An interview with the mind behind Victoria Grace: Jennifer Rönne

We welcome a great new creative mind to our Designers Directory. Jennifer Rönne is the owner and creator of the Victoria Grace Fashion Label, and Victoria Grace UK Ltd and Victoria Grace Enterprise Ltd Nigeria.
Throughout her career, she has worked with Condé Nast Vogue, Calvin Klein merchandising and as an independent Fashion PR agent. During her career in the financial market, she has also worked with KPMG, Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley in the UK. After relocating to Nigeria, her path continued as a business strategist and consultant. Later on, Jennifer founded her women’s clothing Label, Victoria Grace, a sustainable and ethical Fashion Brand.
We have asked Jennifer Rönne 10 questions to get to know her a little better. Read on and find out more about this incredibly inspiring and talented woman.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a designer and how old were you? 
Well, I had an interest in business, trade and commerce. I was curious about how companies were run, how boardrooms were managed, logistics, marketing, the supply chain and at 15 I knew it was the Business of Fashion.
2. Can you describe your style as a kid and young adult?
I was educated both in the UK and Africa and spent most of my youth in a boarding school, which meant I was mostly in a uniform. Also, my parents bought all of our clothes.
As a young adult, I was bursting with style. I was very trend focussed but always added something extra elegant… For example, in the punk era…I accessorized with a faux Chanel 3 chain necklace. My dresses, skirts, jackets and trousers always had unusual detailing that was visible ( I liked Japanese detailing). The fabrics were abundant, the colourings and patterns were minimal yet stood out. I had a lot of ball gowns but dressed them down with fun shoes or punkish-coloured hair. I was voted the best-dressed girl each year in University. I also heard that some thought I slept in heels. I believed in first impressions, and every day was an opportunity to give a fresh impression through Fashion.
3. If you could go back and give yourself fashion advice, what would it be?
I would have encouraged myself to keep going on and be bold. Maybe, today I could’ve been counted as a Fashionista and Fashion-forward influencer. Although, knowing what I now know about the effect of Fashion on the environment. I would not have been into such fast Fashion.
4. How would you describe your personal style today?
Well, with over 15 years in the corporate world, having started a family, and moved around a lot, I have a more practical style. I have also learnt to appreciate and love the differences and natural changes of the female body. My style is moderate, adaptable, classic, comfortable, practical, explorative, trendy, expensive, slow Fashion, and elegant.
5. What inspires you the most?
I am inspired by and appreciate Art, Interiors, Nature, Cultures, Textures and Scents. An exploration of the variations inspires me and finds itself in each Fashion piece I create.
6. Now, if you could go back and give yourself advice, before beginning your career as a fashion designer, what would it be? 
To go ahead and focus on becoming a Fashion Designer. Be bold. You can do it. Do not be intimidated. Do not doubt yourself. My husband told me this, and I was able to leave the corporate world behind. I am grateful for him, but maybe I should have said it to myself sooner..maybe!
7. Can you describe your brand in three words?
Modern, Natural, Classics
8. What can the African Fashion industry learn from the European Fashion industry and vice versa? 
Africa can learn that Fashion is a business. A profitable one. An Investment class.
Europe can learn to enjoy, celebrate, express, and pass down their culture, traditions, and life in more practical dress styles using their traditional colors and fabrics.
9. Can you give young and aspiring designers a tip?
Approach it as a business and put your processes in place if you want longevity.
10. Can you tell us a little secret about yourself?
I reset my life clock after 40 with the help of my new-found Faith. As a single parent, I relocated to Africa from the UK, leaving an investment banking career path behind. I started a consultancy in Africa, then built a career in Trade and Commerce, and becoming a Director on the board. I got married, started my Fashion line, and made a creative Investment portfolio. Age and maturity is my advantage point. It is never too late to reset and start anew.
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