I remember meeting Chantelle Allonby (designer and creator behind accessories label Veronica B) for the first time and thinking this girl is going places, I have always been in awe of young women doing amazing things in the New Zealand fashion industry and Chantelle is no exception. In 2012 the Veronica B label was born - launching a stunning collection of on-trend limited edition accessories such as statement bags, jewellery and belts. Veronica B accessories are a must-have wardrobe essential if you are looking for quality crafted goods. 
I was very lucky to ask Chantelle a few questions about the Veronica B brand, right on the heels of an extremely busy week with the launch of the Winter 14 collection - available online today. 
Tell me a little about yourself and the ‘Veronica B’ brand, how did it all begin?
I’m Chantelle, 23 years old and living in central Auckland. I have always had a passion for accessories and styling them, I feel they complete and can turn any outfit from drab to fab instantly. At the age of 22, I decided to turn my utilize my passion and share it with others and so Veronica B was born in 2012.
What was the first piece you ever designed?
The Ella Clutch – a classic clutch that we have evolved with each collection. It’s a funny story actually! My friend was helping me in the office and I had no idea what to call the clutch so we had a laugh together and decided to call it the ‘Ella’ clutch. Today, this is still one of the bestsellers as we update the leathers and pony fur colours each season.

What are your favourite materials to work with and why?
I love working with leather because it is so multi functional. It is a natural product, which means that each piece is unique with all its scars and imperfections. I also love the fact that it is extremely durable and beautifully designed, good quality leather bags are timeless.

What is your favourite piece from the current collection?
Without a doubt - The gunmetal body harness.  To me it’s a very sexy piece and something so unique that it will really make whoever wears it a totally showstopper.

Where do you get your inspiration for each collection?
Funnily enough it comes from different people in my life. Whether from their style or personalities, my collections begin with me drawing from the wonderful people around me. The international catwalks are also a huge inspiration, I take aspects of these looks and key trends and use them to help create an overall concept for my collections.
How would you define your personal style?
My personal style is classic low key, yet always with accessories.

What are some of your favourite fashion websites, blogs, magazines, or books?
I follow They All Hate Us, Jak & Jil and UK Vogue online as well as in print. I am very into following people and pages on instagram at the moment! A couple of my favourites would have to be @LIVEFAST_MAG and @ELLE_FERGUSON.

Did you have any prior experience in the fashion industry (stylist, retail, marketing, etc.) before starting Veronica B? 
I worked for Fashion Accessories as their buyer and designer from 2009. I traveled with the General Manager to Hong Kong on buying trips to meet the suppliers I was in contact with daily, and to source new fittings and hardware to use when back in New Zealand on new designs. I dealt with designers, buyers and stylists weekly, helping them to design and create their ranges. In August 2011 I took over the role of Accounts Co-ordinator for the company.  With this role I did all of the invoices for creditors & debtors, PAYE, GST returns and monthly accounts. Now that I look back on it, all of my experiences in the past have helped me significantly to create and build up Veronica B as a successful kiwi label.
Where can readers buy your line, do you have any stockists?
Readers can easily shop Veronica B online at Veronica B We also have over 20 stockists throughout New Zealand which are all listed on our website.
Whats next for Veronica B?
Our main focus at the moment is to become an international label. We currently have an agent in China selling our products personally and introducing the brand to the market. By the end of 2014 we aim to have our products in retail stores overseas, primarily Australia and Asia.
And finally describe Veronica B in three words:

Classic, Classy and Edgy.

I am completely smitten with the new collection 'Out Of The Shadows' that reflects romantic gothicism with a modern twist and sets the mood for romantic feminine looks this upcoming winter season. 

Photographer: Julie Huang 
Model: Nicola Hogarth from Nova Models
Makeup & Hair: Rochelle Noble


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