When you think of Vanessa Hudgens‘s style, Instagram #OOTDs of flowy jackets, breezy maxi dresses, and oversized hats likely come to mind. For many, she epitomized a California-boho fashion aesthetic. (Her Coachella outfits have become the stuff of sartorial legend.) Follow her on the red carpet, though, and you might get a different impression: a fanning tulle John Paul Ataker gown, a high-necked DVF number, a Blumarine tweed suit… Really, she’s not interested in being boxed into any one type of dressing. “I think it’s unfair to categorize women, because we’re so many different things—like, I don’t think that your style should be one thing or the other,” Hudgens tells Glamour. “It changes with the way we feel on a daily basis, and [it] should be able to reflect that.”
So, don’t be surprised that her first-ever design collaboration is with a suiting brand.
Hudgens bought her first suit last year, for her 29th birthday—a white two-piece with black buttons. (She documented it on Instagram.) “I was put in a couple of suits over the years for carpets and such, but I’d never had a suit on my own,” she says. “I remember wearing it on my birthday and feeling like I was stepping into my higher self’s shoes, in a sense—I just felt more powerful and strong, feminine and sexy.” The suit was from Suistudio (a friend of hers worked for the brand), which had recently launched as the womenswear-focused offshoot of the Amsterdam-based Suitsupply, which, as the name indicates, specializes in suiting. Fast-forward a few months, and the brand has tapped Hudgens for its first-ever big-name collaboration (and her official foray into design.)
Hudgens felt that Suistudio would make for a good partner because the brand would allow her “to completely design a collection that I thought of from the ground up—which was slightly terrifying because I had never done anything like it before.” Still, she felt the experience was “extremely liberating,” in that it allowed her to “[tap] into my own creative abilities” and make something that felt reflective of her taste. For instance, her love of all-things-retro came across through a Bianca Jagger-inspired white suit (which bears her name), David Bowie-esque mustard separates, and ’70s corduroy.
You can buy Vanessa Hudgens x Suistudio, which launches today, as full looks or as separates, from the blazers and trousers to vests and blouses. Individual pieces start at $99 and go up to $499; full suits range from $499 to $799.
Since buying that first white suit, Hudgens’ personal collection has multiplied. (“I feel like I have at least seven?”) She thinks that this project “might be a way that people’s perceptions of me shift slightly—I’ve been doing this [acting] since I was 13, and I’m turning 30 [this year], I’m not a teenage girl who just wants to run around in the fields and be bohemian. While that’s definitely a core part of who I am, I’m also a businesswoman. I’m branching out into these different ventures, and you want to be able to feel the part.” Now that she’s approaching a milestone birthday, she’s come to learn that “the way you dress is honestly kind of like armor—the way you present yourself to the world is so deeply rooted in the way that you are perceived, so if you want to be a part, dress the part.” For her, that starts with a suit.
Check out the Vanessa Hudgens x Suistudio lookbook (featuring the first-time designer herself as a model) and shop the collection, ahead.
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