The first of November will signify the end of a long journey and the beginning of a new one for Vienne Cheung. Exactly one year to the day, Cheung left her position as Executive Director of ASPIRE to embark on the daunting, yet exciting quest to fulfill her passion for fashion. Hence, the birth of VienneMilano – the first luxury hosiery brand and online boutique in the USA devoted exclusively to thigh high stockings that are made in Italy – which officially launches on November 1.
Born in Hong Kong and having immigrated to Brookline, Massachusetts at the age of six, Cheung originally wanted to become a teacher. However, her parents persuaded her to study art at college instead, leading her into a position as the Creative Director for Furniture Fan right out of school. But Cheung wanted to do more and subsequently enrolled in business school.
“No matter where you are in the creative world,” Cheung said, “You need to business know-how in order to succeed.”
After completing business school, her newly-acquired business savvy ignited an affinity toward project management. “I like [the whole process] from marketing to seeing the product out there,” Cheung said.
But her biggest decision came after a two year stint as Executive Director for ASPIRE, when she decided to leave Corporate America to focus on her own brand – VienneMilano – where Cheung finally had the chance to combine all the skills she had acquired over the years: marketing, project management, business and even the skills she picked up during a brief internship for a fashion designer in college.
“Whenever I’d travel to Europe, I would always bring a lot of fashion accessories back,” said Cheung. “Hosiery in Europe is seen differently than it is in the States.”
Fighting the stereotype that hosiery is scandalous, Cheung chose to aim at providing appropriateness and usability with her products, as well as incorporating a unique material – called 3D – that is thicker and more suitable to winter months in the northeast.
In order to make sure her first collection was exactly as she desired, Cheung traveled throughout Italy to select the best suppliers and to source the most exquisite materials. She put relentless care into designing each product as well as their innovative packaging.
“Stockings are a true fashion complement as they can define the outfit in every occasion” said Cheung. “By wearing thigh highs, a woman gains a little glamorous secret that provides her with that extra boost of confidence.”
VienneMilano’s collection embodies the brand’s idea that thigh highs are appropriate for every occasion. In the first collection, consumers will find reinterpretations of classic colors and patterns brought to a new luxurious life with the sapient use of innovative materials.
However, VienneMilano’s center stage will come from its daring pieces that are crafted in vibrant fashion colors, including the brand’s signature purple and are made with materials that have never been seen before in thigh highs, such as an incredibly plush cashmere and silk blend.
But what about the name, Vienne Milano?
“Growing up people would tell me that Vienne is a good name that sounds like it should be in fashion,” Cheung said. “I have another company called VienneDesigns and wanted to keep that going, but I also knew that I was going to get my products from Italy.”
As for cost, prices will range between $39 and $79 per pair, positioning VienneMilano in the luxury department. VienneMilano will be sold exclusively online at www.viennemilano.com.