Kate Young ranks number one on THR’s most powerful stylists of 2016. She dresses Michelle Williams, Natalie Portman, Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie. But she initially started out as an editorial assistant, and got her styling jobs because nobody else wanted to style celebrities!
Here’s how she made herself indispensable and became top of the list:
She graduated from Oxford with a degree in English and Art History and got her first job assisting Anna Wintour. “I’d meet all the actresses on shoots and they’d ask me to wear the dresses to their movie premieres. I’d just pull shoes or whatever else they needed to go with it,” she said.
Before that, she hadn’t ever realized fashion could be a job, even though she’s always been passionate about it, even her first word was ‘shoe’. “I don’t think it occurred to me that [fashion] could be a job, and then when I was 16, my friend’s sister went to FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), and I realized it was.” She told Fashionista.
But what made her so popular with her styling work was how she envisioned events, she sees them as moments in time, and spends some time making sure the clothes represent the person she’s dressing. She told Into The Gloss: “When it comes to styling, I’m better with celebrity than anything else because I’m good at figuring people out. I find the women interesting, what they have to say and what they’re working on. When I work with my clients, I see what’s interesting to them so that we can magnify who they are and give them a more polished and refined visual representation of that image.”
Finally, her advice for success is this. “The best advice I was told when I was an assistant is that ‘No’ is not an answer. It is never an answer, and I think that’s really good advice for anyone in an assistant position because if when she [Young’s boss at the time] asked me for something and it was impossible when she checked, my answer was ‘I couldn’t do what you asked. Here are three remedies to the situation.’ That shows forward-thinking, it shows organization, it shows motivation.”
photos: Kate Young Instagram
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