Interview Series: VEER’s Jenny McClary and Allie Leepson

VEER vibrates on its own frequency, somewhere out in the desert, past the things you knew or thought you wanted. It stands out, against the back drop of everything we expect. This season-less, gender-less attire feels chiseled from granite, sharp and comfortable, new and timeless. Founded in 2012 by Jenny McClary and Allie Leepson in New York, VEER operates on one simply principle: “Quality and ethics are never to be compromised for quantity.” DRIFT is their newest collection, out now, and toes this perfect line of essential and statement pieces. And best of all, most of it comes in black, the greatest shade ever.

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Q&A

LF: Jenny, Allie, who are you? And how did VEER come to be for the both of you?
VEER: We are actually engaged! I guess that makes us an [almost] wife and wife run business haha! We met in New York City. VEER came about because both Allie and I had a sense of style that was hard to satisfy. We were seeking fashion that was truly genderless in design and aesthetic–but would also actually fit. We weren’t looking for the tomboy trend, nor were we looking for womenswear that was “menswear-inspired.” I am a creative for media production companies (fashion films, advertising, media + entertainment) and photo studios between NYC and LA. Allie is a fashion photographer.

LF: When all of this started what was your main objective, your goal for both yourselves and your line?
VEER: We wanted to create a line that truly captured the grey area in womenswear. We wanted to construct pieces that were minimalist and neither masculine nor feminine. Something that could become your daily uniform.

LF: If you had to sum up VEER in five words what would you say?
VEER: Minimalist, elevated, functional and androgynous.

LF: Where do you draw inspiration?
JENNY: Right now I’m very inspired by brutalist architecture. I love the materials and the sharpness of everything. I’m always trying to remove unnecessary design elements which is a common theme in that style.
ALLIE: We travel a lot so I’m finding myself very drawn to textures and color we come across in our adventures. The vastness of these landscapes is so powerful… I want to create something that evokes the same sense of strength.

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LF: I love that VEER is “season-less” but I can see how it might present a challenge to make each collection feel new or different than the one before, how do you combat that kind thing?
VEER: To keep things season-less we make sure that whatever we designed can be worn either alone or as a layer. This way we are able to capture all needs of people in any hemisphere.

LF: What aspect of VEER are you most proud of?
VEER: We taught ourselves everything. We don’t come from a fashion background at all so the day we decided to start VEER marked our endless study. We didn’t even know how to “talk the talk”!

LF: I think as artists we dream of or strive for this moment where we feel like, ok I made it I’m not going to have to move into my parents basement, have you had a moment like that, and if so when was it?
VEER: Hahaha not yet! There’s always a fear that it won’t work out. I think for us we try to push those feelings away as quickly as they come in. Right now we are so focused on growth that the second one success comes, we are re-investing in the next. I’m not yet sure what total success or “making it” will look like for us. I think that maybe I’ll never feel totally secure, but that’s what will help us maintain the hustle.

LF: I love the video you’ve created for DRIFT the newest collection, how would describe the purpose behind it?
VEER: Our core aesthetic is minimalist with complexities in detail, modern and functional. VEER [almost always] exists around the absence of color and also the transformability of pieces that hold their strength in the details (fabric, hardware and construction). To capture that, we needed motion to be the centerpiece and to force the viewer to focus in on very specific elements.

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LF: Can you tell us a little bit about making the video/ the conception / inspiration behind it?

VEER: It was inspired by our recent travels, elements of industrial/modern architecture and dramatic landscapes. We worked with Andrew Makadsi who is a phenomenal director and is able to channel our strength and mood boards of concrete, long roads, architectural elements, etc. and turn it into a story. We filmed this in California where we are able to be present in so many vastly different landscapes in a single day. In a difference of minutes we shooting in the desert, the mountains, ocean, etc.

LF: Where do you see VEER in five years?
VEER: In many more stores around the world… maybe one of our own in NY.

LF: How FAST do you live?
JENNY: I’m addicted to change. I’m never fully at peace with where I am. There’s always a goal or something new I’m working towards and trying to learn. I become obsessed with getting there.
ALLIE: I’m always looking for somewhere new to go. Lazy days don’t really have a place in my life. I crave adventure.

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