ast week, Anthropologie reached out to me to cover their event at Fashion Square Mall introducing Arizona native, fashion designer Whitney Pozgay and her latest exclusive Anthropology collection. Arriving at the event, guests were welcomed with warm hellos, tasty champaign with strawberries, and delicious treats including macaroons, cake-pops, and mini cupcakes. WHIT Two designs were on display and, I must say, the patterns and silhouettes are lovely! The woman of the hour was rocking one of her new pieces while greeting fans, taking pictures, and answering questions. When I was introduced, we jumped right into discussing her inspiration, fashion journey, and advice for aspiring designers!
Shelly (S): What was your inspiration behind this collection for Anthropologie?
Whitney (W): I was looking at old 1960s Tiki culture and bar cloths. There was a wave of these Tiki restaurants and bars that opened up in the sixties, one of which was here in the valley called Trader Vic's which my mom would take us to when we were really little before it closed. I remember being obsessed with all the Hawaiian prints and bar cloths and the fun little things coming in the drinks.
S: I can definitely see the Hawaiian prints and ‘60s influences. I love it! What is your favorite piece and why?
W: This green dress here that is a little trapeze in shape. This is one of my favorites based on an actual vintage fabric. We had it refitted in a cotton sateen. It has a cute open back with a little bar across. I think the over-sized print is really fun and the shape is kind of a trapeze, very ‘60s shift. It is on the shorter side so you aren’t wearing a tent.
S: May I ask how tall are you since you are into the petite designs?
W: Sure! I am 5’4” and ½. Anthropologie’s petite measurements actually start at 5’4”. In the jumpsuits and skirts, I prefer the petite.
S: What are your styling tips for petite women?
|Photos to the right from anthropologie.com|
S: As a petite girl myself, I thank you. haha What did you study and where?
W: I originally went to University of Texas in Austin as a theater major, and I studied costume design. I was always in the creative fields but I had a hard time finding my focus. So as a college person, I was like I’m gonna be an actress and a fashion designer and a painter. When I moved up, I was interning in fashions during the summers and fell in love with costume design. When I moved to New York, I started working as a receptionist for Kate Spade, and then at night I would take classes at Parsons and FIT to bridge the gap between costume and fashion. A lot of the training is the same but not the practical application of sizing, spec’ing, and things like that.
S: If I’m correct, you are related to Kate Spade?
W: Yes, I am. So, I had been interning there and I started working reception there out of school. Actually, I wasn’t planning on staying, but I fell in love with their company culture. It was such a nice community of people that worked there when I was there. So I stayed for awhile, then I went to go design for Steven Alan. The good thing was that Kate was kind of colorful and print driven and a little vintagy, which I loved, but I also really loved that tomboy, downtown aesthetic which Steven had. My aesthetic falls in the middle. So, it was nice to kind of mess with both worlds and find where I lived in the middle.
S: What would be your advice for future or aspiring designers?
W: I do think school is important. A lot of young students who are studying fashion are excited about the idea of fashion but not necessarily the construction. I have mentored a lot of students who don’t love their draping and patternmaking classes, because they are like when I’m a designer I will hire a seamstress. But it’s so important to know that stuff even if you are going to have someone else do it later. You have to know how a sleeve cap works and why something is tight; it’s really important to know. I also think just always be sketching. I think one of the things a lot of kids get scared about coming out of school is I’m going to get a job at a place that is not my aesthetic and I’m going to be locked in. But all experience is good experience. As long as you're still sketching and being inspired yourself and pulling together ideas regardless of where you’re working or what your job is or what you’re learning in school or whether or not it’s your passion, always be garnering those ideas because one day you will find a home for them, and you’ll have this pool of all these things you’ve developed over the years.
S: I’ve looked into going to Parsons as well as FIT. Which is your favorite design school?
W: I like both. I did Parsons and FIT for night school, and they were both great experiences. I think just being in the city there is so much art and fashion and dance. It’s such a cultural mecca in New York; you can tap into all of that while you’re learning design which is amazing. So whether you’re doing FIT or Parsons, you will have an excellent experience.
|iPhone photo I snapped right before all the glasses quickly disappeared haha|
|Regan and I were photographed by azcentral.com while at the launch party and are featured on their website here|
Big thank you to Regan Norton (of Regan's Camera) for joining me and photographing the event! ♡