by MIKE CHAIKEN
Being creative with fashion had been in the back of Victoria Audibert’s mind but she never got a chance to put her plan into action. But when the coronavirus hit, she finally made her dreams become reality by launching her own upcycled fashion brand, “Voyage by V.”
“I’ve always been interested in the arts, along with creating unique content — especially in the fashion industry,” said Audibert, an 18-year-old from Wolcott. This included a dream of launching her own fashion brand.
“When the quarantine (for COVID-19) was put into effect, I pulled out my old sewing machine to play around with,” said Audibert. “I began to experiment with shifting clothes into something new… This quickly escalated into altering clothes for friends.”
Audibert said her sister convinced her to start selling her creations. When she launched her business, Audibert dubbed the resulting brand “Voyage by V.”
With her upcycled approach fashion, Audibert has joined a style industry trend, moving away from fast fashions – cheaply made mass-produced garments – toward less wasteful clothing that lasts longer. Sustainable fashion also puts a priority on recycling fabric into something new– upcycling — to keep it out of the waste stream.
Upcycling isn’t about just protecting the environment for Audibert, a rising sophomore at Marist College in Poughkeepsie. Although environmental concerns figure in her though process, Audibert said she liked upcycling because it taps into her creativity. Audibert said she loves the challenge of turning an existing garment that was destined for the trash into something new and wearable.
Audibert said most of the material she has been using thus far has come from a familiar source. Her family. Some recent spring cleaning provided Audibert with all the fabric she needed to launch her new business.
When it comes to figure out what garments are worthy for upcycling, Audibert said practical matters come into focus first. Does the piece provide enough clean fabric to reconfigure? Embellishments such as buttons and straps also catch her eye.
Right now, the silhouettes for Audibert’s garments are determined by a little bit of eyeballing to help her shape the garments. However, she said she also has occasionally searched for patterns on the internet to give her a little guidance.
Audibert, who has been working as a housekeeper and summer camp counselor when she’s not at college, sees her customer as young women around her age, 13 to 20. She also sees customers of Voyage by V as someone who wants a new and improved version of an existing piece of clothing.
Currently, Audibert sells her pieces via Instagram (@voyage.by.v) and Depop and Posh Mark (both under @victoriaaudi).
PHOTOS via FaceTime by MIKE CHAIKEN