V Concept brings worldwide fashion to SylvaniaWritten by Emily Tucker | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Men in the Toledo area can walk into V Concept and walk out groomed, relaxed and dressed in designer clothing from around the world.
Valentine Ononye, owner and shopkeeper of locations in Perrysburg and Sylvania, wants residents to see his selection and know they can purchase affordable, quality clothing. He is confident that he can sell “luxury for hometown prices” to those who are progressing with their careers.
Ononye is a reflection of what V Concept, 5630 N. Main St. in Sylvania, offers. Dressed in a dark button-up dress shirt and designer suit, he wears the latest fashions he sells in the store. He accessorizes with a belt and socks that complement the rest of his wardrobe. Ononye’s clothing fits perfectly and he wants men to have that same comfort. As a confident businessman, he is enthusiastic about helping every client dress as a professional.
“You won’t find men wearing jeans and sneakers to work,” he said. “It’s important that what you buy is the best so you can wear it over and over again.”
His shelves are lined with handmade clothing created by world-class designers like Armani, Versace, Ben Sherman, Canali, Mirto, Pal Zileri and Lacoste. Suits, ties, shirts and more are available in a variety of colors, and Ononye monitors the latest fashion trends.
He said paisleys are a returning fashion trend, especially independent paisley, as seen on a white shirt in his store with random paisley print floating across it. Ononye said he is happy to offer men a variety so they don’t feel like they have to dress similarly every day.
V Concept is an outlet of V Couture at 123 N. Indiana Ave. in Perrysburg, which Ononye said caters to “men of discriminating taste who are value conscious.” Ononye sells clothing from V Couture for 25-50 percent off at V Concept.
“Three of my passions are business, style and people,” he said. “We do our best work to make sure clients look good, feel good and stand out.”
Ononye has traveled the world and visited fashion houses in New York, Japan, Italy, France and elsewhere. Collections are bought one year in advance, and he recently visited the Versace showroom for next fall. He said he wants to bring in world-class designers with quality products that are not available anywhere else in this area.
The grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony was Nov. 11. Ononye and Heidi Joy, store manager of V Concept, said the store provides “the whole range” so clients can build a complete wardrobe, including belts, socks, shoes and even shaving cream and cologne. She has worked with Ononye since the grand opening of V Couture, and she was as excited about the new store as Ononye.
“We believe it’s imperative for us to showcase what we’re selling in an excellent environment,” Ononye said.
After walking through the entrance, a men’s grooming center is on the right, providing services such as haircuts, hot towel shaves and facials. Next to the grooming center is a lounge area where customers can watch television, or children can play video games.
“We want to provide all types of services and differentiate ourselves from other [businesses],” he said.
Ononye said when buying a handmade suit, customers are paying for the finest material, workmanship and longevity. Clients can be measured to have their clothing tailored for that perfect fit, and there is a multitude of clothing that can be bought from the rack.
He shows clients they are purchasing fine clothing by folding an Armani suit into a small bundle, then unfolding it to show that it will not wrinkle. He tells clients that a suit is worth purchasing because a father could potentially hand down the clothing to a son.
“We aren’t just building a store, but building a lifestyle,” Ononye said. “If someone wants to look a certain way, this is the best place to shop. With the downturn of the economy, it’s become even more important for men to dress better to be competitive.”
Joy said the past nine months have been filled with intense collaboration with those working on the store’s design. Ononye’s wife designed the space, and local architects and engineering firms provided the renderings.
V Concept is 1,444 square feet and about half the size of V Couture. Ononye said renting the space in Sylvania is expensive, like paying for a five-bedroom house up front.
“The designers want the store to fit in with the area yet stand out from others,” Joy said. “Valentine wants to come out with the best right off the bat.”
Ononye said he chose Sylvania as the location for the outlet store because he considers it a “world-class city,” and the city, residents and local businesses have been welcoming.
“It took us a while to get everything together, but local merchants and even City Council have given us support,” he said. “I’m very excited to be part of the community.”
V Couture, located at Perrys Landing Shopping Center in Perrysburg, offers made-to-measure clothing and services such as wardrobe consultation and personal shopping. Ononye shows men what’s new, in season, and how to color coordinate.
“I’ve seen a lot of men wear blue shirts,” he said. “Men don’t mind wearing blue almost every day because they’ve done it their whole life. But at V Concept we can cater to skin tone, body shape and career.”
Ononye said regular clients are from Perrysburg and Sylvania, but the store also brings in customers from southeast Michigan, Columbus, Dayton and Cleveland. Also, he has customers from New York, California, London and Norway, who have purchased orders online. He said a goal is to continue to utilize social media in order to engage and interact with clients on a regular basis.
Future plans are to offer women’s and children’s clothing, plus open additional locations in other cities.
“What we are doing is educating people,” he said. “It excites the customers and makes them feel confident in what they are wearing.”