Whitney Alix

Designer; Seamstress; Owner, Rebel Citizen. Los Angeles.

Words and Photos by: Channing Beumer

Pretty often, in this line of work, we meet people who really do embody that whole 'got my stuff together' in life thing.  Somehow, even in the highs and lows of, you know, everyday breathing, they've found a way to make their world work for them - or, at the very least, they take lemons and turn them into some of that lemonade - a la Beyonce.

Whitney Alix, the designer who makes bold statements with both Rebel Citizen - her globally-inspired fashion/lifestyle brand coveted by conscious stars like Amandla Stenberg and HeyFranHey - AND with her enigmatic personality, is one of those people who seems to have quite a bit figured out. For one thing, she's a new homeowner (which, if you live in California and are in your early 30's is a HUGE accomplishment) and lives in an adorable condo in Baldwin Hills, complete with the most relaxing balcony ever and a top notch interior design job done all by her creative self, because she can "put things together sometimes." Yea. She's modest. Shooting her light-filled sanctuary was a breeze partially because Whitney's design aesthetic belongs in Essence Magazine and primarily because she's a wealth of knowledge. We talked supporting black owned businesses, steps to becoming your own boss, and 401K investments. See what we mean when we say she's got her stuff together? Then there’s the whole stunning natural beauty thing (curls and freckles are poppin' on 10, y'all) and the fact that her closet is stacked with her own original designs and a love for the adidas three stripes.  Tunic dresses, cropped t-shirts, metallic shelltoes, and the type of patterned leggings that allow this former ballerina to scream 'I love me some me!" Guys, she knows what she’s doing.

We sat down with Whitney to pick her brain a bit more about art, style, and inspiration. Checkout our convo below as her condo provides the perfect Cali backdrop.

 

Images: CNKDaily; Whitney Alix in Rebel Citizen Rebel Tunic x Nike Air Max 90 GS

You’re still a very young woman making big moves in your work.  What was your upbringing like and how did it shape your work ethic?

I grew up in an amazing family in Los Angeles. I was always encouraged to be my authentic self. My father is an Aerospace engineer and my mother was a speech therapist and an Artist so I turned out to be a mixture of the two...technically savvy and artistic. Both of my parents worked really hard and only wanted to best for my siblings and I. My parents alway expected me to do my best and work hard at whatever I was passionate about. They allowed me to explore life pretty freely minus sex, drugs, and alcohol. They really just raised me to be happy, humble and to find purpose in everything I create in life.

As a designer by trade, walk us through your creation process from start to finish.

My design process changes all the time. The process changes organically depending on the project I am working on. But everything always starts with research and getting out into the world in order to find something that sparks my imagination. I usually have a pretty clear picture in my mind of whatever it is that I want to create. It might take a couple tries to get it right but I find joy is the challenge that come with problem solving. It makes the process more exciting and much more rewarding in the end when you get to admire the finished product.

Where do you look for inspiration? 

Most of my inspiration comes from a mixture of American, African, Native American, and European culture. This comes naturally to because I am a mixture of all of these and also makes whatever I make really unique and eclectic.

We’re big believers in passion meeting purpose.  What part of your work are you most passionate about?  How does this help you live your purpose?

I’m most passionate about creating prints and finding prints and textiles that illustrate the message behind my brand. All of my fabrics have to be ethically sourced. Rebel Citizen is a conscious and progressive brand driven by integrity and authenticity.no compromises.

What, in your opinion is your biggest hurdle and how do you overcome?

My biggest hurdle is work/life balance. I have had to discipline myself to stop and be present and enjoy family, nature, and sleep. Without these three important things in my life, I am empty. I value my sleep and rest because this is when my most valuable and creative ideas come to me.

Self-love is something we feel is extremely important in finding your own level of success.  What do you do, or what have you done in the past, to honor yourself?  

Self-love to me = massages, travelling to a new place in the world at least once a year, and prayer and meditation.

Images: CNKDaily

How would you describe your personal style?

Comfortable, Bold, timeless, colorful, rich, unique, edgy, eclectic, authentic, and natural.

Would you say a lot of your personal style is present in your designs?

My designs represent all of me and who I am.

We’re all human and we stumble.  What do you tell yourself when your feel overwhelmed or overworked?

You are always ok...keep going.

What’s your favorite sneaker? How do you typically style your sneaks?

My favorite sneakers are my Rita Ora Adidas. I literally wear them with everything. They are simple slightly feminine and easy. I can dress them up dress them down and the metallic gold detail on the tongue just adds that little bit of glam that I love to add to every outfit without trying too hard.

Pictured: Rita Ora x Adidas Originals Superstar RIZE 

If you could speak to every young woman in the world, what advice would you give as a woman and a business owner?

Always follow your heart and never ever stop believing in your purpose. Know you are deserving of anything and everything your heart desires. Everything might not come exactly when you want it to but always remember that it will come once you speak it into existence.

What are your goals for Rebel Citizen in the next year? Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?

My goal for Rebel Citizen in the next year is the establish share it with as many people as possible. In the next five years I will have opened at least one retail store in Los Angeles and It will be distributed internationally.

What is your go-to piece in your closet right now?

[My] Rebel Citizen Painted Rebel Tunic.

What does #Chickspiration mean to you?

Dope art because art is everything.

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