Meet Kate Carnegie - Stylist, Fashion Editor, Artist, a friend of ESSEN and woman of true style and substance.
Originally from Melbourne but now based in New York, Kate’s avid appreciation and interest in fashion, art, design and photography is amplified through her work, drawing on all the unique experiences that have shaped her as an artist. Pushing the boundaries between fashion & art, Kate’s work has been published in Oyster magazine, i-D, ELLE US, Manifesto, Novembre Magazine to name a few.
Kate’s varied past en present outlook are a reminder to follow your own path, understanding that everyone’s differing journeys can turn out in unexpected ways.
We meet with Kate on the back of our first launch campaign to have a conversation about what’s next, inspiration, travel and perspective.
What was your upbringing like?
One could describe as colourful! I think my appreciation of beautiful things was nurtured through my parent's eclectic style and avid collection and pastime of collecting beautiful things; artwork, antiques and artifacts. At a young age whilst my parents were still married, they spent a bit of time renovating old neglected Victorian houses and townhouses in Melbourne and Sydney and putting them back on the market. We were constantly on the move and by the time I was 16 I had lived in over 20 houses.
Because I was on the move from such a young age, I think it has made me an adaptable and resilient person. Whilst I get very attached to places and things, change and new possibilities excite me.
How did you get into styling?
I guess by default! I never had any interest in being a Stylist, let alone ever considered you could create a career from it.
I was always interested in being a Fashion Designer, so after I finished school I studied Fashion Design at RMIT in Melbourne. Unsure whether I actually wanted to continue in Fashion after I left university, I later pursued a BA in Fine Art at Central St Martins in London. I then got an internship at British Vogue in London, which cemented my strong interest in styling.
What are some of your favourite neighbourhood spots?
I have moved neighbourhoods a few times in NYC! In summer I love relaxing in McCarren Park, recharging in the sun and reading. I value these days of solitude.
I spend most of my time downtown in Manhattan. I find myself at The Smile in Soho having a quick bite when I am on the run doing press meetings. For after work catch-ups with friends, I like to go to Café Select in Soho for something casual or Happy Endings in Chinatown for a night out.
When I have time on my hand I love to drop into McNally Bookstore in Nolita and browse through their wonderful collection of books and magazines whilst having a coffee.
What does style & substance mean to you?
Having Integrity. Being true to yourself.
When do you do your best thinking?
I am a night owl and have always been that way. My mind comes alive late at night.
How do you avoid inspiration fatigue?
I’m not sure that I avoid it! I guess it’s just the ebbs and flows of life really, you can’t really control something like that, you just have to accept it.
There are times when I am so inspired it is overwhelming and other times when I am not at all. I guess you just have to remember on such lows that the feeling passes and that inspiration is seeking you out. I guess you just have to remember to be mindful and present. Inspiration is everywhere; you just have to be open to it.
Can you share more about what it means to you to have a self-made career and to work independently?
It is very rewarding. I have always worked for myself and don’t really know any other way to be honest! I don’t think I would be cut out for working for someone else and being passionate someone else’s idea. I like being in control of my destiny and only having myself to answer to. It is a very rewarding feeling to know that as each year goes by I feel more evolved and that hard work has paid off. Being self-sufficient is very important to me.
What have been some turning points in your career?
Getting sponsored with an agency in NYC three years ago. I have learnt so much through the experience and opportunities that have come from living in NYC. My style has definitely progressed and refined through having my eyes opened to such a city.
I have recently just started painting again. I really missed the physicality of making and the whole creative process, as styling has its limitations. As I am back in Australia renewing my visa for the USA, I have used the time to exhibit my work and open up a Pop Up Gallery “ILOVEKC”.
I also recently launched a jewellery/accessories line, ‘Un Deux’ with a girlfriend back in NYC. We have had our pieces shot a few times recently for some editorials in Teen Vogue US. One of them featuring Pat Mc Grath’s muses for her new make-up line, so we are pretty excited about such exposure at such an early age for our label. My hands are tied to a few projects right now and it feels like one of the most exciting times in my career to date.
What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned?
To trust your intuition. To love yourself. Do things that make you happy.
What’s your mantra?
I ask for guidance to my higher self at night. I just ask to be lead to where I need to be.
What’s next for you?
To continue my creative ventures simultaneously back in NYC.
I would like to hold an exhibition for my artwork in NYC once I return and grow our label ‘Un Deux’ whilst styling in the mix!
Kate’s work is currently showing at:
519 High Street