By Sydney Gorak
Model and designer, Victoria Henley was walking in the New York Fashion Week just a few weeks ago. Now St. Augustine will be the next stop for the 26-year-old who has grown used to how constant traveling and new destinations have become the norm for her taxing lifestyle.
Traveling for fashion and walking in her brand Magnifique in New York, Georgia, and now St. Augustine — not to mention covering media on @iHeartRadio or a stint on “America’s Next Top Model” — has made Henley’s career both physically and mentally demanding.
“Modeling always feels like you’re coming off of a nonstop merry-go-around,” she said.
Growing up, Henley enjoyed art, theater, English and literature. At the age of 18, her cousin was a model with the Ford agency which inspired Henley to start modeling as well. She begged her mother to take her to modeling lessons and developed a passion for the art. From there, Henley auditioned for “America’s Next Top Model” and made it on the show in 2012.
Henley was thrilled to have the opportunity and also amazed that she was one of the 12 girls in the house.
“There were 1,000 some people auditioning and more competition than ever, and I think it was because it was the digital season, but I was really happy to have the opportunity,” she said.
While she was on the show, she spent her free time writing business plans to model and ultimately making her passion into a career. Henley enjoyed designing, and modeling became a platform to display her designs.
From there, she started producing miniature fashion segments for CW Network, brought on models, and partnered with different boutiques and retailers. This taught her a lot of communication skills within the business.
Henley also taught workshops with agencies and held her first fashion show with 100 models. “This experience was very overwhelming being the 19-year-old that I was, but I learned a lot because that was a crash course in the business element of things,” she said.
Henley collaborated on a collection with one of the manufacturers she had booked for her first fashion show and the collection was debuted in Florida, New York and Los Angeles. Many of the pieces in the collection were made to order.
A year ago, Henley was booked for an event in Denver, Colo., where she met a designer named Sarah Ake. “She is amazing, she has the best spirit, and such a unique clothing line,” said Henley.
Henley and Ake collaborated on a platform with Magnifique showing pieces internationally, during the New York live and Fashion Week walk this past season, and showing in Los Angeles next month.
The model and designer is now traveling to the St. Augustine Fashion Week 2020, which will be held during March 1-7. Henley will be showing a total of 24 pieces, walking primarily on Saturday, March 7, in her brand and for a few of the other designers. Henley is also bringing in 12 models and several influencers for the shows.
You can expect to see pieces from her collection that are based upon Old Hollywood classic glamorous styles worn by models Audrey Hepburn and Veronica Lake.
“These pieces will be vintage pieces and will be modern funky twists on those classics,” said Henley.
Her favorite piece that will be shown in the St. Augustine Fashion Week is a three piece set that was also shown in the New York Fashion Show right before Valentine’s Day. This set resembles futuristic space age looks with stiff material on the dresses, and similar to old school Lady Gaga.
Another piece Henley insists on wearing is a floral dress with a pretty a line floral top with a button folded over big purple colored trim. She wore this dress during the New York Fashion Week with confidence and persistence.
“This dress makes me walk a little taller and makes me empowered. Every girl that wears this dress should feel special and powerful. That’s how I feel when I wear all my designs,” she said.
Henley will be covering media from the fashion shows on Backstage Pass @iheartradio as well as hosting a podcast. She will also be interviewing some of the designers on site and looks forward to what is in store for St. Augustine Fashion Week this season.
“A lot of the designers have amazing labels and personalities. I’m excited to spend a few days in St. Augustine and take all of the sites and networking in the area in,” she said.
Magnifique is always looking for models and designers to partner with. Anyone interested in collaborating with the team, contact Victoria Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org.