Marissa Hartington helped Swanson Beard (left) land her first job in fashion. The Veronica Beard designers envision launching a philanthropic initiative at Marissa Collections for the Community School of Naples, Swanson Beard’s alma mater. (Courtesy Veronica Beard/Tommy Agriodimas)

Art of Style

Back to Basics

Veronica Beard expands with looks to meet the times and returns to Naples, birthplace of half of its design duo.

“This has been a crazy week—it’s probably the most I’ve traveled in a year,” designer Veronica Swanson Beard says, when we talk in January. She is half of the duo behind the eponymous brand she runs with her sister-in-law Veronica Miele Beard. The Naples native just flew from Florida, where she still spends holidays with family, to Boston for the opening day of the newest Veronica Beard retail shop, the 13th store launched since creating the brand a decade ago. “Brick-and-mortar is how a customer really understands our brand,” Swanson Beard says. “It’s like going into someone’s house and seeing the art they collect or candle they’re burning. How someone lives in their home is how we approach our stores—you walk into our world.” Swanson Beard—who lives with her family in Locust Valley, outside of New York City—was born in Naples. Her father, W. Clarke Swanson, Jr., of Swanson food fame, was one of the founders of the Community School of Naples, which she attended. She studied art history at Tulane in New Orleans, before moving to New York and briefly attending Parsons School of Design. Close family friend Marissa Hartington, of Marissa Collections, helped Swanson Beard land her first fashion internship at Oscar de la Renta, and she later went on to be Marissa’s contemporary fashion buyer in New York City in the early 2000s. “That was where I got a lot of the education on [Veronica Beard’s] space in the market,” says Swanson Beard, who re
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