Twelve North Interview with Beauty Blog Michelle Swoons

Posted on October 14 2015

This is a repost from Michelle Swoons. Michelle Landriault, a plus size model, Chicago native, fashion blogger, and the founder and editor of Michelle Swoons requested an interview. Veronica, our founder, was more than happy to chat with Michelle about all things Twelve North

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Designer Spotlight: Twelve North’s Veronica Manchel

Michelle Landriault

The plus size industry is booming, it’s getting better and better when it comes to available style. Along the way you will meet some amazing people who you will want to know everything about. For me, Veronica Manchel is one of those people. She created the brand, and plus size boutique Twelve North.

Places to shop for a plus size gal, are limited to usually a select few. I can find some great pieces from place to place, but lately I really wanted to branch out and try some things from new stores, new looks, new prices!

MichelleSwoons modeling Twelve North’s Aztec Shawl Sweater

Twelve North was a place that I was drawn to immediately, they matched a style that was mine, AND a style that I always wanted to wear. I’ve been an earthy girl who would have done anything to wear clothes from Anthropologie or J.Crew, they don’t carry anything plus size so I’ve never been able to shop there.

After going through Instagram (Like I always do to find new #PlusInspo) I found @Twelve_North, they were like a walking plus size ad in all the styles that I loved! I knew it was a match made in heaven, So, I planned a little interview to learn everything I needed to know about someone who had a style even better than me! Take a seat, and let me introduce you to someone super special.

          

Tell me about Twelve North, and how it got started.
 
Having a plus size clothing company is something I knew I wanted to do from a very young age. I was plus size as a child and teenager and felt so awful about going shopping. There was nothing for me and no stores to cater to me. I remember feeling so left out as my friends got to enjoy shopping. I took that sadness, anger and frustration and turned it into a goal. After years of working in e-commerce and fashion, the time was finally right to strike out on my own. Twelve North launched in February of 2015.  Twelve North is all about providing casual, boho-chic fashion to those of us who wear above a size 12. Quality, style and the fun of shopping doesn’t have to stop when plus size begins.
 
What are some of your style inspirations?
 
In general, I’m inspired by nature, traveling and the streets of NYC. Specifically, for fall fashion inspiration I look to equestrian style for inspiration…neutrals, tailored top layers, etc. I am always inspired by the way J.Crew styles their clothing as well as Anthropologie.
 
What are your goals for Twelve North? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
 
My goal is for Twelve North to not only give plus size women options in terms of clothing, but also to make shopping and dressing fun for them. I want to provide better fitting apparel to women so I’m launching my own line of Twelve North clothing later this month. I’m starting with one dress, so in 5 years I hope to have a full line. The Twelve North line would have great style, quality and superior fit through the use of fabric and technology.  In 5 years, I hope I’m running a very successful company!
 
Top Picks for fall, from pumpkin spice lattes to your favorite booties tell me all about them!
 
1. Flare leg jeans
2. Leather skirt
4. Alba Botanica Moisturizer
 
Tell me some of your Style Icons and predictions for some upcoming styles this year.
 
Reese Witherspoon. She nails casual chic every time and always manages to look put together. 2. Michelle Obama. Many women in professional settings default to drab suiting and dull colors. Despite having the eyes of the world on her, Michelle Obama takes risks and lets her personal style show through. Did you see her latest dress!? 3. Kate Middleton. Classic, chic, functional.
 
I think the minimalist, mod trend is going to stick around for a while. Also, I believe people will start to shop quality over quantity as “conscious consumerism” grows.
 
If you could only bring 3 pieces with you for a weekend trip what would you bring.
 
3? This is too hard! Well I’d travel in Jeans, a solid v-neck tee and a warm pashmina. My three additional items would be 1. a day to night dress 2. an embellished tunic and 3. Leggings Between these pieces and my travel outfit, I’d have an outfit for nice dinner, 2-3 daytime outfits and a look for doing something athletic.
 
Any style recommendations for mixing and matching outfits?
 
I love mixing the unexpected. For example, business-y pencil skirts with boho beaded tunics or a tailored jacket with a billowy maxi dress. I like the mixing of styles and formality. Another piece of advice is to think of stripes as a neutral. If you do this then you can really nail pattern mixing and matching (think of a floral skirt paired with a thin striped black and white top).
 
Where do you shop? AND where would you shop if you could choose any store? Sizes or prices would not matter
 
I’ve been on a tight budget since starting Twelve North…I’ve really cut down on shopping, but I do shop sales at Gap, & Banana Republic, because they are great for basics. If size and price were not an issue I’d shop at Anthropologie, Club Monaco and Nordstrom. I love the whole vibe of Anthroplogie, the luxe feel of Club Monaco and the curation of Nordstrom.
 
Any advice to your younger self, or anyone wanting to get started in fashion?
 
Don’t procrastinate! To those interested in fashion, I’d say be open to brands/areas that aren’t an exact match with your interests. There are processes and practices that are identical across product types so the important thing is to learn them. Whether it be at a menswear company or a kids clothing manufacturer.
It's tough being a plus size kid! Veronica at around 12 years old
 
Any interest in beauty? Usually beauty and fashion go hand in hand, are you more of a straight fashion lover? Or is beauty a passion for you also?
 
Yes, I’m interested in beauty! I wouldn’t say its a passion, but I appreciate the power of makeup and beauty products and I try to experiment. I have a handful of staples (Elta MD tinted face moisturizer, Loreal Telescopic Mascara, Urban Decay Naked shadow palette.)  I’m a bit of a minimalist, but on my “must try” list for fall is an oxblood matte lip. Any suggestions?
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