I had the honour to interview Whitney Linen, a Canadian fashion duo, who is taking this country’s fashion world by storm! Debuting their Couture Collection during Toronto Fashion Week, Whitney Westwood and Franciska Veress are the creative/design team that take linen literally to another level! Who would have ever thought that linen could be such a luxurious material, that could be transformed into elegant day/evening wear designs? Check out what they had to say!
TSM: What inspires your designs?
WL: Whitney: Our entire collection is influenced by travels throughout Europe and the Caribbean. I’m always inspired by the colors of the flax fields of the Baltics, the Cote D`Azur, the Chic Italian and French Lifestyle.
TSM: I noticed you spent much time in Europe, whereabouts? And what is your favourite place there & why?
WL: Whitney: I went to school in the South of France and my parents have a villa in the region. I also modeled for Elite Model Management for close to 10 to 15years and worked mostly in Milan, Rome, Hamburg, Berlin and Paris . My favorite place is the Cote D’Azur. The turquoise Mediterranean waters have a calming effect on me, and in fact the colors we selected for our couture collection were in many ways inspired by that region of France.
TSM: Where did the name Whitney Linen come from?
WL: Whitney: It’s my name! When I first created this line it was my dream to create versatile, wearable linen pieces for women, and I’m committed to the fabric. I want people to know right away that with our line you’re getting 100% linen, which means it’s eco friendly, made without petrochemicals, and always chic and cool.
TSM: I saw you got to work with 2 sexy men! What was it like to work with P.Diddy & Lenny Kravitz?
WL: Whitney: It was incredible. These men are music legends and they’ve done so much to push men’s fashion forward. It was an honor to work with them. But my favorite sexy man in my life is my boyfriend Roger who will be modeling the Whitney for Men line when it is released.
TSM: Any particular stores sell your collections? If so, what ones.
WL: Franciska: Yes! You can find Whitney Linen at G.H. Johnson, Joelle’s in Burlington, Shop.ca, and our showroom in the Annex neighbourhood of Toronto. You can also shop online at whitneylinen.com.
TSM: Your home collection, is it as popular as your clothing line?
WL: Franciska: We’ve had great response about our home linen line. Just like our garments, our tablecloths, napkins and placemats are all made from 100% linen. You can also have a lot of fun with colors setting your table, as the pieces are available in 9 different lovely hues, and we are constantly adding new colors to our collection.
TSM: What is your top beauty & style advice for women?
WL: Whitney: the women I admire who have great style are icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot and Jane Berkin they have a look that looks effortless but so elegant and chic because they’ve just pulled one or two great pieces together and it works. It doesn’t always have to be a designer outfit from head to toe I have mixed and matched vintage Hermes scarves with a pair of Levis and a Gucci blazer and it looks great! The Whitney Linen woman represents to me an effortlessly chic style.
TSM: What encouraged you to be come a designer?
WL: Franciska: I’ve always known that I wanted to pursue fashion design, and when I moved to Toronto from Hungary in 2001, I immersed myself in the industry as much as possible. I designed a line of fur accessories under my own label, Veress Couture, and they were a huge hit at galas like Catwalk Cure and Bell Celebrity Gala. Teaming up with Whitney for the Whitney Linen couture collection was great—we have a lot of creative synergy together.
Whitney: I grew up in fashion, so to speak. My parents brought the first Hermès store to Toronto and ran it for 15 years, and I’ve worked in modeling and fashion PR, so designing my own collection was just a natural progression for me.
TSM: Top 3 things on your bucket list? Have you accomplished any?
WL: Franciska : I know it sounds incredible, but one of them was to walk down the runway of a major fashion show as a designer. Well that was accomplished when Whitney and I walked down the runway of World Mastercard Fashion Week 3 weeks ago after our Couture Collection debuted. It was definitely a dream come true for me! The second one for me is to have my name amongst the biggest designers such as Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen, that might take some more time to do…Third one is to go parasailing, I haven`t quite worked up the courage for that yet.
TSM: Favourite thing to do other than designing and why?
WL: Franciska : I am interested in a variety of different activities, I believe that life is to be lived at the fullest! So I love going to operas, horseback riding, snowboarding, walking my dogs, but at the end of the day I love creating new things, so whenever I have my quiet time I am constantly thinking of new styles, new details, new artwork that hasn`t been done yet. I love being different and cutting edge, and when clothes and art are the things that you think about before going to sleep, you just know that you were born for that.
I had a great time interviewing Whitney & Franciska and I can’t wait to see more of their collections in the near future! To see more of Whitney Linen or to purchase the collections be sure to visit here! ~Love CTina XO
*Photo Credits George Pimentel