With style: Brock grad makes mark on award-winning film, Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour

Growing up, Venetia Kidd (BA ’12) never imagined she could turn her passion for music and fashion into a successful career.

Today, she works with up-and-coming artists and some of the biggest stars on the planet as a celebrity stylist. The Brock University graduate spends her days consulting with clients to find the perfect outfit for events, live performances, music videos and movies.

Kidd believes fashion is about more than just clothes and trends, and her background studying Sociology at Brock has helped her to understand the social reasons behind people’s sartorial choices.

“Clothing is an expression of yourself,” she says. “That’s one thing that really made me love my job, along with seeing the joy on somebody’s face when they feel good about themselves in what they’re wearing.”

Kidd’s career journey began when a chance encounter at an industry event introduced her to the world of fashion public relations (PR). She was immediately drawn to the idea of a job that would allow her to explore her long-standing love of fashion and use the skills she’d already gained as an undergraduate student.

After graduating from Brock, she completed a certificate in Fashion Management and Promotions at Humber College. Her experience working with Brock’s Alumni Relations team as a student fundraiser gave her the confidence to pursue her dream of living in Los Angeles, where she attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

“I think that was one of my highlights of being at Brock because I built so many lifelong relationships,” she says of her time working on campus. “I think if I hadn’t done that job, I would have just stuck to the people that I knew from residence or my roommates. I would say that was my first experience of having to do something on my own with nobody that I had known before. It’s kind of what let me go to LA and be comfortable enough to move somewhere where I knew nobody.”

Kidd began working in fashion PR in Los Angeles, but says she soon realized she wanted to be “more in the trenches.” An unexpected opportunity led her to working with a celebrity stylist.

“I’d never even thought of that as a job,” she says. “I didn’t think of it as a path for myself, but it turned into a whirlwind of working with some really great celebrity stylists and people who are still my mentors to this day.”

Kidd has learned from some of the most successful celebrity stylists in Hollywood, growing from an intern to assistant stylist to business owner with her own clients.

One of the biggest highlights of Kidd’s career has been designing costumes for an Academy Award-winning short film, Two Distant Strangers.

“It was really a learning curve for me because my background had mainly been working with red carpets and musicians,” says Kidd, who had to figure out how to work with special effects when choosing clothes for the actors.

A woman adjusts necklaces worn by a man who is trying on an outfit.

Canadian artist Preston Pablo (left) tries on a look for his performance at the 2023 Osheaga Music and Arts Festival in Montreal, Que., with the help of celebrity stylist Venetia Kidd (BA ’12).

The challenge of designing outfits that reflect a creative vision while still allowing an artist to perform is one of the reasons she specializes in styling musicians for shows and music videos.

Kidd, who originally planned to study music at university, aims to be the primary costume designer for a major world tour in the future.

She’s already had a glimpse of her dream job as part of the stylist team for Taylor Swift’s record-breaking Eras Tour.

“Working on the Eras Tour was an incredible experience,” she says. “Being alongside this job has exposed me to the differences in costume styling versus press styling – and that’s been an amazing learning curve over the years that I’ve now solidified.”

Kidd is using what she learned to better support her up-and-coming clients, including working on a music video for Canadian artist Preston Pablo.

Now that she’s been able to establish her own career, Kidd hopes to create mentorship and networking opportunities for other stylists and professionals in related industries.

“It’s so hard to get yourself out there,” she says. “Even though I’ve worked with some of the biggest names and on some of the biggest moments in pop culture, it’s still hard to develop a successful styling business.”

As well as developing a deep understanding of fashion and pop culture trends, Kidd advises aspiring stylists to learn how to run a business and build their communication, writing, problem solving and interpersonal skills.

For Kidd, many of those skills were developed during her time at Brock.

“I think how I respond to things and how I think critically about things in my current job is definitely from that time period of my life and what I learned in my undergraduate degree,” she says.

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