Once Upon a New York Fashion Week: An Interview with WHIT

SEPTEMBER 29, 2013
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All photos courtesy of WHIT

Twice a year, the streets of New York are even more colorful than usual. The Meatpacking District is even more cluttered, and getting a reservation at the Upper West Side Smith is nearly impossible. Twice a year during New York Fashion Week, designers and design hopefuls showcase collections that have been in the works for months to buyers, editors, and bloggers for a couple of hours or mere minutes. Whether clicking through the looks on nymag.com or watching the clothes come down the runway in person, it’s an incredibly exciting week to be a New Yorker.

Even more exciting than waiting for Instagram updates is attending the shows and presentations themselves. This Fashion Week, I had the opportunity to cover the WHIT presentation for Quarterlette and ask designer Whitney Pozgay a few questions. In addition to the clothes being impeccably tailored and at the same time easy to wear, her answers and insights could apply to any entrepreneur or woman simply navigating her “quarter-life.”

With a beautiful collection hitting stores next spring, a shoe collab with Jacques Levine, and a capsule collection with Anthropologie, we can’t wait to see what is in store next for WHIT.

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1.Who is the WHIT girl and how has the idea of the WHIT girl evolved since the line began?

The WHIT girl is our ideal, so I think she hasn’t changed so much as come into focus over time. The qualities that define her are really the same as the intention of the brand. They are both fun, colorful and artful, without being fussy. If anything has changed it is that she is growing up and we are making clothes to cover all aspects of her evolving world.

2.What was the inspiration behind this season and this NYFW presentation?

My husband and I, along with our friend and photographer Greg Vore and his wife, took an inspiration trip to Bali in March. The island is overwhelming visually and it was difficult to narrow how to approach the design process. We also wanted to do the inspiration justice and make the collection feel authentic. Our floral prints are set in rigid repeats that echo angular temple design and carvings. The color palette was meant to be a bit more thoughtful, simplified overall with saturated pops where you’d experience them in real life – like our rooster print, which was coincidentally painted by my husband from photos we captured on the trip. Banchet Flower Shop is an intimate event space that specializes in flowers from the same region. It was a perfect fit and the flowers served as a beautiful backdrop.

3.How has working with the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) incubator program changed your business?

It’s hard to count the ways we’ve benefited from the CFDA Incubator. We’ve been so lucky to receive guidance from industry leaders and experienced professionals. I think if you’re willing to look at your deficiencies, there’s a tremendous amount to be gained from the process. The fashion industry is quite challenging, and the Incubator has helped us make smarter decisions along the way.

4.What is in store for the brand in the next few months?

We are really excited about our shoe collaboration with Jacques Levine launching in February. They’re perfect for traveling or for wearing every day. Jacques Levine has been making beautiful sandals and slippers since the 1930s. I was really excited to put our playful spin on these classically crafted shoes.

5. What is your favorite piece from the collection that you think would be a great staple for women in their 20’s and 30’s?

I love the printed floral jumpsuit, it’s super versatile. It’s flattering on so many body types and can very easily be dressed up or down. The fabric is polished enough to be dressed up with some heels and jewelry for a summer wedding, but easy enough to wear on the regular.

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1 COMMENT

  • Loved the article and the clothes!