I have subscribed to a bunch of fashion blogs. And I have unsubscribed to a bunch of fashion blogs. But one that I have been a loyal supporter of, one who has a newsletter that doesn’t go immediately to my SPAM box is WhoWhatWear.com. They give me what I want: Basically, who wore what fabulously. The two lovely ladies behind that site, Katherine Power and Hilary Kerr, seem to be building an empire as their stylish online tentacles have recently spread into the interiors realm with their site Domaine. On a recent trip to LA (did I mention I had a birthday recently, har har har?), I sat down with them to talk about Domaine.
So the Who What Wear empire expands: Tell me about Domaine. When did the idea pop into your head?
Shelter magazines and interior design are two of our long-standing obsessions, so creating a site dedicated to home decor and stylish living was always in the back of our minds. Plus, we felt like our WhoWhatWear.com readers were ready for it. We’re lucky enough to have a very long-time, loyal following, and our readership has really grown up with us.
People like me!
We hope so. Now they’re at the point where they are buying their first homes, or moving into their first adult apartments, and are interested in creating a living space that’s just as stylish as their closets.
When I was young I was always sort of embarrassed about the way I lived: I would put so much time and effort into an outfit, but my place looked like a college dorm. Total mess. Nothing on a hanger. My mother would have died. What do you think is the relationship between fashion and decoration?
Home decor matters so much less when you are younger—figuring out your personal style is usually more of a priority—but once you’ve mastered your wardrobe, it’s the next area people tend to focus on because it’s another way of expressing yourself. Just like your outfit communicates who you are, the space that you live in should really reflect your aesthetic and sensibilities. Plus, it’s important to get it right; your home is where you should feel happiest and most content! Now, more than ever, it’s easy to find incredible decor inspiration (Pinterest! Instagram! Shelter blogs!) and execute your own take on those looks with affordable, on-trend stores like West Elm and CB2. In many ways, the changes going on in home space is exactly like what we saw with fashion seven or eight years ago.
I never thought about it like that, but you’re right: Years ago people would go on street style blogs to hone in on their wardrobe choices, and now people are doing that for their home styles.
Today, no matter where you live, you have access to these beautiful images and trends, and you can shop from anywhere. Domaine is just another way to bring great style and access to anyone, anywhere.
How long did it take you to put it together?
It probably took us about six months to staff up and get the site up. We looked long and hard for the right person to run it, and ended up finding a genius Editorial Director in Mat Sanders (formerly of Domino and Apartment Therapy). He is truly a perfect fit and is doing an amazing job. It’s not easy to execute magazine quality content on a daily basis for the internet; it takes the right recipe, but we found all of the key ingredients.
Was there someone that was really helpful, or was there someone you HAD to have as your first feature?
We brought on the incredible celebrity stylist and interior decorator Estee Stanley as our contributing editor-at-large early on, and started coming up with a list of homes to feature. She introduced us to Lea Michele, and Estee and Mat did a makeover on Lea’s home in just two days! Also, Jessica Alba was our first celebrity shoot and we thought it was interesting that she did her house completely by herself, with most items from Craigslist or vintage items she refurbished herself.
Recent features: Lea Michelle and Jessica Alba
The site isn’t just for observers, though. I’m obsessed with the wallpaper at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and here on the site it says where I can get it. Is that something you learned from Who What Wear: Being able to like and then buy it is important?
Yes! Everything on Domaine is shoppable, from the exact item featured to something similar, and often more accessible or affordable. If we didn’t give that to our readers, it wouldn’t make sense to us. Our stories are as much about service—finding the perfect resources, explaining how to do so something, giving alternative ideas—as they are inspiration.
How do you find spaces to feature on the site?
Primarily through our own contacts and social circles at first—happily we know a lot of people with good taste!—but the Domaine team brings a whole other perspective and group of people to the table. We are always looking for interesting spaces, all over the world to shoot. So if you know of anyone, send them our way.
Sadly, my house isn’t ready yet. Soon, though, I hope it will be. I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, let us know how the Beverly Hills Hotel wallpaper works out.
The Beverly Hills Wallpaper, as seen on the Domaine website. (Click here to be directed to the story featuring the Beverly Hills Hotel decor.)