You know Kate Brien from the wild success of her shoe-showcasing Instagram, View From The Topp, but did you know that she also styles for the likes of Vogue, Lucky and J Crew?? As a stylist, Kate is often working with the vision of her clients in mind, and while this is essential for advancing in her career, she felt the need to craft something of her own. Thus came View From The Topp! Kate digs the anonymous aspect of her foot facing feed, but there is a lot going on above the knee! Today Lisa Says Gah chats with Kate poolside at The Line Hotel in LA to bring you a peek at her day-to-day as a stylist. Enjoy!
LSG: Hi, Kate!! In your line of work, you must constantly be thinking about what's next. How do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from all around but, honestly, a lot of it comes from my friends. I try to surround myself with people who work in different fields than I do - it makes me think about things from different perspectives. One of my best friends is a dancer, one works in food, one is a photographer, and another is in politics. I’m always learning from them which keeps things changing and inspires me to do new and different things.
LSG: A lot of people want to be stylists and glamorize the profession, what is it actually like?
A lot of hard work and waiting around for checks!
LSG: How would you recommend someone approach the field? How did you get started?
Intern and assist! The fashion industry has a lot to do with connections, and the best way to make them is by working with people that you admire, which often means taking a job and doing it for free. I interned for all four years of college in different areas of the fashion industry to figure out what I wanted to do. My first internship was in PR at BPCM, then in design at Alexander Wang and finally for stylist Kate Young. After graduating from NYU and getting a degree in fashion design from Parsons, I moved to Los Angeles to assist stylist/Vogue contributor, Lawren Howell.
LSG: Being self-employed requires some major discipline. What advice would you share with people just getting into self-employment or working from home?
I think it’s important to create some structure for yourself. I try to plan my days out and write a lot of lists to make sure that everything I need to do gets done. It’s also nice to give yourself breaks, especially if you work on your own. I like to plan lunches and meetings to break up the day so that I am more productive in the time between.
LSG: Is it important to have a routine? What does yours look like?
Yes! A typical day starts with a walk with my fiancé and pup to get coffee followed by either yoga or pilates.Then I come home, go through emails and make a list of the things that need to get done by the end of the day. If I have a styling job coming up that means requesting looks, scheduling/going on pulls, and doing research or creating mood/inspiration boards. If I’m working on a View From The Topp collaboration, I could be putting together outfits, sourcing rugs and scouting grounds or shooting looks. On weeks when I don’t have a lot going on I try to spend time updating my website and looking for inspiration - whether that be at an art gallery or on Pinterest.
LSG: Is there anything in LA you recommend we check out next time!?