Designer Spotlight: Whitney Manney

Designer Spotlight: Whitney Manney

“My job isn’t done until everybody in the world believes fashion is art.”-Whitney Manney

Whitney Manney, a Kansas City native that is represented by her developing label WHITNEYMANNEY, which she started in 2011 after spending a summer in New York City. Her trip to New York City was an opportunity like no other and she made the best of it, stating that, “It wasn’t a school assignment but I just felt like I needed to get my vision out. That moved onto my Senior Thesis show in May of 2012 and from that point, the rest is history.” Manney successfully produced, cast, secured sponsors and created the clothing for her first show on September 24, 2011. Whitney graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2012 with a BFA in Fibers, and focus in Garment & Textile (Hand/Digital) Design. Whitney’s label, WHITNEYMANNEY, focuses on merging street art into wearable format utilizing exotic colors and unique pattern.

Over the past few years, Whitney has earned a hue of inspiring awards; Rightfully Sewn x Kauffman Foundation FastTrac Scholarship (2016), Mid-America Arts Alliance Artistic Innovations Grants Recipient (2015), and ArtsKC Inspiration Grant Recipient (2013). Additionally, she has showcased her label’s greatness and creativity at Kansas City Fashion Week (Fall 2013), where her label’s Spring/Summer ‘14 collection entitled ‘Xeno|irideSupreme’ was presented at Union Station (located in downtown Kansas City, MO), and Saint Louis Fashion Week: Style In the Loop (Fall 2013), where her label presented 7 looks of the main Spring/Summer ‘14 collection in addition to 3 additional looks at an outdoor show in the Delmar Loop (located in University City, MO, widely known for its unique attractions). She has also made contributions to her community through teaching partnerships alongside the HALO Foundation and schools in the local area.

When asked how she defines fashion and how it represents her, she responded, “For me, fashion is the opportunity to voice myself before speaking. Each day I get the chance to put different aspects of my personality on display. Fashion lets me flex and show others my vision for mixing pattern and color.” In addition to her highly decorated resume, Whitney is attentive to the use of her time, she isn’t one to dwell on past accomplishments or failures, as she is always looking to employ new techniques, map-out her next project and broaden horizons.

However, in hindsight Whitney explains, “I wish that I knew that there is no wrong way to define fashion. Fashion is just as subjective as any art form. I think knowing this would have saved me from a lot of worrying and self doubt.” Manney prides herself on remaining confident in her work and skills as an artist, which has propelled her out of difficult situations as she attempts to reach her goals and aspirations. Whitney’s success has generated an amazing following and her transition into the fashion industry must have presented difficult challenges, so we asked about the ups and downs. What difficulties has she experienced and how she managed to overcome them? Her response, “I don’t think I’ve had to overcome any unique difficulties, but I really don’t pay too much attention… The occasional re-route is necessary sometimes, it’s not a sign of defeat, it just means that you’re supposed to learn a new lesson from the journey.”

Here at Steven G. Photography we are excited to see how the talented mogul blossoms over the upcoming years and what new accomplishments she’ll add to her already embellished resume.

“Make a difference, believe in yourself, respect others and be fly in the process”-Whitney Manney


Post Author: Joshua Woodley