The Who/What/When/Where of Designer Whitney Manney

Artist/designer/fashionista Whitney Manney wears many hats—and, chances are, she likely designed all of them. The Kansas City native graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2012 with a BFA in Fibers. A majority of the art she creates is designed to be wearable—with garments and textile designs under her eponymous label.

Manney/Photo credit: Lauren Pusateri Photography

Not only is she currently featured in the PBS show, Make48, this season, her collections have been retailed at boutiques/stores, including Halls Kansas City, and showcased in more than a dozen runway and gallery shows. Creating a narrative between color and pattern is a signature of Manney’s eclectic work. As she says, “My job isn’t done until everybody in the world believes fashion is art!”

We caught up with the fashion maven to gain her who/what/when/where insight:


Where is your fave place to window shop?
“The vintage markets in West Bottoms. I want a little bit of everything—mostly the furniture. It’s stuff I can’t take with me. I like all the vintage clothes too, but my closet is already filled the brim.”

 What’s your fave place to people-watch stylish people?
“I always see the fly-est people at First Fridays and gallery openings. It’s been a minute since I’ve been to one.”

Pink Lipps Cosmetics

What’s your favorite place to do some retail (fashion) therapy and why?
“I’ve recently found some cool pieces at Matches Boutique on the Plaza. The Nike store is my favorite—and most expensive—place to decompress (besides the art supply and fabric stores). And I love getting new shades of lip gloss from Pink Lipps Cosmetics off Cleaver and Troost.”

Where do we find your fave mandatory accessory—and what is it?
“Besides my ‘Drip’ earrings, a pack of gold hoop earrings from Star Beauty Supply. Gold hoops can instantly turn any outfit around, whether it’s a sweatpants day at my studio or a high-style look for an event.”

What’s your fave song/earworm right now?
“Right now, I love the song Dive In by KC artist Love, Mae C.”

Where is the best local place to find (fashion) inspiration?
“I like to check out new murals in the Bottoms and Crossroads often. Doing studio visits with my art friends, browsing different materials at ScrapsKC, and checking out fashion history books from the Kansas City Public Library also gets my artist brain going.”

What’s your favorite self-care locale?
“Being outside whenever the sun is out is really important for my self-care. I like to roller skate at the Holmes Park outdoor rink or walk Loose Park.”


What’s your favorite local dessert/sweet treat?

“Topsy’s Cinnamon Popcorn. A small cinnamon popcorn and cherry limeade is my order. If we get a tub for Christmas, I will eat the entire cinnamon section. It’s my jam.”

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