Our founder, Blair Naima, had the pleasure to meet with Bianca Whyte of Whyte Studio after her SS20 Presentation during London Fashion Week at Kadies Club in Mayfair, London back in September. We discuss her inspiration, vision for Whyte Studio, the ups and downs of being a creative entrepreneur and how she stays on top of her game.
Check out the video below:
Produced by: Creatives Wanted
🎥 Shot & Edited by: Elana Joseph
17 September, 2019
Blair Naima: Hi my name is and Blair, I am the founder of Season 7, and we’re sitting with Bianca Whyte, the designer and creative mind behind Whyte Studio, and we just finished watching her in London Fashion Week presentation for her Spring/Summer 2020 Collection which was amazing.
Bianca Whyte: Thank you.
Blair Naima: So, now we have the opportunity to sit down with her and discuss the collection, discuss the collection, her inspiration and to learn more about the woman behind the brand, and the brand itself. So I guess we can jump right into some questions, obviously we have to get the basics out of the way. How did you start Whyte Studio and why? How did it come about?
Bianca Whyte: So, Whyte Studio is quite -- it’s new brand, new fresh brand. We started last year in February which was super exciting. Decided to actually start my brand in London, which is close to home to me because my mother is from London. Yeah, so I just -- you know I was living out in LA and really wanted to have you know a challenge and a different kind of opportunity and something that I have a strong passion for. And I just really decided to have my own brand. I have been designing for the Kardashians as you know and -- and just kind of designing for yourself is something special and unique, and it's kind of nothing that you can experience if you’re designing for someone else as well.
Blair Naima: And as you all know that you used to be a motocross champion --
Bianca Whyte: Yes, yes.
Blair Naima: And it’s quite -- your brand is quite inspired by that experience as well. But I'm curious to know, like how was that transition like, from being an extreme sport champion to a fashion designer, like they’re quite opposite. So, how was that transition for you?
Bianca Whyte: Yeah, that's a very good question actually. So, when I was living back in Australia, I actually -- I always knew I had a passion for fashion as you would say. So, I went to and studied in Australia and actually wanted to design protective clothing for females in the motocross industry. When I was racing, the biggest problem I had loving fashion of course, was the only option I was to wear pink. Pink armor, pink suit, pink helmet and I had amazing sponsors which I love and will always thank them for. But the only option I had was pink so, I wanted to go to design school and I wanted learn how everything is constructed from the fabrics to you know, the making and you know the whole procedure that is involved.
So, I went and studied that with a full heart and passion to do pure motocross clothing, which is crazy. And then after studying I had an amazing opportunity to then work for the Kardashian sisters. Obviously took that opportunity on board and they kind of showed me about the woman body, the curves and everything. So, they you know really taught me how to design for that and I just kind of found a different passion for fashion, and then you know I still loving the motor cross inspiration behind the clothing and that's where Whyte Studio kind of comes in. So putting that whole fashion side of things that I absolutely love and getting that inspiration from my mother who is also my business partner, and then yeah, putting the motor cross aesthetic into it as well.
Blair Naima: That’s amazing. How is working with your mom? Like that was something I have been curious about.
Bianca Whyte: We have our ups and downs but as every mother/daughter would in fact, you know there is no one that is more important and yeah to her and for me. So, working with her -- we get along so well. She does the business side of things, she lets me do you creative, which is amazing. Yeah, but we also have someone else who's you know very special in the business as well, it’s Tanya. So I have known Tanya for an extremely long time, we go way back from you know, to Australia, and she's kind of our third person in the business as well, so yeah.
Blair Naima: Like you said the brand started last year. So, how have you seen the brand evolve from last year? How have you progressed over the past year as a designer?
Bianca Whyte: Yes. So, we launched our spring/summer last year. I feel like I have definitely grown a lot more since then and really got to know our customers, got to know you know the direction that I really want Whyte Studio to go into. You have this kind of mindset and vision of what you first want for your brand, and it kind of evolves into a better -- I don't know, into a better version of the brand that you want to be right? So, I've learned a lot in terms of fabrics, in terms of shapes, in terms of our customer, which has been amazing and having the opportunity to be in Top Shop as well. So we're with them you know world-wide. That alone is -- is such an amazing experience because we can have that one-on-one personal relationship with customers that come in just store. So that's really, really, special but, back to your other question on our inspiration for Spring/Summer 20.
That kind of goes back to -- so obviously I have a huge passion for sport alone .. in general. Obviously motor cross, but I wanted to kind of broaden that and go into more of the 2020 season. So we've got the Olympics coming up -- I've always had a huge passion for the Olympics. Hopefully you know in the next few years is to design for the Olympics.
Blair Naima: Oh wow.
Bianca Whyte: That's always been my number one goal. So, I wanted to incorporate that into my 2020 Spring/Summer collection and taking that into consideration you have the Paralympics as well. So -- and again back to me being a motor cross racer -- a lot of my friends unfortunately, it's very close to home, they are now paraplegics, just from having horrible accidents within the sport. I really wanted to put that into my latest collection as well. So, I've designed three pieces out of the Spring/Summer 20 collection that has this creative design on the back of the blazer dresses, the silhouette shape of a spine. So amazingly, we're now all supporting an amazing charity called Back Up and the proceeds of all of these three items online sales will be going to that charity.
