Designer Crush: Ryan White

1. Who is your biggest role model?

In life, it would most definitely be my mother and father. And for design, it would be a triple tie between Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, and Steven Gambrel.

2. Which movie or play do you wish you could have designed the set for?

Without a doubt I would have done almost anything to work on the film Cruel Intentions. Everything from the homes, the cars, down to the clothing—I would have been in absolute heaven being a part of that team. 

3. What is the best way to gauge a client’s personality before starting a project?

With every new client I take on, I require that we take a week-long trip together to St. Barts and then board a private jet to Aspen, just for a few more days to get to know one another…I wish. 

I mean, it's simple really: the best way to gauge your client is to listen and to guide them gently. Design for many people can be intimidating and taxing. It's my job as a designer to walk you through the process seamlessly and for everyone to get an overwhelming amount of enjoyment with the overall end product.

4. What new design trends are you excited to integrate into your work?

I'm not really one to follow trends. I feel like within design, there are classic staples that will never go out of style. If anything, those would be the trends I would follow.

5. How do you completely unwind?

Nothing beats a great workout, a fantastic massage, and then a beautiful glass of red wine in front of a fireplace. Accompanied by my fiancé and two white labs of course! 

6. If you hadn't become a designer, which career would you have pursued?

I was pursuing modeling/acting for many years. Design just happened to fall on my lap at the right place and time. So with that said, the idea of putting design and television together excites me on all levels. 

7. What’s the worst pre-designer job you’ve ever had and why?

I worked at a dry cleaning station throughout high school and let's just say I'm not too keen on touching other people's clothing when I don't know who they are. Something about it just kind of freaks me out. Putting your hands in the pockets of someone’s pants and never knowing what you're going to find...I mean, it's just all a little bit strange. 

8. What’s your favorite recipe (can also be a cocktail recipe!)?

In all honesty, I can't make much more then mac and cheese and a PB&J. I leave the cooking up to my fiancé, but as for a cocktail you can never go wrong with, try a Skinny Guy Margarita. That's right, not a Skinny Girl Margarita, but a Skinny Guy Margarita. You'll have to wait to find out the recipe when my TV show comes out. 

9. Create your perfect playlist for us – include at least 10 songs, and feel free to explain why you love them. 

I'm really starting to feel like I'm not that cool or interesting...music is something I love but I have always depended on others around me to take the lead on. I am someone who loves a very wide range of music whether it be country, pop, classic rock, oldies, etc. I can tell you while conducting this interview I heard a song that I am now obsessed with. It's the John Legend and Common song "Glory" from the movie Selma. The message behind the words are beyond profound and impactful. Maybe it's because I am getting married this June at a dude ranch in Wyoming to my partner (who's a man if you haven't guessed) where we will legally be wed. The song is about equality and I couldn't help but think of how grateful I am that we are at a place in life in which I am able to live out my dreams and be comfortable with who I really am as a human being.

Lightning round!

10.  Would you rather shop new or vintage?
I'm a sucker for vintage.

11.  First celebrity crush?
On a girl it would have to be Whitney Houston and on a boy it would be Brad Pitt.

12.  What’s your hidden talent?
Photography.

13.  Best restaurant in your area? Where is it?
Ink on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood.

14.  SF or LA?
LA