Meet Victoria, a driven and passionate young designer. With a love for fashion and styling, Victoria graduated from our Bachelor of Fashion Business at Holmes Institute of Fashion.
From working at Ralph Lauren to Burberry and launching her ready-to-wear clothing line before the pandemic, it’s safe to say Victoria is a girl boss. She is now fully self employed and doing what she loves, living the best of both worlds.
In a Q&A with the T.M Edit, we got to have a chat with Victoria about what's in the works for the future and how her degree helped her reach her career goals.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Victoria Dimitropoulos and I am currently self-employed! I was a Client Advisor at Burberry and Second-In-Charge at Polo Ralph Lauren. I also own a few businesses, one being VXJ which is a ready-to-wear clothing brand.
What did you love most about studying with us?
Originally, I wanted to do a business course. When I was in year 12, e-commerce was on-trend and business was my favourite subject. I was set in my ways and thought it was the best thing for me to study.
In my spare time though I would always be on Pinterest creating collages and was obsessed with fashion hauls on YouTube. After I graduated I got accepted into the course I wanted but something just felt off, I wasn't excited to go to university and didn't have that drive.
That's when I slowly started to realise I had a passion for fashion. I remember searching "fashion courses in Melbourne" and The Master's caught my eye. A fashion and business course, the best of both worlds for me. What I loved the most about studying at Holmes Institute of Fashion was how intimate the classes were and how passionate all my lecturers were. I learnt and grew so much.
Tell us about your role at Burberry?
My role at Burberry was a Client Advisor. It's very hands-on with clients. When it comes to selling products you can have all the knowledge in the world, but if you can't click or build a relationship with customers it becomes hard to sell.
A day in the life of my role at Burberry was always arriving extra early, you have to change into your uniform, make sure the store is clean and that you've completed outreach to customers. We'd usually have a team meeting in the morning before the store would open. The goal was pretty much to sell! We had really high budgets, up to 6 figures a week for the team.
My favourite task was definitely styling customers, not just selling a product to meet the budget but actually offering the best experience to each customer who walks in and out of the store, regardless of whether they purchase or not, making people happy or even educating them about certain products goes a long way!
What are some of the opportunities working at Burberry that you have done?
Opportunities in luxury don't come easy, to be honest you're really just a number in the luxury field. For me it was my colleagues that I worked alongside and the customers! The people you work with are in the same boat, we all have one end goal. I learnt so much from them and to me, knowledge is power. The best opportunity for me was networking, meeting CEO'S, being able to style them and have a genuine conversation with them. You never knew who was going to walk through the door.
How did your role at Burberry come about?
After finishing up at Polo Ralph Lauren I wanted to move up within the fashion industry. I went for a lot of interviews and got accepted into many luxury brands. I chose Burberry because I love the "old money" aesthetic, it was more my style (hence working at Ralph Lauren).
Is there anything about working in-industry that has surprised you?
Yes, so many things! I never sugar coat anything and to be honest luxury isn't anything special. It's taken some people I know 12 years just to get into head office, it's very competitive and stressful. In saying that, there's also some amazing people you get to meet along the way who provide you with the utmost support.
You are also the co-owner and creative director of VXJ Pty Ltd. Can you tell us more about your brand?
VXJ is a brand I co-own with my partner. He takes care of the business side, I take care of the creative side. The brand was brought to life right when the pandemic started. We create timeless and authentic pieces. When starting the brand we had a vision on what we wanted to come out with, it took some time but we both agreed on luxe streetwear/trans-seasonal pieces. We are currently rebranding at the moment, with a new website and products which is very exciting!
How do you feel T.M. helped prepare you to work in the industry?
The Masters Institute was just amazing! Once I finished my studies I had this overflowing boost of confidence and self worth. Every single piece of information I learnt, I was able to use when opening up my business and working in the industry.
I remember the first few weeks my lecturer Mark was teaching us how to be confident and be able to speak in front of a room full of business people, he would constantly give us presentations to do. I built up so much confidence that now my network grows every day, I'm able to host meetings with manufacturers worldwide and I even presented in front of the General Manager of Burberry. Shy me 3 years ago wouldn't even dare to imagine what I've accomplished so far.
What’s been your greatest memory studying with us so far?
My greatest memory is not only the knowledge and the lecturers, but the people I studied alongside with. The engagement in class was so positive and everyone supported each other's dreams.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given so far?
As my partner always says "know your worth", in a world where at times we feel so little, be you, and just enjoy the journey. Your time will come, sometimes we're just existing and not living, remember to take in every moment. My last piece of advice my parents never forget to tell me is, "when you do what you love, you never work a day in your life".
What are your ultimate career goals?
I have so many goals it's not even funny! I have always reached for the stars, I'm working on opening a second brand, it’s a completely different aesthetic to VXJ. I also have some upcoming trips to Korea! Working alongside stylists is an amazing opportunity for me. My overall goal is to continue my fashion journey but also make a change within the industry.