Q&A: Kate Young

How did you get started in the fashion industry? 

In magazines: Vogue, then Interview, and a little bit at i-D. I fell into celebrity styling sort of by accident. I really enjoy people and artists and I love clothes. But I'm much more interested in the way clothes function on a real human being rather than on the page. I love doing shoots but what I really sort of get off on is the pop culture aspect of my job. I love seeing the woman of the moment in the dress of the moment and it feeling right for the time.

How has the industry changed since you entered it? 

I think it's changed dramatically. Instagram, and the phone, and internet shopping have really changed the accessibility. People didn't used to be able to see the shows right when they were happening—they waited for magazines to come out three months later and show them what happened in Paris and New York and Milan. And then if you lived in Oklahoma, you got a filtered version of that purchased by the buyer from your store who got to go to those shows. And now, everybody can see the shows, and you can pre-order it on Moda Operandi two minutes later, and you can also order anything you want on the Internet. It [used to be] that a small group of people made all the decisions and saw what was out there and now everybody can.

Which is a good thing?

It’s different. I think it was good before, it was fun before, for the people who were running the show.

What’s your approach to styling? 

I love doing research so a lot of it is inspiration and research-based and thematic, and not just random. What I try to do with my clients is really get into the DNA of who they are in their public persona and amplify that. And so [when designing the uniforms for the Equinox Hotel] it was similar in the way that I really tried to get in to what the Equinox Hotel meant, and who the person was, and who would represent that hotel, and how that would manifest in clothing.

When you picture that person who you designed the Equinox uniforms for, who are they?

It's someone who... it's about the best life. Which is travel and success in business but also, wellness and taking care of yourself. Sort of like optimum living, you know? And so the way I thought about that was modernity, and nothing superfluous—everything had to be functional and modern and slightly minimal, but a little bit sporty and have a cool edge.

What excites you about the Equinox Hotel? 

I'm really excited to stay there. It's everything I want when I travel, which is a great night's sleep, a good workout, really good food. The minibar, I saw, and I want every single thing in it. I love the idea that it's sort of 80 percent wellness and 20 percent decadence.

Is that how you balance your life wellness-wise? Are you an 80/20 kind of person?

I'm not that controlled. I am for the most part very health-conscious but I also really love French fries.

You've got to have that balance.


What is your fitness regimen like?

I do Pilates mainly, between two and five days a week. I used to run a lot—I ran the New York City marathon—and I had a bunch of injuries from running so much and I found that Pilates fixed my body. I don't have any injuries. I feel strong, and flexible, and I really enjoy it. I play tennis too. I like outdoorsy sports like skiing, sailing, and hiking.

What’s your workout style? 

I like Splits59 a lot, I think it's really cute. And then, what do I wear? You know I wear leggings and a t-shirt and a sports bra. I'm not a super stylish workout person. I like things to be a little bit more simple.

Any gym styling tips for those who want to make more of a statement? 

I love sloppy ballerina style in the gym. I love a big t-shirt and sweatpants that look washed and worn the way ballerinas always are at the gym wearing the most crazy outfits (like a knit hat and red sweatpants with a brown t-shirt). It's so weird and great. I have a real soft spot for an odd color combination.

And what about athleisure? Yay or nay?

I mean, I see it on other people and I like it. I never want to be the woman dropping off my kids at school in Lululemon. That's just not my vibe. I never really wear athletic clothes unless I'm exercising. I also think there's a real danger in stretchy pants. It's not good to be too comfortable.

What are your other wellness habits?

I have an infrared sauna. I try to eat mostly plant-based. I'm absolutely addicted to the chiropractor. I love cryotherapy—I go sometimes in LA, it's so genius. You can park and get frozen for three minutes and feel like a million bucks.

Other than the Equinox Hotel uniforms, what are some of your favorite recent projects?

Just this week we shot the campaign for [my] line of optical and sunglasses with a company called Tura. I'm super excited for that. I think some of the new sunglasses are really great. And then, [client] Margot Robbie has "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" coming out so that's exciting too.

Ok, just a few final rapid-fire questions for you. London, Paris, New York, or LA?

New York. I get sad when I've been away too long. It's the best feeling landing at JFK.

When you do go away where are your favorite places to vacation?

I really love Costa Rica. If you asked my kids and my family, everybody loves Italy. The food is so good. The people are so nice. I could live in Rome.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Transcendental Meditation.

And then do you drink lemon water, tea, or coffee? 

I drink a lot of coffee. I have an Italian coffee maker and espresso machine so I make coffee and have it with Better Half coconut-almond creamer because I don't have dairy.

What’s the last thing you do before you go to sleep? 

Kiss my husband.

This interview has been edited and condensed for publication.

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