Four years after Whitney Port launched her fashion line, Whitney Eve, on reality TV show The City, business is still going strong. Proving that this label’s got staying power, Whitney’s turned her line into a serious family business, as she works with her brother and sister from a studio in downtown LA. We caught up with the TV personality and designer to talk dressing Rihanna, becoming a businesswoman and her Miranda Kerr girl crush…
What inspired your autumn 2013 collection?
I was thinking about a stormy sea and the way the ocean would behave as a storm developed. I started by drawing up some really moody prints to reflect that atmosphere and worked on cuts from there.
What do you enjoy most about designing?
The most exciting thing is to see people wearing my clothes, when people actually appreciate them enough to want to put them on their body. If I see someone wearing Whitney Eve on the street I always go over and say hi.
Do you have a specific girl in mind when you design?
I definitely design for myself! I know it sounds selfish but I design things I’d like to wear and things that I think are missing in the market. I also think about things my three sisters and friends would consider as their wardrobe essentials, like great tailored jackets and graphic tees.
Which stars would you love to see in your clothes?
We’ve already had Heidi Klum, Alessandra Ambrosio and Rihanna, wearing the clothes which has just been amazing. But I love Alexa Chung, Diane Kruger and Miranda Kerr’s style – who doesn’t have a girl crush on Miranda?!
Do you enjoy being a businesswoman as well as a creative designer?
I love to think of fresh business ideas and new ways to capture an audience. A few years ago I chose to crowd-fund my show at New York Fashion Week, which was such a cool way to get people engaged with the business. Donators would get to visit my offices, or have a piece of the collection named after them as a thank you for their support.
Why did you decide to stop showing at New York Fashion Week?
As my line has evolved, it’s taken a different direction and the fashion show space is no longer necessary to present my collection. I’m now looking at different ways to present each new collection – innovative ideas that would appeal to our specific customer. Does your line have a lot of British fans? We have a lot of UK-based customers online, but haven’t started selling in British stores yet – that’s a real goal for me. Liberty would be my dream UK stockist. I love British style – the clash of sophistication and street wear that I see is so exciting and always edgy.
What does an average day look like for you?
I don’t really have any average days, to be perfectly honest! Every day is so different, I’ve been travelling a lot this summer for work. The key staples of my ‘routine’ are probably to work out every morning and having dinner in the evening with either my parents or my boyfriend. Anything else could happen in between! In my free time I’m a homebody, I work hard every day so I like to chill in the night! CL