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July 24, 2014

Whitney Port on Her New Job, Roommate and Fashion Line in Season 2 of 'The City'

by Kim Potts, posted Oct 5th 2009 5:33PM
Whitney PortHer pal Lauren Conrad has left 'The Hills' for (relatively) more realistic pastures, but Whitney Port is about to continue her reality TV stint on new episodes of her 'Hills' spin-off, 'The City' (Tue., 10:30PM ET on MTV). Whitney's still in New York City pursuing her fashion industry dreams, but she's doing it with a new job -- sorta -- a new apartment, a new roommate and, via a string of blind dates, new love interests.

Port, who made her New York Fashion Week debut as a designer earlier this month, talked to AOL TV about these latest developments as well as what everyone really wants to know -- how often will she be running into her old frenemy, Olivia Palermo?Whitney PortHer pal Lauren Conrad has left 'The Hills' for (relatively) more realistic pastures, but Whitney Port is about to continue her reality TV stint on new episodes of her 'Hills' spin-off, 'The City' (Tue., 10:30PM ET on MTV). Whitney's still in New York City pursuing her fashion industry dreams, but she's doing it with a new job -- sorta -- a new apartment, a new roommate and, via a string of blind dates, new love interests.

Port, who made her New York Fashion Week debut as a designer earlier this month, talked to AOL TV about these latest developments as well as what everyone really wants to know -- how often will she be running into her old frenemy, Olivia Palermo? -- By Kimberly Potts

So everything is new for you this season, new apartment, new roommate, new guys, new job ... actually, you're returning to an old workplace, at People's Revolution.
Yes, I'm working with Kelly Cutrone again at People's Revolution. I really liked my job at Diane von Furstenberg, but I always knew that designing was really what I wanted to do. So I left to go do some freelance work at People's Revolution, and Kelly kind of led the way and said, "This is what you want to do. I'll give you some space in one of our showrooms and you can make a design studio for yourself, and really start your collection." So that's what I've done.

And you just showed your fashion line, Whitney Eve, at New York Fashion Week, for the first time, right?
Yes I did, I did a group show with Nicholas K and Mara Hoffman. It was amazing, but also just so crazy. For weeks just prior to that I was like a sleepless manic. It was crazy, because you know, I'm so involved in the line -- every thread, every button, every zipper -- and so I'm kind of micromanaging that. It was very surreal. Having worked backstage at numerous (fashion) shows, and working for Diane von Furstenberg , it was very, very different to be on the design end of things.

Whitney PortA lot of people maybe don't realize that this is what you've been working for all along -- you've been interning at W and Women's Wear Daily and a lot of other places with this as your end goal.
Right, I started out working for my dad, and my dad [Jeff Port, owner of the clothing company Swarm] is in the clothing industry, so I've grown up with it. And then I interned at Women's Wear Daily and W before I got the job at Teen Vogue, so it's all been an upward journey to creating the fashion line. [Being on TV] got my foot in the door and it gets the awareness out there. And while I love doing the television show, and I love being a part of it ... designing was definitely my ultimate goal.

You said in a Cosmopolitan magazine interview that some of the things that are written about you can be hurtful, like that you're too low-key or don't have a strong personality. But isn't it sort of a compliment that -- especially relative to some other people on reality shows like 'The Hills' -- you're pretty down to earth and drama-free?
[Laughs] That's what was so shocking when our producer came up to me and started talking to me about this idea of doing a ['Hills'] spin-off. I was like, "Really? Me?" I mean, I'm so not dramatic. I'm a pretty rational, mellow kind of person. And so I was surprised, just like everybody else was. But you know, I think that it's not that I'm boring, it's just that I'm not into being dramatic just for drama's sake.

Again, having done two reality shows now, has it gotten easier to deal with the lack of privacy about your dating life and your personal life in general?
Yeah, sort of. I mean, there are moments when it's very, very difficult and you more feel bad for the people that you're with, and your friends, than for yourself. But it's part of the job, and so I've learned to just kind of not analyze it or worry about it and realize that it's all a step toward a certain direction.

Roxy OlinYour new roommate this season, Roxy Olin, is a friend of yours from high school.
Yeah, Roxy and I went to school with each other from seventh grade until I graduated. She's a year younger than me, but we were friends all that time. Then we just sort of lost touch when I moved away, but she went to college and then decided she wanted to come to New York and got in contact with me, so we've crossed paths again.

Were you reluctant at all to bring someone from your private life into the show?
Yes, definitely, I've always been very reluctant to do that. My best friends and my family have never made big appearances on the show. I knew our friendships are strong and would outlast the show, but at the same time, I just didn't want to take that chance. With Roxy, I felt like it was okay, because we had lost touch a little bit and it was the chance to get to know each other again, and also because I thought it was an amazing opportunity for her. And I thought that we would have a lot of fun together, and that she would use this experience to grow, so I just thought it would be more beneficial to her than anything.

And what's the verdict on that decision so far?
[Laughs] Well, I mean, we've had our moments where it gets a little bit trying, but that's inevitable with any friend or roommate or person that you work with. But we've actually gotten to know each other and have grown up together a lot in the past six months. It's been a positive experience for me, because the city can be really lonely, so it feels good to have someone from my past year to stabilize everything.

Olivia PalermoYou've talked about going on a lot of blind dates recently, and that Jay [Lyon, Whitney's ex-boyfriend] is out of the picture. With so many changes in your life, what's the overall theme of these new episodes of 'The City'?
These episodes are very career-oriented. They show Roxy and I at work and our relationship through that, and all the tests that we have to endure. And then, obviously, my clothing line, and how I either succeed or don't at that. And then there's also Erin and Olivia, who work together now at Elle magazine -- Erin in the public relations department over there, and Olivia in the accessories department. So it's also following their relationship and how their whole editorial world works. I think it's a very fun new way of looking at New York and really going inside the fashion industry.

And will you be crossing paths with them, especially your old nemesis Olivia?
Yeah, we cross paths a bit. You know, as many people as there are living in the city, it's still a small world, especially in our industry. Our worlds definitely do collide.

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