Behind the brand: Veronica Beard


June 29, 2023

Charlotte fashionistas are flocking to the new VB boutique at Phillips Place. We asked the founders about what inspires them, keys to their success and the jacket that started it all.

by Whitley Adkins

Working women: Have you ever noticed how men have it easy when it comes to getting dressed? You know, the “which tie shall I pair with my suit and call it a day” dilemma. (In all seriousness, we know that a consistently sharp-dressed man does put time and effort into creating a polished look.)

Enter the famed dickey-jacket designer Veronica Beard. The brand was founded in 2010 by sisters-in-law Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson Beard. With a shared vision, the pair joined forces to reinvent the uniform for women on the go. Inspired by a traditional blazer and often paired with interchangeable dickeys, the dickey jacket gives women ultimate versatility with the ease of men’s dressing.

Left: Founders Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard. Right: Phillips Place

With the May opening of Veronica Beard’s newest retail store at Phillips Place, the banking-meets-fashion capital of the South now has immediate access to the dickey jacket and the rest of VB’s stylish ready-to-wear collection.

“Charlotte is one of our favorite cities,” says Veronica Miele Beard. “The culture, the energy — there is no place like it. And the women here are so chic. We can’t wait to see how they make the collection their own.” The Charlotte store is the brand’s 26th location, and VB’s first in North Carolina.

The women say being connected to their customer is key to their success. In that spirit, we invited a few Queen City muses to ask the founders about their inspiration in business and fashion.

Responses have been lightly edited. 

Charlotte women wear Veronica Beard. From left, Claire Samuels, Blair Farris and Whitley Adkins.


Your boutique interiors are all beautiful, yet each location is unique. Can you describe the interior-design process and what shapes the aesthetic? 
VSB: All our stores reflect the world of Veronica Beard — the inspiration behind our product, our personalities as designers — but we work closely with our interior designer, Carolina de Neufville, to personalize each location with the city in mind. Our London store has a 19th-century haberdashery hutch, for example, while the decor at VB Nantucket includes a vintage surfboard and a seashell-framed mirror. No two stores are ever alike.

What is your favorite VB piece in your own closet?
VSB: Our cult classic — the Miller dickey jacket!


What are five closet staples every woman needs?
VSB: Blue blazer, classic denim, white shirt, nude sandals and a midi-length dress that can be dressed up or down.

How do you get inspiration for colorways each season?
VMB: It’s always different — sometimes it’s a picture we see, sometimes it’s a place we’ve visited.

What is the best mix of classic style and still being on trend?
VMB: For us, it’s more about personal style than trend. We take the classics, rework them and make them our own. 


I love that you are a business that believes in women supporting women. How do you support each other and take care of yourselves?
VMB: With two of us, we can divide and conquer, which is a lifesaver when balancing our own family lives. My prized downtime is going for walks or watching an NBA game at home with the kids.


If you had to assign a percentage to components that have led to your success, how would you divide it between perseverance, business acumen and talent?
VSB: Fifty percent perseverance, and the rest split between business acumen and talent. We built this business in a very old-fashioned way — getting out there and selling the product and shaking hands. That is real. That is never going to go out of style.

Do you have any celebrity crushes that you would love to wear or endorse your brand?
VMB: We’ve been incredibly lucky to have had some incredible women wear our clothes: Angela Bassett, Jennifer Lopez, Meghan Markle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek, Gisele Bündchen, Martha Stewart, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kerry Washington … They’re all trailblazers in their own way, multifaceted, multitasking women who make it happen. On our wish list? We think Zendaya would look amazing in VB! 

How do you remain creative, grounded and inspired given the growth of your business and the increased demand for the expansion of your clothing line?
VSB: We would not be where we are today if there weren’t two of us and if we didn’t have the most amazing team. We’re also deeply invested in our philanthropic program, #VBGIVESBACK. Every quarter, we partner with a cause that supports women, children and families. It’s our greatest accomplishment as a brand and really keeps us going. There’s a quote: “To whom much is given much is expected.” We really believe that. 


I love VB designs because they are tailored, simplistic and elevated to accentuate the physique. What three adjectives do you use to inspire and guide your designs?
VMB: Cool, classic, chic. 


Where did the idea for the dickey jacket originate?
VMB: We were both between jobs and having kids. We thought about how easy it is for men to get dressed and out the door in the morning because they have a suit and tie and wanted to create the same ease for women. That’s when we decided on the concept of the dickey jacket — we called it our Wonder Woman cape because, as busy moms, we are always doing the costume change on the go.

What is it like working with a family member?
VSB: As sisters-in-law, the business is family and the home is family — and we couldn’t ask for anything more. We feel so lucky that we have each other. Our two perspectives are what make this brand so unique and genuine — and while we don’t always agree on every minute decision or design detail, we are always aligned on the big picture. Having each other makes our successes that much more rewarding.


I absolutely love how you balance the masculine and feminine in your designs. When I design a home, I love to use contrasting elements together — mixing a plaid and a floral, velvet and leather, etc. How do you achieve this balance when designing apparel?
VMB: Strength in femininity, classics with a twist, polished yet effortless … We love contrasting elements, too. It all comes down to making sure our designs feel as good as they look. That’s the key.

I have pieces from VB that are older than my children and will never be dated. How do you find your inspiration for VB’s timeless yet trendy looks?
VSB: Our inspirations come from all of you, the women who are making it happen. The women who get up and get it done, chase after their dreams, give back and make a difference. And who do it all again the next day. SP

Editor’s note: The author, a personal stylist, is a brand ambassador for Veronica Beard.

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