Whitney Port + Domaine Chandon Host an Event for Breast Cancer Awareness

Earlier this month I was invited to the stunning grounds of French-owned Domaine Chandon Winery in Yountville to attend its annual Eve of Hope event, benefiting the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF). This event, created to bring awareness to the importance of early detection in women was hosted by the lovely Whitney Port. Famously known for her time on MTV’s “The Hills” and “The City”, Port graciously brought fashion to the foundation as she previewed her Whitney Eve Spring 2012 collection to socialites, bloggers and fashionistas alike. Models worked the pink runway as guests sipped on Chandon’s sparkling rosé, étoile and indulged in Pointy Snout caviar (trés chic, I could get used to this). The femininity of the collection combined with the pink hue that surrounded the Domaine Chandon terrace that evening in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month proved to be a perfect collaboration. Before the event, I had the opportunity to chat with Ms. Port (I could barely control my excitement when she called my cell phone for the interview). Whitney talked about her involvement with the NBCF, her inspiration behind the collection, advice on how to break into the fashion industry, and she dished some of her secret personal styling tips!

Gigi Ouf: How did you choose this venue and organization as the perfect fit to preview your spring 2012 collection?

Whitney Port: I wanted to mix a bunch of different things, In terms of the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation {BCAF}, it is Breast Cancer Awareness month so this is the perfect time to do something like this. Also, with breast cancer and cancer in general, I have had a bunch of family members that have lived with this and who have been survivors, a lot because of early detection. That is what we are really trying to get out there right now, the power of early detection and empowering women to check themselves out because it can stop a lot of bad things before it starts. I thought that doing something with a sponsor who has always supported the BCAF, which is Domain Chandon, and mixing in a little bit of my fashion would be a fun way to raise some money.

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GO: Awesome! So what is the story behind this collection?

WP: Well, I am always inspired by Spring. The flowers and the outdoors, nature, and growing up in a house with an insane garden that my mom always took a lot of pride in. I wanted Spring to be reflective of that.


GO: I understand you design your own prints?

WP: Yes, and that is the fun part about the whole thing. I work with a print designer, and I have a really awesome swoosh print, a print that takes after a succulent garden type of look, and a purple floral watercolor print. I mix these prints with solid silks, so there is a lot of print placement on feminine flowy silhouettes.


GO: When you start the design process, what type of girl do you consistently find yourself designing for?

WP: {laughs} I know this may sound narcissistic, but I really feel like I am designing for a girl like me. I am designing for a young motivated girl who likes to dress up and wear something sophisticated but also a little bit funky. And, be able to wear it for what they are doing during the day and accessorize it for a night out!


GO: Your wardrobe is so eclectic, you always look like you are on trend but in a really unique way. Do you have any secret personal style tips you can share with us?

WP: I think the key is just to stay true to yourself. Like you said, I like to follow the trends and I like to wear what I know is in style but at the same time putting my own little twist on it. Always walk out the door in what you feel comfortable and the most confident in. Also, don’t be afraid to over accessorize…I love accessories.


GO: I love it! More is more, right?

WP: Yes! When in doubt, wear a cute solid dress and accessorize it with some funky jewelry and a bright colored bag.


GO: If you could keep one trend from coming back into style, what trend would that be?

WP: Anything with skulls! I’m not a fan of those. I don’t know why, for some reason that specific symbol is just not my thing.


GO: What is the best advice I could share with some of my fellow classmates at Academy of Art who are aspiring designers, or anyone interested in getting into the fashion industry?

WP: I think you are on the right path. I think that going to fashion school is the best way to go to get the most education that you can. I didn’t, I never went to fashion school and that is something that I regret and something that I hope when I have the time I can can take some classes. But, I would also say, find internships! Even if they are unpaid and even if you just get school credit for them. I think the best part is to get that work experience when you are still in school so that you can be networking and meeting people so that once you are out of school you will hopefully have something to fall back on, like a real job offer. My internships got me to where I am now. I initially started working at Women’s Wear Daily, without the cameras, just because I wanted to get into the fashion world. That led into the internship with Teen Vogue where I met a lot of people and it all went from there. Getting those side internships is the biggest advice I can give.


GO: Going off the fashion topic for the second, I notice you feature a lot of your favorite bands on your blog. Is there a band you can’t get enough of lately?

WP: Hmm….I really like this band called ‘The Local Natives’ I was really loving Foster the People, but I think I played them out too much.


GO: Awesome! Thank you Whitney!


Looks from the Whitney Eve Spring 2012 Collection

L:  Janelle Hail, Founder of National Breast Cancer Foundation & Whitney Port;

R: Amber of Ambersnotebook, Anne Sage of The City Sage, and Gigi Ouf of Gigi Ouf THE BLOG

Many, many thanks to Whitney for taking the time for this interview. It was an honor, and I look forward to picking up some pieces from the collection once it hits stores this coming Spring!

Written By: Gigi Ouf