Blair Naima: Wow, that’s absolutely amazing.
Bianca Whyte: Yeah.
Blair Naima: Oh I’m so impressed
Bianca Whyte: Thank you.
Blair Naima: You design for strong and powerful women, and confident women and you know, that has a lot to do with your brand ethos. Can you tell us more about like the brand -- your brand values, your brand ethos and how that plays into your designs as well?
Bianca Whyte: Yes. So, I would say that definitely brought me back to when I was working with The Kardashian sisters. So, they are very much about you know, women empowerment, even the womanly figure, they’ve kind of brought this vision on -- even for social media that “stick-thin” women aren’t necessarily the most beautiful women as well right. So, it's all about bringing in those curves. So, they inspired me with a lot of my designs and also bringing in that women empowerment with my designs. So especially for this collection, the 2020 Spring/Summer collection, you'll see a lot of like my knit wear pieces, everything is really contoured, designed for the womanly figure. So when you wear it, any shape, size you are, you will look great, you’ll look thin, you’ll look curvy. [laughter]
Blair Naima: So, if you could -- I mean other than the Kardashians, if you can name three women, three strong powerful women that you could see in Whyte Studio that you haven't seen already, who would they be?
Bianca Whyte: Who I haven't seen already?
Blair Naima: Yes.
Bianca Whyte: Can I tell you who I have? Because so -- my absolutely number one muse is Christina Centenera who is Australian Vogue Editor. So I have always looked up to her just because she's -- her power dressing is amazing, she's always in like amazing outerwear pieces and another one of my inspirations is Maria. She is Mrs. Rodial, from Rodial Beauty yes.
Blair Naima: Yes, I have her book.
Bianca Whyte: Yes? It’s Amazing right!?
And I think the third is definitely my mother. She is such an amazing inspiration to me and I loved any piece that she wears. She's like -- it’s too young for me, it’s too young for me, but she pulls it off.
Blair Naima: No, I love that because even like what our – some of our those is at Season 7 is about individuality and owning your own personal style and being confident in that. And you know regardless of your age and if you love something, and you think you look good in it, you know like that – you just have to own it!
Bianca Whyte: You just have to pull it off.
Blair Naima: Exactly. Confidence is everything and I completely agree with that.
Bianca Whyte: Yes.
Blair Naima: Can you tell us a little bit more about just like some of the highs and lows that you’ve experienced? Because like obviously like from the outside looking in, it looks like glamorous and beautiful and easy and I know it's not easy. So, what are some of the highs and lows that you’ve experienced?
Bianca Whyte: The highs I’ve experienced would be kind of seeing your collection come together. You know, there are so many months that you prepare for a particular season or even a show. So just kind of seeing each collection come alive, and especially when we do London Fashion Week, we’ve done in New York Fashion Week as well and just you know -- I have such an amazing team where, sometimes I don't even -- I turn up now and I don't even have to do anything and I like -- I put that all down to my amazing team honestly, like they’re so great and Tanja Mrnjaus she literally -- oh my god, I want to cry because I love her so much but, yeah she has done so much.
Blair Naima: Okay, so back to the theme of confidence. How do you stay confident?
Bianca Whyte: Yes.
Blair Naima: I mean, what do you do for like your self-care, how do you stay sane, how do you stay -- just on top of your game like, you are probably like the epitome of Whyte Studio? You design for other women but also for yourself. You know, you are a confident woman and like how do you keep that going? How do you keep that up?
Bianca Whyte: There are a few different things that I do everyday honestly. So gym number one definitely keeps you positive, makes you feel great. Number two is there are a few particular podcasts that I listen as well like you were saying with Maria as well. They definitely keep me so positive and motivated throughout the whole year I would say. There are so many ups and downs and just kind of having that in the back of your mind and even when you’re travelling to work, it’s just something positive that keeps you going that way. And I would also say, coming to the studio or coming into Top Shop and just seeing the girls at work in Whyte Studio and just seeing them -- them love the brand just as much as I do.
Blair Naima: Oh that’s got to be a confidence booster
Bianca Whyte: Yea. Definitely. Definitely.
Blair Naima: Okay, so our last question --
Blair Naima: What can we expect to see from Whyte Studio? I know you said that long term goal is you want to design for the Olympics --
Bianca Whyte: Yes.
Blair Naima: But maybe just a little more of a shorter goal --
Bianca Whyte: Yes. So, we are looking at possibly opening our own stores. We have had a few different pop-ups just to test some areas out, but that’s definitely one of our short-term goals going forward is having our own stores and also winding up and going back to the US. I think you know the US is such an amazing spot in my heart -- some of these other stuff obviously been there for sometime so, it’s so nice to have a presence there as well yes.
Blair Naima: its my heart, I’m from New York, so.
Bianca Whyte: Yes!
Blair Naima: I can totally understand. Well thank you so much. I appreciate your time.
Bianca Whyte: Well, thank you.
Blair Naima: An again congrats on your presentation, it was absolutely amazing.
Bianca Whyte: Thank you so much.
Blair Naima: I am going to get some pieces
Bianca Whyte: Of course. [Laughter] come to the studio.
Blair Naima: Yes, yes Definitely, I plan to
Bianca Whyte: Amazing, thank you so much.