Style points

BGSU alumnus Valentine Ononye's stores offer world class service

Valentine

By Bob Cunningham

Even as a small child growing up in Nigeria, Valentine Ononye ’03 was interested in style.

Ononye also dreamed of attending college in the United States, and he was able to achieve that goal by attending Bowling Green State University, where he studied computer science in the College of Arts and Sciences and graduated with a degree in information systems.

Soon after he graduated, Ononye moved to Chicago but he felt a calling to return to northwest Ohio and set down roots.

“I soon realized that this was home,” said Ononye, who lives in Perrysburg with his wife and four children. “It’s such an amazing community. I really wanted to build something here that would bring together my three great passions: business, style and connecting with people.” 

Once he was back in northwest Ohio, Ononye went about making his dream a reality. 

“As we launched our first store, I started to see that we were fulfilling a real need in the marketplace,” he said. “The response was overwhelming. People regularly tell me that before shopping with us, they had to travel several hours — and usually out of state — to find the kind of selection and service that we offer. We work really hard to personalize each client’s experience and provide a comprehensive menu of services. Each of our stores even has a barber lounge inside so they can complete their look.

“Our customers love that we are a locally owned and operated store with world class products and services.”

Ononye, 39, operates two stores in the Toledo area: V Couture in Perrysburg and V Collection in Sylvania. His team recently launched V Style(d), a personal haberdashery service in which clients can work with a dedicated stylist to find the look and build the wardrobe that best suits their needs.

Ononye described V Couture, located at 123 W. Indiana Ave. in Perrysburg, as a custom clothier and purveyor of exclusive and classic designer lines for men.

“We offer a rare class of service that empowers people to use their outward appearance to express their inner self, their best self,” said Ononye, who recently returned from a lengthy tour of Europe, where he scouted the best men’s clothing the industry has to offer.

Last year, Ononye’s store at 5630 N. Main St. in Sylvania celebrated its fourth anniversary in an unusual way: by closing its doors and relaunching to more effectively meet its customers' needs.

“We wanted to do something special to celebrate our customers,” Ononye said. “As they have shopped with us over these past four years, they have in fact helped us to test our concept. When we asked how we could refine what we offer to meet their needs even better, they said ‘more great casual looks, things I won't see anywhere else.’  

“So, we got busy working with new designers and vendors to curate that kind of collection and renamed and completely redesigned our store in Sylvania to flag our ongoing commitment. Fashion changes, but we will always have our customers at heart.” 

V Collection reopened in February after Ononye created a comfortable, cutting-edge space for customers, including a full-service bar and barber lounge.

Ononye said V Style(d) is the perfect option for the busy man who doesn’t want to spend time shopping.  

"Our personal haberdashers offer dedicated service and the very best products and selection in the industry," he said. "We make it convenient by working within your schedule at our showroom or a location that is convenient for you. We offer everything from sportswear to the very best made-to-measure and bespoke clothing so that you can build a wardrobe that meets your your lifestyle needs. 

“V Couture, V Collection and the new V Style(d) are not just businesses, but a commitment to our community. This is our home. We’re building to last, and to make a positive impact on our city.”

Ononye has developed a philosophy of style that is the cornerstone of his approach to working with customers.

“I basically believe that people should dress to express and not to impress,” he said. “Style is about being and expressing your best self.”  

At his stores, Ononye promises “to have you looking and feeling better than ever, to help you build the wardrobe that’s best for you, to provide a relaxing environment that invites you back and to honor the relationships that keep us vital.”

Ononye said his experience at BGSU really set the tone for his successful career.

“My education at BGSU broadened my horizons by giving me the opportunity to interact with and work alongside a diverse group of people,” he said. “As a student at Bowling Green, I developed the discipline and tenacity to focus and stick with something no matter how difficult things became.

“Through my journey there, I learned to believe in my dreams even when the circumstances around me made them seem impossible.”  

Building a strong brand and being committed to his client base is important to Ononye.

“The V brand forges strong partnerships with our vendors so that we can consistently offer world class products that cannot be found anywhere else in this area,” he said. “Our customer relationships and delivery of rare class service create an experience like no other.”  

Ononye said that his stores partner with some of the world’s most distinguished fashion houses to form a unique collection, but it’s the relationship that he and his team have forged with customers that has galvanized the stores’ reputation. 

“We seek first to understand what individuals look for from a season in life in order to help them achieve it,” he said. “This leads our customers to describe their experience as transformative: moving them beyond wardrobe-building to a better base for living their dreams.

“We believe that the world will be a better place when people allow the beauty of their dreams to power their journey.”

For more information about Ononye’s stores, call V Couture at 419-874-5000 or V Collection at 419-517-0509 visit them online at www.vcollectiononline.com .