I sat down with a wonderful entrepreneur who exudes style and wisdom at Bongo Room last week. Her name is Vienne Cheung, a woman who followed her passion for fashion, travel and fine hosiery. By the time I was done with my interview, I couldn’t wait to get home to try on my new thigh highs to help jump-start my weekly wardrobe.
What is VienneMilano?
VienneMilano is a luxury hosiery brand dedicated to thigh high stockings. The quality of our Italian-made products allow for more versatility and can be worn confidently as a more comfortable and sanitary replacement for pantyhose. (For those unfamiliar with good thigh highs- they are actually worn on the upper thigh without a visible band, unless desired. The band also uses silicone to reliably remain in place). Unlike other parts of the world, high quality thigh highs in the US are limited in variety and prohibitively expensive for everyday use. Our brand positioning is: VienneMilano reveals the style and confidence of a woman who knows how to be elegant, playful and sexy in every occasion.
When was it established?
The brand launched on Nov 11, 2011, or what we like to call LEGS DAY (get it: 11, 11, 11).
Why did you start VienneMilano?
I started VienneMilano for several reasons: I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur, I have a passion for fashion, and last but not least, I was frustrated by the lack of elegant thigh high stockings in the US. Everything I found was either associated with Halloween, would not stay up, or lack a selection of colors. As a result, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create VienneMilano.
How are your products different from other types of stockings?
First of all, all of our products are made in Italy. And unlike most thigh highs, our stockings actually stay up…way up! By that I mean most thigh highs you find today sit only a few inches above your knees. And unless you’re 6’4”, thigh highs are supposed to reach a little further up your leg. We also carry a large selection of materials and thickness of the stockings, ranging from 8 denier (unit of measure for thickness) to 150 denier. We even have cashmere thigh highs!
Why Italy? And is everything really made in Italy?
Yes! All of our products are made in the Castel Goffredo region of Italy– historically renowned for quality manufacturing of textiles and currently an international fashion capital.
What would you say is the “sexy little secret” feeling behind wearing a pair of thigh highs?
Proper thigh highs should sit a few inches below your waist. In doing so a little bit of your leg is secretly uncovered. Premium thigh highs are made with high quality silicone band that allows the pair of stockings to stay up on your leg all day long. When you wear thigh highs, you are the only person who knows about the band, and the exposed part of your leg. You can chose to reveal that part of your leg to no one or someone special, and that’s the sexy little secret feeling behind wearing thigh highs.
How big is your collection?
VienneMilano currently sells 40 products, in 20 differently colors. We boast the largest collection of thigh highs for sale in the world. We have both natural and synthetic materials in a wide range of textures and patterns. VienneMilano has a thigh high for every hosiery occasion!
What did you like most about Chicago?
This was my first visit to Chicago! It was great to finally see the skyline and architecture for myself. I guess what I liked most can be simplified as the character of the city. There are a number of unique neighborhoods and almost everyone is friendly. I wish I could have stayed longer, and can’t wait to return.
Did you find a favorite hotspot you recommend?
Would you be surprised if I said Michigan Ave? In particular, I really like the folks at 900 N. Michicgan, where Bloomingdales, Azeeza and all of those wonderful fashion brands are located.
What item do you carry in your handbag no matter what?
I wish I could say it was my phone, keys, or wallet, because they are seemingly always missing.
Thank you Vienne for having brunch with me! But mostly, I appreciate the conversation and inspiration you provide for all of us women who are trying to follow our passions.