Somewhere away from it all in Topanga Canyon, a glorious breeze blows through the doors of a spacious modern home. The refreshingly cool air blows past me as the actress who got her start on The Hills introduces herself with a “Hi, I’m Whitney.”
Whitney Port, television star and designer, stands poised and at ease — without a hint of makeup on — as the behind-the-scenes hustle slows to the relaxing sound of wind rustling in the mountain’s trees. She soaks in the view of the sunlit canyons, in tune with the glory of the day. “Isn’t California beautiful?” Port says.
Embracing those around her has become Port’s new perspective; she doesn’t want to keep distractions from getting in the way of her relationships. “It’s easy to focus too much on myself— I’m really working on being present with the women in my life,” Port says. “Taking the time to spend with them is important. I don’t want to just hear them, I want to listen.”
From our interview alone, I could tell that Port’s compassionate personality translates to her designs. Her fashion line, Whitney Eve, responds to what women want to feel. She describes her brand as “fun, comfortable, eclectic, and feminine.” Her new line’s vibes are “stormy and moody” with “darker sunsets and blue tones;” comfy and edgy collide in a line with no-seam pieces and tons to layer.
While her line is full of variety, Whitney is specific when it comes to building her career. Being a jack-of-all-trades is too ambiguous for this fiercely focused fashionista. “I’d rather concentrate on one thing,” Port says. “I want to conquer my brand and become the best designer I can be.”
She is blazing the trail boldly, and advises, “Take risks. Don’t be afraid of failure. In such an opinion-based industry, it’s your art that’s risking judgment. But if you don’t take risks, you’ll just be average. Get out of your comfort zone and set different tones. Ask how you can be different and daring while still being appealing…you’ll only regret chances you didn’t take.”
Her diligence comes from her biggest influence in life: her father. “He always believed in me,” Port says. “He led and supported me, helping me to find my path.” Family is what keeps her balanced and flourishing. Her sisters, strong women in their own right, help her in tough times to remember to “try your hardest to not compare yourself,” she says. “Accept what you can’t control and work on what you can…Take advantage of the good relationships in your life and thrive off of that.”
Current Music: Alabama Shakes.
Favorite Hair Product: “It’s a Ten” leave-in conditioner.
I dream of: Backpacking Europe for a couple months, but only after I feel like I deserve it.
Three must-have qualities when dating: Sense of humor; someone I can easily communicate with; must see me the way I see myself.
By Christie Brooke