Changing the Fashion Industry One DVF Store at a Time
By Victoria Priola
It’s a long walk from the streets of Huguenot in Staten Island to the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week runway- especially in Diane Von Furstenberg (DVF) heels.
Lenore Genovese, one of the final four contestants on the E! Network show “House of DVF”, is living proof that with a wrap dress and a New York accent anything is possible.
“Make sure you’re doing what you love,” said Genovese. “And go for it at full force.”
In a NY1 interview, Genovese claims that her once “normal” life quickly took a turn for the better when she was picked up to be a Global Brand Ambassador hopeful for a world famous designer. Also, her whole experience was displayed on national TV every weekend. No pressure, right?
Before Genovese made her way to the TV screens of millions, she went to St. John’s University and graduated with a degree in Hospitality and Business. She has been studying fashion merchandising at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
She claims that her island residency allowed her to be more personable in competition and to viewers at home. Other than getting recognized on the island, E! Online blog regards her as one of the “most memorable candidates on House of DVF” due to her charm and over the top reactions.
“Being from Staten Island, I felt like my accent was definitely stereotyped,” said Genovese. “It was hard to overcome but I used it to my advantage because it allowed me to be outspoken and personable.”
What she lacked in experience, she made up in personality. That was suddenly pushed to the side when her personal insecurity surfaced at a professional photo shoot during the filming of “House of DVF” causing her to act uncomfortably in front of the camera.
This catered to Diane and her team’s decision to dub her unqualified for the job. Although Lenore was a crowd favorite, the title was taken by Brittany Hampton.
With the support of over two thousand followers on Twitter and eleven thousand on Instagram, Genovese quickly got back to connecting with her fans on social media and building a foundation of positivity for them.
“The best advice Diane gave me during the show was to be you and love yourself,” said Genovese. “This is me and I’m embracing it.”
The week of her elimination, Diane Von Furstenberg gave Genovese the best blessing a working-girl in a busy city could receive a tweet from her personal account reading “[Lenore] will have a job! Love, Diane.” As of January 5, Genovese is the Wholesale Sales Specialist at DVF’s Manhattan store.
Since her time on the show, Genovese has spent her days traveling to all DVF store locations in New York, training sales associates and monitoring the merchandise. Her job is to get stores like Bloomingdales excited for the brand.
She has manages to keep herself grounded despite all her new responsibilities by listening to One Direction and dining at New York’s famous Little Italy with her family on her off days. She makes it known through social media that although her dreams are big, her ego isn’t. Like Diane, she believes that the way to be successful is to be friendly.
So, what’s next for this Staten Island fashionista? Genovese has denied plans of opening her own clothing line but it may be something she’ll think about in the future. She claimed over phone interview that she doesn’t like to plan too much because she never planned to be where she is today.
“If you see your end dream, you need to work hard towards it,” said Genovese. “Put in your all and most importantly—be nice.”