Virginia Norris is a PR power woman known for her infectious wit, an incredible wardrobe and her unparalleled generosity. Never not seen without a smile, we are lucky enough to call Virginia a friend as well as our very own PR. Always a pleasure to see, usually with her sidekick/canine legend Doogie in tow - a sausage dog with plenty of personality, that has graced the pages of The Gourmand of course.
Virginia has previously worked at respected agencies, think Purple PR and Diesel, plus headed up global PR at Whistles - one inspirational career path. In 2014 she took the respectable plunge and launched her own company, Aisle 8, with her good friend and co-director Lauren Stevenson. Now in their third year, the duo’s clients range from cutting edge beauty brands, luxury swimwear to ourselves here at KITRI, and we fully agree that they are the best at what they do.
We caught up with Virginia on her return from a work trip to Bermuda for a peek into her daily life. From day to day organisation, her personal playlist and the Instagram accounts of rescue goats, fashion icons and aspirational plant life that are all worth a scroll.
Firstly can you describe your style in three words?
Enjoyable, British and feminine. I’ve often thought about being considered in my purchases, however once you see the thing you love you won’t be able to get it out of your head. I tend to buy something on love at first sight, wear it once and then every so often. I’m not a big believer in saving things for best or wondering when you’d wear it.
Is there one piece of life advice that you always refer to?
There’s a few, some I keep in my head and I like to turn them over and think about them. I do have to thank my Grandad for one in particular ‘find the thing you love doing, and then find someone to pay you to do it’ He gave me this advice when I was at school and I was trying to figure it all out. I still think about this all the time as a reminder to enjoy what you do
Who are your favourite people to follow on social media?
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a huge fan of animals so Esther the Wonder Pig, and Goats of Anarchy are just brilliant. You get to see the animals different personalities and see how passionate the people are that look after them. The people behind both accounts used to work in corporate jobs and gave it all up for their love of animals - which is a dream of mine. I was just with Giorgia Tordini, in Bermuda and was wowed by her effortless dress sense, she’s a great follow for style inspiration. Plus, we all need beautiful things to look at, my very good friend Nik at Grace and Thorn provides that daily.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
I pick Doogie up (he can’t navigate stairs due to short legs) and go downstairs, open the back door and enjoy a moment of peace looking at the garden and sky and listening to the day start. I’ve only had a garden for the past year and I appreciate it’s such a luxury in Central London.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
Leaving the office for the day…. Kidding! Discovering new brands, the clothes, the ideas and meeting likeminded people who know what they are doing and are open to collaboration. I love seeing the results of a plan finally come together.
What is the last great thing you read?
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. It’s about a neurosurgeon who is just about to make it, but then is diagnosed with cancer. It’s Incredibly truthful, honest and moving. His writing is extremely eloquent and beautiful.
If you could swap wardrobes with someone, who would you choose?
I’d like to raid Cameron Silver (of Decades) archive for beautiful vintage pieces. I visited the store for the first time in LA in 2006, which was a bit of a pilgrimage for me. I also was lucky enough to meet him through work and learn about how he sources vintage. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of clothes and I like that he champions little known heritage US designers as well as Dior, Gucci etc.
How do you manage to stay organised?
By having a brilliant team of people to work with who are better at staying organised than me, I adore them!
What is on your personal playlist?
La La Land, Joni Mitchell, Zero 7, Jurassic 5 and Justin Bieber (yup). I went to see Bieber last year, in fact a lot of the Aisle 8 team did, we’re almost all Beliebers. Given the chance at a party I always put him on and he gets turned off immediately. So I have to listen to him as and when I can get away with it!
Where are you travelling to next?
I’m going to a little village called Deià in Majorca, I go there every single year. It’s quiet and tranquil and there's lots of little coves to swim in, it’s just very beautiful and a great escape from the city.
Finally, tell us something people don’t know about you?
I didn’t get on a plane for the first time until I was 19.
Interview by Abi Corbett