Gallatin sophomore reimagines fashion industry

Edelawit Hussien for WSN

Gallatin sophomore Victoria Holbrook has been immersing herself in the professional world of fashion while at NYU. Originally from California, Holbrook decided to study in New York to be in the city. Although currently an underclassman, Holbrook possesses drive and maturity far greater than other people her age.

During her past two years at NYU, Holbrook has obtained experience on- and off-campus. She has had her work showcased at both the Gallatin Fashion Show and the Fashion Business Association show, has found opportunities through NYU to promote her designs under her brand, VLH.

Holbrook has immersed herself in a corporate setting through internships.

“My first semester I interned at the Peter Som showroom,” Holbrook said. “I also interned at Christian Dior. Neither were design internships but both brands’ aesthetics inspire me.”

Holbrook seems to have a tremendous amount of know-how and experience for a sophomore, and she has tangible excitement for the opportunities that await her.

“At this point, I am trying to follow my leads and see what direction that takes me in,” Holbrook said. “I don’t want to be passive to the opportunities presented to me, but I want to work my strengths and stay open-minded to new opportunities in the industry.”

Although Holbrook is still in the early stages of her career, she already knows that she will follow a more entrepreneurial path rather than one defined solely by fashion design.

Rather than limiting herself to designing, Holbrook would like to extend herself to myriad roles within the fashion industry.

“I don’t see myself in a position where I spend more time managing my image than offering a product or service that improves women’s or men’s lives,” Holbrook said. “I would also like to be closer to the customer. I see merchants as the translator between the customer and the design team, and I think that is interesting, but I also see being a merchant as a position and not a career.”

Holbrook is authentic and accessible ­— two qualities that stand out in her description of her future goals. Instead of looking at fashion as a platform for self-promotion, she champions the idea of fashion as a means of expression.

“I want to create a new type of brand that focuses on brand experience and utility for the customer,” she said. “Offering top quality — the kind of design that puts one’s mind to rest. I want people to look at the product or experience and the service and take a deep breath because it feels right. It won’t be about putting on a mask and trying to prove oneself  like a lot of clothes are. It will be like stepping into a second skin, having clothing be a natural extension of who you already are.”

Authentic and accessible can also be used to describe her design work, which she began five years ago when she started sewing clothing for herself and her friends.

“When I design, I try to create style without it being too trendy or overly calculated,” Holbrook said.

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, April 24 print edition. Avery Chang is a staff writer. Email her at bstyle@nyunews.com. 

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