You may recognize identical twin sisters Veronica and Vanessa Merrell from their YouTube channel (one that boasts over three million subscribers!) or their recurring roles on the TV comedy Jane the Virgin. They’re actresses, musicians and singer/songwriters, but they’re about to add a fourth title to their triple-threat status: fashion designers.
The YouTube stars are launching their own fashion label “TRUE IMG” full of on-trend, contemporary and affordable clothes for every kind of girl. The name comes from the Greek meaning of Veronica, “true image,” and the logo is inspired by the Greek meaning of Vanessa, “butterfly.” They’ve created a line that caters to every kind of personal style. By combining Vanessa’s love of bright, feminine pieces with Veronica’s edgier style, they were able to create looks that can work for everyone wardrobe.
The Merrell sisters have both loved fashion since they were young, so being able to start their own fashion line (and in our humble opinion, a great one) is a dream come true. But this line is a bit different from the regular fashion lines that we’re used to.
Rather than releasing large, seasonal collections, they’ll be dropping 25-piece capsules every month. Their first capsule dropped on July 17, and the full line is available exclusively on TRUEIMG.com. Each piece is super on-trend and affordable (all under $70!). With the rise of “the drop” and the phasing out of traditional-style collections in the fashion industry, the Merrell girls are right on trend with their limited-run capsule collections.
TRUE IMG’s separates, knits and summer dresses come in the cutest patterns (think gingham, stars and even butterflies), and are classic staple pieces perfect for every wardrobe. So, what are some of our favorites? We would have to say the Check Mate Top and Pants, the To The Stars Top or the Pom Pom Dress.In the midst of their busy schedules managing their YouTube channel, acting careers, and now, their fashion line, we had the chance to ask Veronica and Vanessa some questions about their personal style inspirations, the process of creating TRUE IMG, and what their plans are for the future.
Here’s what they had to say:
Her Campus: You started in the entertainment industry at a young age, and have found a huge amount of success, especially on your YouTube channel. Can you talk a little bit about how you decided to start your channel?
Vanessa: We’ve always liked entertaining people. When we were very young, we would put on musical shows for our parents with our dolls and stuffed animals. We would make all the costumes from scraps of fabric and backdrops. As we got older we got involved with musical theater at school. We started watching YouTube when we were in fourth grade and thought it was amazing that people were making videos, so we decided to make videos with our friends. They weren’t good at all but it was fun!
One day our dad, Paul Merrell, who had already been working in video production and an editor for several years, offered to help us make a good video to post on YouTube. We filmed “What It’s Like To Be A Twin” and posted it. We didn’t expect much to happen with it so we kind of forgot about it. A few months later we were shocked to see that the video had 10,000 views and we had gotten over 2,000 subscribers. That was the starting point of our channel and seeing all the positive comments encouraged us to make more videos.
HC: You produce all different kinds of content, ranging from original music videos to comedy sketches. What is your favorite kind of content to create?
Veronica: Our favorite videos are the comedy sketches. We love writing our own scripts but love improvising when we’re filming. Some of our most popular sketches are the ones where we improvise. However, our music videos are favorites among our fans and we love writing funny songs too.
HC: You’ve been nominated for two Teen Choice Awards this summer (for the second year in a row)! How does that feel?
Vanessa: We honestly never dreamed that making YouTube videos would get us this kind of recognition. It’s very humbling. We have the most incredible, loyal fan base and they’re the ones who nominated us. We feel incredibly honored by it, especially because of the other creators who are nominated in our categories. We look up to them and respect their work. They’re all such hard working and inspirational creators.
HC: How did you decide to transition from YouTube into breaking into the fashion industry? Have you always been interested in fashion?
Veronica: As Vanessa mentioned earlier, we used to make costumes and clothes for our dolls when we were young. As we got older we learned how to sew and made easy apparel items for ourselves like pajamas, shirts, etc. We’ve always loved keeping up with runway trends, reading fashion magazines and seeing what all the celebrities were wearing. We used to say, “wouldn’t it be cool to have our own clothing line one day?” We imagined it but never dreamed we could actually make it happen. Being YouTube creators has given us so many opportunities to do other things so this is really a dream come true for us!
