This month's Fashion Insider is a reality TV star, turned designer, turned author and all around major style icon. Whitney Port is constantly on our radar here at CollegeFashionista with her unique personal style and growing fashion empire. I had the distinct privilege to speak with Whitney about her college experience and how she got to where she is from undergraduate coed to full-blown success story. While the glossies or pages of WhoWhatWear showcase this Fashionista on the red carpets of Hollywood, after reading our Q&A, you will quickly come to find Whitney is anything but your average starlet. Whitney shares with us just how much work it takes to succeed in this industry.
I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Whitney and know this style icon/designer/business mogul will be in the spotlight for quite some time to come. Enjoy our Q&A and, if you don't already, follow her on Twitter @whitneyEVEport and, of course, stay updated on her newest ventures by tuning into whitneyport.com. Thanks Whit for the interview!
CollegeFashionista: When did you know you wanted to go into the fashion industry? Was there a defining moment you can recall?
Whitney Port: I first knew I wanted a job in the industry when I was in middle school and I worked for my father over the summer who has been in the apparel industry forever. Whether he needed us or not he gave my sisters and I a job to design a loungewear line. I knew right then and there that I was destined to be a designer.
CF: Your resume is beyond impressive from your experience with Teen Vogue to DVF. How has your background shaped you and your work ethic?
WP: I have been so lucky to have the jobs I have had at 26 years old. It is no doubt that being on television helped paved the way however I have been able to learn from some of the most influential people in the fashion industry- most powerful women who have taught me that being average will not cut it and that in order to achieve your fullest potential you must step out of the lines and take chances. Working for all these different companies has also showed me that patience is of the utmost importance. While we have to take control and do everything we can possibly do get ourselves out there, success doesn't happen overnight and we have to work for what we get.
CF: As someone who has lived bi-costal what would you say the major differences are fashion-wise between LA/NYC?
WP: In terms of fashion, NY is much more influential and savvy. It is a melting pot of culture and people also just care a lot more about how they put themselves together. It isn't called the fashion capital of the world for no reason. There are also a lot more options in terms of shopping. While LA has cute boutiques, its central fashion attitude is geared towards t shirts and jeans, the ultimate casual ensemble. In NY people get dressed up for dinner or shows or work, it is a different mentality and something New Yorkers take pride in.
CF: What inspires your line, Whitney Eve?
WP: So many different things inspire my line- from all my travels and seeing the different influences in fashion across the world, to seeing the tones and shapes of nature, to reading the foreign publications and trend reports to blogs like style bubble and whowhatwear. I think about my life and its needs in terms of clothing and try to translate that into a visual expression of my character.
CF: Tell us who you envision as a typical Whitney Eve girl? What is her lifestyle?
WP: My typical Whitney Eve girl is a 16-? motivated, vivacious, fun-loving, funky little lady who wants to work hard and play hard. Someone that is willing to take a chance in what they wear and step out of the boundaries. Someone that wants to be comfortable and feel comfortable but still sexy and sophisticated. She is inspired, loves to dance and laugh and wear lots of color!
CF: What are some of the items in your own closet you couldn’t live without?
WP: I cannot live without my new Toga black boots, my Made Me leather jacket, my moto style James jeans, my Top Shop as well as Alexander Wang plain tees, my Camilla Skovgard platform ankle boots, my hanky panky underwear!
CF: What is on your blog roll?
CF: Who are some of your fashion icons?
WP: My fashion icons- Princess Diana, Jerry Hall, Alexa Chung, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rhianna.
CF: If you could, what advice would you give to yourself back when you were a senior in college?
WP: I would say do not be concerned with your degree or your gpa or even knowing exactly what you want to do. Listen to your gut, move to a new city and throw yourself into something you think you might be into! Don't be afraid of hard work but don't also put a lot pressure on yourself to figure everything out. I am 26 years old and maybe on the surface it looks like I have done something but by no means do I know where I'm headed or where I'm meant to be yet.