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Vivian Wise Saint Viv Houston The Heart of Fashion Step Onward Foundation


Style to the Wise

By Mellanie Perez

Photo courtesy of Vivian Wise


A philanthropic fashionista makes a comeback with a revolutionary retail fashion app.

For Vivian Wise, one of the city’s most eclectic fashionistas, nothing’s off-limits—especially not creating a revolutionary new fashion app. The founder of the city’s charitable fashion show The Heart of Fashion is back full force with the release of Saint Viv, a new app for fashion lovers and designers that informs the latter on the pre-eminent retail success of their designs before they hit stores. In 2016, after being diagnosed with a few connective tissue disorders and on bed rest for 198 days, the idea came to the fore. “I had just come back from fashion week and was thinking about how one can pick out pieces that one wants there, because sometimes they don’t make production,” Wise says. “So I thought, I’m only one of five people in the world who have my skin disease, but that’s just five people they know about. What if we could take a global snapshot of, well, how many people really wanted that dress?” And that’s exactly what the app does: It allows users to view prerecorded runway shoots and create look books, at the same time gathering data for designers and retailers that provide insight into what looks will perform best—of course, boosting sales. The idea is that independent designers and small shops benefit from unfiltered feedback. “I want to give them a chance to really compete,” says Wise, who once operated the successful shoe store Velvet Slipper, in Uptown Park. “As for the consumers, it’s for people like me who appreciate the art and creativity that is fashion.” The app is now available in the iPhone App Store and Google Play Store. As for what’s next, she dreams of building a costume museum and is working on a mix-tape memoir in collaboration with musicians Patrice Pike and Arthur Yoria that will raise funds for Pike’s Step Onward Foundation. The first single, “Kinder,” was released this February. “I can’t sit idle,” Wise says. “I’m not very good at not working.” Looks like it’s time to hit the catwalk!