Taking The Stage Boldly For Inclusive, Slow Fashion with Suzanne Vinnik of By Vinnik

How Fitting
How Fitting
Taking The Stage Boldly For Inclusive, Slow Fashion with Suzanne Vinnik of By Vinnik

In episode 91, hear how former opera singer Suzanne Vinnik designs bold, inclusive fashions that make women “feel seen” and encourage them to take up space for who they are. Knowing first hand what it is like to be exploited working in the arts, Suzanne runs her business differently. Her secret to success both on and off the stage is prioritizing community and personal relationships and paying everyone she works with living wages.

Suzanne Vinnik, a distinguished figure in both classical music and the fashion world, boasts a richly diverse career path. Originally traveling the world as an opera singer, Suzanne performed at renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and notable opera houses across Europe, Russia, Norway and the United States. As a leading soprano, some of her favorite operas included “Manon Lescaut,” Nedda in “Pagliacci,” Mimi and Musetta”La bohème,” and Violetta “La traviata,” captivating audiences with her emotive performances.

Parallel to her operatic endeavors, Suzanne embarked on entrepreneurial ventures, founding Shoperatic, a pioneering social media network and marketplace tailored for women in classical music. This platform served as a hub for artists to connect, collaborate, and showcase their talents, solidifying Suzanne’s reputation as an innovator within the industry. Users could buy, rent, sell and promote their outside skills. 

Driven by her passion for fashion and a commitment to inclusivity, Suzanne transitioned seamlessly into the realm of design, launching “byVINNIK,” a luxury womenswear brand celebrated for its size-inclusive ethos and ethically manufactured garments. Based in the heart of Los Angeles, Suzanne’s designs have graced the frames of Classical Music luminaries, Broadway stars, and prominent figures in television and film. 

The impact of Suzanne’s creations extends beyond the realm of entertainment, with her designs featured prominently on platforms like Disney+, Netflix, and HBOMax’s acclaimed series “The White Lotus,” on Jennifer Coolidge earning recognition with an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Contemporary Costumes. Her work frequently adorns red carpets, editorial spreads, and stages worldwide, embodying a fusion of sophistication, elegance, and inclusivity.

Suzanne holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Texas Christian University, supplemented by studies at prestigious institutions such as Mannes College of Music and Otis College of Design. She further honed her craft at the Opera Studio of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, mentored by the late Renata Scotto, and as an Administration Fellow at The Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute for Women Conductors.

Beyond her artistic pursuits, Suzanne is a passionate advocate for entrepreneurship, ethical manufacturing practices, and classical music education. Her expertise as a textile connoisseur, style forecaster, and classical music aficionado has positioned her as a sought-after keynote speaker at conferences, and universities, and as an expert for popular TV Shows like Today Show and Access Hollywood. Through her inspiring journey from opera singer to fashion designer, Suzanne empowers women of all backgrounds to embrace their confidence and individuality, embodying the transformative power of artistic expression.

Suzanne Vinnik of By Vinnik on How Fitting podcast episode 91

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why Suzanne left a worldwide career in opera to start a fashion brand
  • The transformative power of owning your boldness and dressing accordingly
  • How Suzanne created a loyal community before she even started her brand
  • How the personal relationships she’s built with her clients influences her design decisions
  • Why ethical production and paying fair wages are so important to Suzanne
  • The people on Suzanne’s team and what they each do in the business
  • How By Vinnik’s production model has changed and why
  • How Suzanne prioritizes her day to not burn out even though she’s “bad at boundaries”
  • What Suzanne has learned the hard way about the fashion industry
  • Why Suzanne designs a lot of outerwear for her collection

People and resources mentioned in this episode:

Do you want fashion business tips and resources like this sent straight to your inbox? Sign up for the How Fitting newsletter to receive new podcast episodes plus daily content on creating fashion that fits your customer, lifestyle, and values.

Leave a Reply