Whitney Westwood, founder of Whitney Linen, has been involved in the fashion world for almost two decades. Westwood got her start in the industry as an international model with Elite, and has worked in fashion representation, event planning, marketing and PR over the years. More recently she worked as a partner in an online fashion and lifestyle magazine. As a result, she has had the opportunity to work with fashion names like Gucci, Hermes, Valentino and entertainment icons like Lenny Kravitz, P. Diddy and Maxwell, to name a few. Her deep well of experience and boundless dedication to fashion provided the passion to launch Whitney Linen. “My love of fine garments and timeless classics started when I was a child.
My parents brought the first Hermès store to Toronto and ran it for 15 years. I grew up with Hermes, so to speak, and the colours and textures of the beautiful silks and leather goods have had a profound influence on my own design aesthetic,” says Westwood. “I have spent a lot of time in Europe and am always fascinated by the elegant men and women, dressed in linen, walking the cobbled streets of France and Italy.
The more linen is worn, the better it looks. I want to introduce the comfort and confidence of this image to North Americans, but with a twist that’s decidedly ‘Whitney’,” she says. Franciska Veress – Franciska Veress, designer for Whitney Linen, immigrated from Hungary to Toronto in 2001 where she worked towards establishing herself in the Canadian fashion industry. She got her start as a fashion show production assistant with Monarch Events Group, and there she gained invaluable experience learning the ins and outs of the inner workings of fashion in Canada.
In March 2010, Franciska founded her own fashion design company, Veress Couture, and launched her “Corset Collection” at a fundraiser event at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto. Her designs were an immediate success, and led to the production of a Fall/Winter collection of real fur accessories in both 2010 and 2011. Her designs have been featured at events like Catwalk Cure and Bell Celebrity Gala. Whitney and Franciska paired up to design the couture collection for Whitney Linen because of their mutual love for the fabric. “I’m passionate about pushing boundaries and creating the unexpected with linen,” says Veress.