HC: What’s the big idea or inspiration behind this collection? Why did you decide to create it?
Vanessa: Over the years our viewers have complimented us and always asked us about our style. We get a lot of questions about where we shop and how they can get the same clothing pieces. There are a couple Instagram fan accounts that dedicate themselves to reposting our pictures and they post where our clothes can be purchased. It’s crazy. So really our viewers inspired us to create our own line and make our dream a reality.
HC: You both have really unique senses of style - how would you describe your personal style and where do you find your style inspiration?
Veronica: The style in L.A. is so much more relaxed and accepting of fun and quirky fashion, so we like to experiment with all types of styles and trends. Our tastes are similar but Vanessa likes to wear more jewelry and statement earrings and mine is a bit more simple. Vanessa also likes to wear a lot of tall boots/socks while I like some clean white vans. I have an edgier style and Vanessa dresses up a little more playful and feminine.
We find our inspirations from fashion magazines, designers, celebrities and look at online fashion sites.
HC: Was it difficult to combine both of your personal styles (which are so different from each other) into one cohesive collection?
Vanessa: It wasn’t hard to combine our styles and we see it more of an advantage because we can each contribute our ideas and create several looks.
HC: Why did you decide to do monthly drops instead of larger seasonal collections?
Veronica: The whole fashion industry is changing as this generation is adopting more of a see-now-buy-now way of shopping. When you create larger seasonal collections you show clothes you can’t wear for months!
Vanessa: Also, since we’re direct-to-consumer we have the ability to continue designing and trend forecasting throughout the year. We can execute capsule collections with really short lead time since we’re not shipping to traditional retailers. Also, this cuts down our pricing to be accessible to our customers.
HC: What has been the best part about the whole process of creating this line?
Vanessa: The best part about the process is when you have an idea for a piece of clothing and then seeing it come to life. The whole creative process was so much fun. It was cool to see that there is a science and sort of engineering when creating clothes. Another great part was seeing the final entire collection together.
HC: What are you favorite pieces from the debut capsule collection?
Veronica: I really love our Wrap It Up blouses! They are so cute and I love the butterfly and rainbow prints on each. I’m obsessed with collared shirts and shirts that tie, so the combination of both into one is so cute!
HC: Currently you’re both attending college, with Veronica studying screenwriting and Vanessa studying television production. Is it difficult to balance everything that you have going on - school, YouTube, and your new label?
Veronica: Yes, it’s difficult balancing everything we have going on but we really love being in college and trying to get an education. It can be very challenging and stressful at times. However, staying busy keeps us motivated and we’ve adopted a “never give up” mentality. We would rather be busy than not have anything to do. We make a lot of sacrifices being so busy. Our social life is affected a lot. We see our friends hanging out during the week or traveling places, and we can’t because we are either filming, going to meetings, doing homework, etc.
Vanessa: We don’t have a lot of free time. One thing that helps is that both our parents are involved in what we’re doing. Our dad is a producer and editor and manages all our video content. Our mom is our office manager and keeps us organized. It’s become a family business and we couldn’t do this without them. Another thing that keeps us motivated is our viewers. We love meeting fans and hearing their stories about how we’ve inspired them in some kind of way. It’s very humbling but in reality they’re the ones inspiring us to keep going.
HC: What are your plans for the future? Both in the future of the fashion line, your YouTube channel, and for your individual careers?
Vanessa: We would love to see our fashion line grow in the future. That would be an incredible dream come true for us. We would both love to be a part of a TV show or develop our own TV show!
Veronica: I want to write a screenplay and develop it into a movie someday. We see ourselves continuing in the entertainment industry in some capacity whether it’s in front of the camera or behind the scenes. We both still want to continue making YouTube videos and creating our own content. Our main YouTube channel is family friendly. We like to promote positivity through our funny sketches, challenges, and songs. Our hope is that whoever comes to our channel, they will not only be entertained but hopefully be inspired and encouraged to stay positive and never give up not matter what life throws at you.