She was always the levelheaded one.
As the savvy, fashion-minded, drama-avoiding friend on The Hills, Whitney Port seemed perfectly poised for pretty much any fashion job. Viewers watched as she tackled roles at a magazine, a PR agency and a design house but it was her current project – as the designer of her eponymous line – that Whitney was working towards all along.
It’s really no surprise that Whitney used her reality TV notoriety to leverage her career in the classiest way possible. I caught up with Whitney, who recently partnered with Diet Coke for their Tastemakers Project, to score some summer style tips and career advice for anyone who is looking to break into the fashion industry.
STATEMENT/scene: You designed bags for your collaboration with Diet Coke. What’s the process of designing handbags like for someone who is used to designing apparel?
WP: For me it was more the actual art on the bags so that was really fun for me. As part of my collection I do a lot of visual art for graphic tees so it was cool to actually use a Diet Coke for inspiration on the bag. A tote bag is something I use all the time, whether I’m going to the gym or the market or running errands so it’s cool to have a tote bag that’s actually fashionable.
SS: Do you think handbags will eventually become a part of your permanent collection?
WP: Maybe. Right now I’m really focused on my clothing line but it would be really fun to create a look head-to-toe eventually.
SS: What are your other future plans for Whitney Eve?
WP: My fall line will be in stores in August. I’m just continuing to evolve as a designer and trying to evolve the line.
SS: Great! Shifting gears a bit, let’s talk about summer style. What are some of your favorite trends for the season?
WP: I’m loving lace details. I’m loving a mix of stripes and florals, I think that’s really cute. Print mix and matching. I’m loving the two piece dressing, anything that’s a top and a bottom. I’m loving anything chambray – like a light jean shirt that you can wear as a layer for the summer instead of a heavy jean jacket.
SS: What style tips do you have for our readers this season?
WP: For the summer you always want to think less is more. For me a go-to outfit for the summer is a cute printed floral dress and a chambray shirt over. Maybe a mock turtleneck crop top with a high-waisted palazzo pant. Those are some of my go-to looks.
SS: What advice would you give a current college student who wants to eventually work in fashion?
WP: I think the thing to is work on your own individual style because when you’re going in for interviews you want to have a unique sense of style that people are going to pick up on. The other thing I would say is just intern. That experience is something that many, many, many companies look for. They want somebody who has really dedicated some time and really shows that they’re a hard worker and just motivated.
SS: What would you consider an ideal outfit for a job interview?
WP: You want to showcase your personal style. You don’t want to go too out there – you want to be sophisticated and chic but you also want to show your individuality. Something like a cute pair of printed pants and a tee and a blazer is good. Add a pop of color and definitely don’t show too much skin.
SS: You said you always wanted to design – what inspired you to actually get out there and go for it?
WP: I think I just got the confidence. I got a lot of confidence while working for Diane von Furstenberg and I realized that I had something to say and wanted to say through fashion. I talked to my family about it and they really gave me the support I needed to do it. We thought ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’
SS: How has your personal style evolved since you’ve been working in the industry and since you’ve been in the public eye and on TV?
WP: I think as you get older your fashion evolves naturally whether you’re on TV or not. I think it’s become more refined, it’s become a little bit more chic, a little bit more edgy. It’s not so pretty and funky and feminine anymore.