Whitney Westwood is the Founder and Creative Director of Whitney Linen, a clothing brand of stylish and chic collections made in Canada from the finest quality European linen. I met Whitney last fall at the Toronto Fashion Incubator's Press & Buyers Tradeshow where she was presenting her Spring/Summer 17 collection - I knew I was in the presence of something special and made a mental note of revisiting her collection when the warmer weather approached. But no sooner than spring had started, I had the chance to see Whitney's FashionCAN runway show at Yorkdale Mall and I was further amazed by her Fall/Winter 17 collection! It's unbelievable how Whitney can take a traditional fabric and turn it into something unexpected. It's my pleasure to introduce you to the designer behind the label.
Whitney was exposed to the fashion industry long before she became a designer - she was raised by fashionable parents (the Westwoods are known for bringing Hermès to Toronto) and spent her summers at the family's villa in the Côte d'Azur in the South of France, where she developed her love for linen and classic style. Whitney observed how effortlessly chic the men and women looked in something so simple as linen, and how their attire matched the relaxed elegance of the lifestyle they lived. Whitney's time spent in the Mediterranean would come to play a large role in influencing the direction of her designs when she launched her label in 2012. As Whitney shared her personal and professional history with me, it became obvious that her growth in the fashion industry developed as organically as the material she now works with.
As a teenager, Whitney had a flourishing career as a fashion model, traveling the world modelling for Elite, calling Europe home when she wasn't on location. After several years of modelling, she wanted to switch gears and settle down, start a new career, so she moved back home to Toronto where she enrolled herself in courses at Ryerson University. She then started a PR company doing marketing and event planning, but she was never far from fashion, as she represented a client-base of clothing brands. Though the work was exciting and fulfilling, Whitney wanted to create more and to explore creative design, so she closed down her PR company and took up a position with an interior design firm that was run by a family member. The firm had dealings with a linen company in the Mediterranean, and, reminiscing on her summers spent there, Whitney suggested creating a line of table linens for the home. This expanded into a broader line of linens for the home, including housecoats and robes, and Whitney eventually decided to do a whole fashion line in her own name, thus Whitney Linen was born.
Whitney Linen features elegant, classic pieces that work for any age group and demographic. The summer looks are perfect to wear on your next resort trip, cruise, cottage weekend, or rooftop pool party. The fall/winter looks feature wardrobe staples like tailored blazers and pencil skirts, pieces that can be worn to the office and transition seamlessly into a night out on the town. Whitney is pushing the envelope with her designs and wants people to see linen clothing in a new light, that it's more than just boxy clothing with no shape. No matter the season, Whitney's pieces are tastefully sexy, fun and comfortable. Whitney has gained international recognition and her pieces can be found at boutiques in high-end resorts from Turks & Caicos and The Bahamas, to Miami and more, as well as locally in shops around Toronto. Whitney recently launched her e-boutique where you can check out more styles (I've got my eye on the Long Island jumpsuit!).
Want more? Let's hear from Whitney - here's what We Want To Know:
I can't start my morning without...Fresh melon & water
I have a weakness for...The Bouillabaisse my fiancé cooks
Most people don't know that I...Speak French
Currently reading...Wedding Magazines!
I want...A glass of Rosé.
Thank you, Whitney, for participating in #WeWantToKnow!