the Beards understand the women who were overlooked in the fashion market for so long.
Sturino’ landed on the Beards’ radar after posting her fan-favorite series #MakeMySize, in which tries on clothing in-store from brands and posts the hashtag to push brands to create more inclusive sizing. “I wanted to wear everything in that store and the fitting room curtains were leopard. This is the largest blazer they made and it was tight in the arms and I don’t think anything else in the store would fit me,” Sturino wrote last October, “BUT the sales associate said they are looking to expand their range and handled it really well!”
“This was an aha moment for us where we knew we had to launch new sizes,” Veronica Swanson said. “She was on board and told us what works and what doesn’t work in the market.”
Sturino’s shopping experience also prompted the sisters to ensure extended sizing will be accessible in-store. “We always hear that women can’t try on extended sizes in-store because they aren’t available there so they ended up buying clothes that don’t fit well,” Veronica Miele continued. “So we studied the customer experience. It’s not about the marketing, it’s about servicing customers in-person and online in the right way. Body types are all different. You can be 6 feet tall and be a size 12.”
The first batch of extended sizes will debut tonight at the Veronica Beard fall 2019 presentation. But they’re starting off slow. The new sizes will be reflected in the Beverly Flare style, sweaters, scuba Dickey jackets in select styles and leggings. For the upcoming spring season, a limited amount of styles will go up to size 24 with plans to expand sizes throughout the forthcoming fall collection.
Shop Veronica Beard’s new collection below.