In this episode, Arthur Zaczkiewicz, editor-in-chief of WWD, interviews Jazmin Veney, founder and designer of the fashion brand. Veney shares her thoughts on the brand, her inspirations and why advocating for the black community and women’s equality is so important.
Here is the episode:
And here is an excerpt from the audio transcript:
Arthur: Jazmin, welcome to WWV Voices!
Jazmin: Hi, Arthur. Thank you very much for having me. I am delighted to be here.
Arthur: Before the show you mentioned, you had your own podcast. What was it ?
Jazmin: I did. It’s called Elle Radio. It was two of my friends and me, and it lasted a few seasons. We had a few seasons. It was live internet radio at 8am. It was crazy. It was chaotic. But it was a very good show. I don’t even know if it’s still available on Apple Podcasts, and I don’t encourage anyone to go listen to it, but it was a great time. Wait until they hear about us shouting She out. But it was fun. It makes me miss that. I use my old podcast mic to talk to you and everything.
Arthur: Thanks for digging up the old podcast microphone. Let’s talk about Arch NYC. What was the impetus behind the launch of the brand and the company?
Jasmin: Of course. I started Arch in 2018. I had been out of college for two years and didn’t feel too good where I was in the industry. I had faced two layoffs and felt like I was off the path that I really cared about and excited about when I graduated from college. When I graduated and got a job, I felt like the management around me had so much control over my career, and I was like, this is crazy.
They control my money, they control when I get paid, how I get paid, what projects I work on, and it was definitely a moment of control. I really needed to create my own space. I needed to feel like I owned something. And my creativity was nurtured, my voice was heard. It was my opinion that counted in my brand.
When I wanted to create my own brand, it wasn’t shoes. I first thought of selling lip gloss. I thought of selling sunglasses. I knew I didn’t want to make clothes because I worked in fashion and had a background in fashion merchandising from LIM College. My entire corporate experience has been a fashion marketing experience, with a bit of beauty here and there too.
So it really came from a place of wanting to carve out my own space, wanting to have my own thing. I didn’t feel like there was a lot of competition at the time, and so that kicked things off. I was in my room one day, and I was like, well, sunglasses look like… I don’t know. I don’t want to do this.
With the lip gloss, I was like, it’s a beauty company, it’s not a fashion company. And one day I was looking around in my closet and I thought, “What would people trust my opinion on?”
And that’s where the shoes came in.