Monday, January 19, 2009

Whitney von Furstenberg

Whitney Port's stint at Diane von Furstenberg clearly comes with benefits. For those of you out there that believe she was hired more as a company ambassador than a PR agent, some fuel for your fire might be the fact that Whitney seems to have access to some pretty exclusive designs by Madame Furstenberg. Personally, I think the whole "The City" stint, with Whitney and Olivia, was a perfect marketing decision by Diane von Furstenberg. First of all, a lot of people can't tell it's a stint, and if they can, they still watch The City (myself included). Second, Diane von Furstenberg may be a widely recognized and adored label, but the brand itself is falling into the "older women" category and it really needs a youthful lift. And third, having Whitney Port, the easy-breezy boho girl, and Olivia Palermo, the pristine socialite, both represent the label, Diane von Furstenberg can appeal to girls that associate themselves with either personality. This was a fabulous marketing decision on the part of DVF.

Whitney herself has been seen wearing a gorgeous white Diane dress, clearly made for the red carpet, and I think that was a good initial strategy. Now, however, I'd suggest leaving the high-power red carpet dresses to the bigger stars, because seeing them wear DVF will give the brand an even bigger boost. Personally, I would have had Whitney wear her long yellow dress, and save the white sequined one for another person, as the yellow one is harder to pull off. So if we're leaving the star power gowns for bigger names, what's Whitney's purpose? Well, besides her day job I'd suggest that Diane von Furstenberg dress Whitney in past season's styles that are in the sale-rack-at-Net-a-Porter stage. While it's a little dubious that Whitney would wear a $162.50 on-sale frock, I think it'd be a great way to market some of the more casual styles that have a lot of potential, like these:

This dress looks crisp and clean, and its mini length would complement Whitney's penchant for micro-miniskirts. The tunic style may not be exactly Whitney, but I think that if she accessorized it right it would look more vintage than ethnic-boho. $315

Whitney seems to really enjoy vividly printed minidresses, and I think she's just the person to pull them off. Back in the Hills world, she could just let her hair flow and be the best-looking girl for a while, but I think she's facing some serious competition in NYC. This dress, I think, would look absolutely wonderful on Whitney...she has just the right style to carry it off. But I'd hope she wouldn't go too boho on this one and pair it with that wintry headband thing she had on in the last episode. This Mondrian dress is reminiscent of the YSL Mondrian dresses, and I think a dress like this would give Whitney a little bit more fashion cred in terms of street style. $281.25

This dress, like the Mondrian one, is very Whitney in its printed-minidress-ness. I think this one suits her more for some reason...maybe it's the colour scheme or maybe it's because I associate her with short-sleeved short dresses after the first episode of The City, but she really comes to mind when I think of this dress. Her model-like figure and long blonde locks would be a wonderful complement to the modern print on this dress. And yes, this is the $162.50 dress I was talking about earlier. $162.50

This dress is an example of something I think Whitney could breathe new life into. Looking at it in this picture, it looks a little bit like a polo dress for overly wealthy people. It's got a strange cross between preppy and fancy, and it isn't quite working. It's also supposed to be somewhat of a loose fit, not so much in a slouchy way but in a relaxed sort of way.

I think that if Whitney were to wear this dress with the collar unbuttoned and popped out, like in this picture, it would appeal a lot more to the younger generation. Just typical Whitney style loose waves would complement this dress really well and almost breathe new life into it. That, I think, is something that Whitney could do really well for this company...breathe new life into old dresses. And I think that that's the right move for DVF, especially since the younger crowd Whitney/Olivia are supposed to appeal to don't need red carpet dresses every weekend, they need cute cocktail dresses or casual dresses for social events.

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