A Kansas City native, Whitney Manney graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2012 with a BFA in Fibers. With a desire to create art in a wearable format, Whitney creates garments and textile designs under her emerging label WHITNEYMANNEY.
Her work has been featured in numerous national art/fashion blogs, as well as having a prolific regional following. As a 2015 M-AAA Artistic Innovations and 2013 ArtsKC Inspiration Grant recipient, Whitney has made an impact in the community through teaching partnerships with the HALO Foundation and various area schools.
Whitney’s collections are retailed in stores, including Halls Kansas City, and showcased in 10 regional shows including solo exhibitions at The Box Gallery & UMKC Gallery of Art, Kansas City Fashion Week, Saint Louis Fashion Week and Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn University. Creating a narrative between color and pattern is a signature of Whitney's work, "My job isn't done until everybody in the world believes fashion is art." Her ultimate goal is to have a home base and travel all about.
What is it about KC that inspires creativity in you?
I believe people create out of need and there’s a need here in Kansas City. We’re creating out of a need to see more things happening here. We have such a diverse city that craves to be successful – together.
What is your favorite spot in Kansas City?
That’s tough, I have so many things I like about so many places in KC. I do love Midtown. My mom owned a business there for years, so it holds a special place in my heart.
Where is your favorite place outside of Kansas City?
New York has stolen my heart. I call it the creative Mecca, because you have to make that pilgrimage at least once if you’re a designer.
When and where are you happiest?
Nighttime/studio time is the best for me. My headphones are on and my supplies are at the ready. Being in my space with fabrics, colors and inspiration photos.
What's your most treasured possession?
My logo chain necklace. I started branding myself in college, and this brand is something I made on my own. When people see the brand they know it’s me.
Who do you most admire in real-life?
My Grandma Nell. She raised seven kids and is really creative and funny. I love looking at her old pictures – her style is incredible. At 82 she still does everything on her own (and makes really good lemon cake). The older I get, the more I look like her. She’s dope.
Who’s your favorite fictional hero?
Wonder Woman. I feel like I have a “W” in my name on purpose. She paved the way for other female super heroes. Her strength is what makes her super.