Billie Whitehouse

Wearable Tech Designer

“It’s beyond the career. You are actually designing the life you want and that, I think, not enough people are encouraged to think about early on.”

Location

New York, NY

Average Work Week

80+

Australian fashion designer Billie Whitehouse is more than a trendsetter. She is the daughter of Leanne Whitehouse, the founder of the Whitehouse Institute of Design. She is also the CEO of her own company, Wearable X (also known as Wearable Experiments), which specializes in creating clothing that actively engages the senses in new and innovative ways. These clothing collections combine software, hardware, and textiles. For example, she’s created a GPS-enabled blazer and a sports jersey that reacts to live sporting events. She’s also well known for her yoga/athleisure line Nadi X which uses gentle vibrations at your knees, hips, and other joints to guide you into proper posture and hold stronger forms.

 

She graduated in 2008 from the Whitehouse Institute of Design in Australia with a bachelor’s degree in Fashion/Apparel Design. She continued her studies in Italy and got her master’s degree as well. She has a keen sense of innovation and is often coming up with new ideas to challenge the norms. She’s organized a number of events to encourage sustainability, social awareness and philanthropy in the fashion world, such as Up-Cycle Whitehouse with the Red Cross and the Witchery White Shirt Campaign. 

 

Billie currently lives in the United States and is a regular contributor to Refinery29’s content. She was listed as one of Business Insider’s 30 most important women under 30. From 2016 to 2018, she won consecutive internationally-recognized awards for her designs. She embraces femininity and empowers through experimental form, breaking barriers for women in a male-dominated workforce. 

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My Advice

My advice for people looking to break into technology or wearables is really around watching people. Study the people around you — understand people’s habits, their daily routines, and how people want to spend their spare time. Look at those areas and see where there might be an opportunity to design for it. I also think it is really important to understand yourself and to explore what you care about, then design a career around that.

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