Kate Collins is a stylist working in New York City. Career Highlights include Zink Magazine, Flaunt Magazine, 7X7 Magazine, Cowboys &Angels Show, and One Eighty Magazine, among others.
She is currently working on a Syndicated Travel Style Show, and a ‘Socio-Political Protest’ Shoot for November Publication.
Kate’s interests are varied; she has worked in PR, Design, Fashion, Art Gallery and the Nightlife Industry overlapping for the past 10 years.
Q: How did you get started on this path?
A: I started out in fashion and styling while living in San Francisco. My interest in fashion was always a vital part of my life, but it was working with friends at art school and fashion design school creating photo shoots that really got me started in my career.
As a collector of vintage and one-of-a-kind pieces in my own wardrobe, I utilized what I had to create unique looks. Then I became obsessed with adding interesting elements in to my collection, and my projects just kept growing from there.
Q: Tell me about your show concept?
A: City Style is a new and original concept show exploring a city’s individual and unique style. From San Francisco to New York and everywhere in between..I’ll be exploring Austin, Santa Fe, Seattle, Chicago and many other places that are off the map and full of interesting and inspired style and style makers. This is not about trends, it is about the art and culture that
exemplifies what style is all about in a particular place and time
Q: Where are you originally from?
A: Long Beach, California.
Q: How does New York City inspire you?
A: I’m definitely inspired by the stream of constant energy in New York. And the knowledge that somewhere in this city someone is doing something that will shake things up. This makes me constantly aspire to reach the next level, to keep up with the intense pace. This city is all about the convergence of cultures and ideas, and I feel the same way about my styling, breaking out of the mold and being extreme.
Q: Tell me a story about a challenge you have overcome.
A: When I first started out in New York I had to work a lot on a minimal or non-existent budget. Therefore I was working almost strictly on buy and returns. I feel terrible now for the salespeople I had to bamboozle.
Seriously, making every excuse under the sun as to why I had 10 items in a size 2 that I didn’t need anymore became more than just uncomfortable – it started to have moral ramifications. I felt like a jerk!!
Q: Who are some of the people you have worked with?
A: I have worked with a lot of amazing photographers including Michael William Paul, who shoots high fashion and celebrity portraits, and Steven Sebring who is a renowned photographer and filmmaker. Also, Jesper Carlsen for Flaunt, and Michael Rubenstein out of Mumbai, India.
Q: What is your greatest accomplishment thus far?
A: Honestly, just making things happen for myself. Creating my career from a dream. And not giving up when it seemed impossible to get here.
Q: Who are your favorite artists?
A: Jean Michel Basquiat, Mario Testino, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, David Hockney, Terry Richardson, Thierry Mugler, Edward Gorey, Robert Rauschenberg, Ana Mendieta, and Marc Jacobs.
Q: How many hours a week do you spend on your art?
A: That definitely varies, but usually I spend my week trying to connect with my collaborators on projects and then several days calling showrooms and pulling clothes. Then one full day to prep, and one shoot day. It’s an intense process, for sure.
Q: Where do you draw the line between the really artistic work you love to do and the work that pays?
A: In any creative industry there is a business side, and it’s that side that can get tricky. Egos can be really hard to negotiate. For me, it’s the consumerism and the sell, sell, sell part that is not appealing. Advertising work definitely pays but I always feel lackluster about doing it, because that doesn’t feed my creative sensibilities.
I draw the line depending on circumstances, but the creativity is always my priority. The art is in the freedom of expression.
Q: Which pieces/projects are your favorites?
A: A shoot for Zinc last season 40’s Glamour meets 80’s New Wave. Super foxy and an interesting juxtaposition.
I think anyone with a love for fashion appreciates what I do, even if they don’t know all the work that’s being done to create one image. Photographers, models, make-up artists and hairstylists all appreciate what’s being done on a specific level. Magazine readers appreciate on a spectator level.
Q: What’s next?
A: I have a television show in the works and I want to continue to elevate in this industry. I have some very high fashion concepts I want to actualize for print.
Photos courtesy of Kate Collins.