DESIGNER PROFILE – Renée Whiteviews: 0
What should everyone know about you?
RW: I’ve been a Textile & Apparel Graphic Designer in the Fashion industry, for over 16 years, and I still love it! I am inspired by my world and my work often reflects influences of up & coming trends, decadent color hues, unexpected design fusions, that result in “one-of-a-kind” prints that can be used for any surface.
How would you describe what you do?
RW: I have just launched my brand SAYCRED BLU and its first product category is my line of original prints and patterns that are tailored for several industries including Fashion, Swimwear, Athleisure, Activewear, Home Decor, Interiors and Surfaces.
Watercolor, Inks, Dyes, Resists, Random Sketches, Acrylics, Pastels, Charcoal, Photoshop, Illustrator, Camera and Imagination are just some of the main ingredients that go into my design concoctions 🙂
Why did you choose to be a designer?
RW: Well, it started when I was 3 years old, if I could find anything to draw with, I would draw on the walls of my house and if I got my hands on a scissors, I would start cutting up my Mom’s curtains (I kept my parents pretty busy 😉 and I was always drawing and doodling, often my school text books served as my canvases back in those days. My Mom was also the Original Fashionista, always decked out and the embodiment of my first images of style. My fondest memory though was when I was about 7 years old and she took me to my first fashion show, I remember being so wide eyed and mesmerized by all the lights and models with these cool clothes on the catwalk and vibe of the show. After that the “dye was cast” and I knew that is what I wanted to do when I grew up, that day the flame was lit and the fire is still burning strong.
What steps did you take to become a designer?
RW: Well, my Mom taught me how to sew and I was actually making my own clothes before I attended Brooks College of Fashion, Merchandising and Interior Design – they are no longer in business – but I received my Associates of Arts Degree in Fashion Design from there. Even though it was only 2 years it was a pretty condensed and comprehensive program where I learned all the essentials of Fashion Design. A couple years later, realizing I felt more drawn towards the “art” side of design, I decided to get into Computer Graphic Design, at the time this had barely started in the Fashion Industry but somehow I intuitively knew I needed to learn it, so I bought a Mac, a few books, Photoshop and Illustrator, and took a semester of Intro classes at UCLA Extension, then taught myself the programs by practicing for up to 10 hours a day most days. I then got hired to work for an Apparel Graphic Designer which I did for several years at several companies and retailers.
In the last 6 to 7 years I started feeling pulled towards Textile and Pattern Design and that’s what I currently am focused on, as I am crazy in love with patterns and see them everywhere 🙂 I must add that throughout my career I have taken all kinds of Industry related classes like Painting, Brand Styling, Still Life Drawing, Repeats, Collection Development etc. as I love to keep learning and I feel it is important to “stay hungry and relevant”.
Best/Most Challenging part of your job?
RW: By far the best part of my job is researching, pulling together inspiration and developing new prints and patterns. I am in my deepest joy when I am creating, it is oxygen for me 🙂
Conversely, now that I am building my brand, the Marketing aspect is the most challenging.
If you weren’t a designer what would you be?
RW: Hmmm…I would be a Real Estate Investor 🙂
How did you get started in design?
RW: Really, I know it may sound a bit corny, but I just kept following my heart and what gave me joy and what I was naturally inclined towards. As I kept doing that, I would ask questions on how to take any “next steps” I needed to make, to do what I wanted to do, I went to school, I took extra classes after college, I read books, magazines, I listened to many Speakers, Mentors, Teachers and Business Owners in the industry, I knocked on a lot of doors, some of them did not open for me, but the ones that did, I went into those companies and learned as much as I could and again I always asked a lot of questions if I didn’t know or understand something. Also, there were times when I worked jobs in Fashion that were not creative, not fun, but they taught me very valuable tools about how to understand the bigger picture mechanics of the industry, thereby making me a better Designer because now I have a much broader understanding of what happens in the process of making an idea from my head become an actual product that a customer buys and takes home. And there are MANY, MANY steps in that process.
What do you like about what you do?
RW: I absolutely LOVE being an Artist! In my life, I create art for several platforms: poetry, songwriting, photography, music, floral design and of course fashion etc. I just love creating. Experimenting, mixing, coming up with new ideas, for me it’s like playtime, like being a kid again and having fun. For me, this is living authentically, this is living free!
What’s a common misconception people have about what you do?
