Fans of WHBM may know our head designer, Danielle Konotop – official title VP of Design for White House Black Market. But for those of you who are new to the brand she’s more than a designer, she’s a creative powerhouse. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil she earned a degree in visual communications and fine arts, then started her own business creating boutique collections in Bali, Indonesia.
After moving to the US she studied fashion at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Following graduations, Danielle spent more than 15 years in the denim industry in LA as a head designer, creating collections, launching brands and start-ups where she established her profound expertise.
This is the first of a monthly series for you to learn more about Danielle, her inspiration and influences, as well as her personal picks.
Danielle’s Must-Have Pieces for September
“The perfect LBD, you’ll feel fabulous, sculpted and confident.”
All our WHBM® Aura dresses are made from a high-tech fabric with vertical seams to shape and smooth your body with our exclusive power mesh lining, which also sculpts to celebrate your curves.
“Alone or layered, this will be a new essential piece.”
Our collection of buttery-soft layering pieces that flatter and smooth. Made from a high-performance fabric that stretches in all four directions to give you ultimate comfort, movement, and hold.
“A tweed blazer is a classic. You’ll wear it for years.”
Our WHBM® Studio Blazer in black and white houndstooth is a chic look for work or to pair with denim for weekend escapades.
“A soft buttery feel with every wear.”
Our coated denim pieces are sleek and comfortable with a unique leather-look that endures.
5 Questions for Danielle
Who was your fashion influence growing up?
I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the land of sun, bold colors, carnival, and samba. I was always inspired by the casual lifestyle, and we spent A LOT of time at the beach. It was more than soak up the sun. The beaches in Rio are social gatherings where you connect with friends and family, plan other gatherings, schedule business meetings all in between surfing and eating local delights. Casual resort and beachwear is how I started my career in fashion designing and producing clothes in Bali , Indonesia and selling them in boutiques in Rio
What are your tips for transitioning your wardrobe to fall?
My suggestion is always to buy now wear forward. Start with the classic pieces like a blazer, great pants, and jeans. Then add the more seasonal things as the temperatures start to change. Of course, an emotional print and bold colors always freshen the classics.
What item do you never leave home without?
Credit card…. Always ready for a great deal!
How long have you been a designer?
If I count the time that I spent buying clothes at the church bazaars and deconstructing and putting them back together with the help of my grandmother (a fabulous seamstress) … pretty much my whole life …lol. From business/ career perspective almost 30 years.
Where do you get inspiration for WHBM collections?
At WHBM our customer is in the forefront of everything we do. We take our inspirations from destinations that we see our customer dreaming about or get inspired to go, artwork that steer emotional connections and of course high fashion. The runway shows are always a delight and a great fountain of ideas.