RW: Oh that’s easy! People on the outside or who want to get into fashion usually see and get mesmerized by the glamour and the flashing lights and the apparent fame and $$$ but in reality that is SUCH a tiny piece of the pie. IT IS HARD WORK!!! And if you dare to think you love this and you can make it and even make it big in this business, you need to go in knowing you will be tested. I’ll never say to anyone that they can’t do this BUT all you aspiring Fashionistas need to know it will test your love and passion for it and only the bulldogs survive 🙂
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
RW: Well, if I have my way…Healthy, happy, peaceful, independently wealthy and the Owner of an extremely successful, influential brand and retail empire.
What sparked your interest in design?
RW: My Mom’s fashion sense and style and my artistic, creative nature.
How has your work evolved since you began your career?
RW: I think I can narrow it down to two ways: (1) Over several years and years of designing and creating almost daily, I have really developed (and continue to develop) my sense of style and my “design eye.” I understand some of the basics of design like flow and balance but I also LOVE to “break the rules” and do the unexpected and I have the confidence now to do that knowing that there are people that that will appeal to. (2) When I first started designing, I didn’t know how to design in a way that was “production friendly” so in essence I was not designing for big companies, in a way that was cost effective for them to produce my designs, so many times my designs would be changed or even rejected because of this. It really hurt my tender artist ego back then, but now several years later and wiser, I’ve learned to grow a thick skin, not take things personally and think about the chain of production after my artwork leaves my hands and making life a little easier for them to execute my vision.
Are there any types of clothing/footwear/accessories that you avoid wearing?
RW: Hmmm….I’m not really a fan of wearing jeans, especially jeans that have tears and holes in them. To me they make you look like you in severe poverty and are the opposite of style and very anti-cool. (Sorry fashionistas, I still luv y’all though 😉
What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
RW: Ooooh! Currently I’m fascinated by Dimensions i.e physical, spiritual, natural, supernatural, etc. and creating 3D impressions in 2D design worlds.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your career?
RW: I’m not sure which is the biggest, but four big ones are Patience (with myself and others),
Endurance, Humility (Being open to correction and not being a know-it-all), and not taking things personally.
What advice would you give to young designers?
RW: (1) Give yourself some time and try to work at different job types in the Fashion industry, not just the creative jobs because this will help you understand the bigger picture better of the industry and it will let you know what you really like and what you don’t, or what you’re really good at and what you’re not. (2) Try to remain open and “teachable” this is both in Fashion and in life, there are valuable lessons everywhere, all the time, even if they seem like mistakes or failures. (3) Keep checking in with your heart to see if Fashion is really something you love, would you do it even if you weren’t getting paid? If you ever find that you’ve stopped loving it, move on to something else that you really love, but be honest with yourself and don’t keep doing something that makes you miserable. It’s a waste of your precious life.
What would you like to achieve before the end of the year?
RW: Much greater brand recognition and many more print sales. I am also at the bare beginning of my second product category which is a clothing line for Plus sized women, I hope to have at least 8 SKU’s ready for launch by then.
Are you superstitious or do you have any rules you live by?
RW: I love this question! I am not superstitious, however I believe there are spiritual laws that govern this realm we live in just like there are physical laws, such as gravity etc. One of my main life practices is to stay in a positive attitude and energy flow as much as possible, to infuse my words, which are so powerful, and my thoughts with positivity. I find it draws more of it back to me, and it beats being negative which is so exhausting, and no one like being around negative people.
What’s your motto?
RW: “Blaze a trail of Light wherever you go”
Other (feel free to tell the readers anything about you that we didn’t ask)
RW: I’ve learned to stay true to my heart all of these years. It is a lifestyle for me now and my truest compass for my life. Whatever it is you decide to do, whether it’s Fashion or not, make sure you’re doing for YOU and if it is your passion, surround yourself only with people that will lovingly support, encourage and be honest with you. Stay hungry and teachable, Nurture your gift! And finally be generous in helping others if you can, this industry can be very competitive and cut throat, you DON’T have to step on others to succeed, kindness pays!
* If you’d like to check out more of my work please visit:
Hi Everyone! My name is Renée White and I am an Artist, Textile & Apparel Graphic Designer.
I’ve worked in the Fashion Industry for well over 16 years and I still love it! I particularly love creating unique prints and patterns that are infused with things that inspire me like flowers, urbanscapes, textures, architecture, nature, music, movies and stories of people I know as well as my own.
If you’d like to check out more of my work, see it at:
Learn more about Renée here: