Kate Young Talks Macy’s INC and Natalie Portman

Kate Young
Photo courtesy of Macy's
INC Editor at Large, Kate Young

At the top of The Standard Hotel’s Le Bain in NYC, Macy's celebrated the launch of its INC Editor at Large campaign with celebrity stylist Kate Young.

The music was bumping and champagne was flowing as editors and Manhattan fashionites, including Chrissy Teigen, Fabiola Beracasa and Arden Wohl perused looks from the department store's new downtown-chic INC line, all styled by Young.

The collection is currently sold online and in Macy's stores nationwide and features ‘60s-inspired skirts and dresses in tie-dye and tribal prints, along with edgy snakeskin-patterned pants and an array of funky jewelry.

With the success of Macy's first INC Editor at Large campaign, featuring Anna Dello Russo, Young was the perfect person to follow in the style icon's steps.

Named one of “Hollywood’s Most Powerful Stylists” by The Hollywood Reporter, she is known for working with A-List celebrities such as Natalie Portman and Michelle Williams, and has also edited the pages of prestigious fashion publications including Vogue and InStyle.

Dressed in all black—notably a cropped leather jacket from the new INC line, the platinum blonde took a few minutes to chat with FashionEtc about styling for Macy's, the items that every woman should own, and watching Natalie Portman at the Golden Globes.

A lot of the work you do is in high fashion. How do you translate that to working with a lower-priced brand like Macy’s INC?

It's not always publicized but part of my job has always been working with mass brands. That’s how we all make a living. Mass-market fashion is part of what I’ve always done. It just doesn't always have my face on it.

How do you compare working with mass brands to higher-end labels?

I do a lot of things that are completely different in my job and I just always try to make sure that things feel right to me. I don't know how else to explain it. I look at the clothes and try to imagine myself in them, or an alter ego of myself. So there are different aspects of both. There is looking at something and thinking, "Oh my god, this is under $30” and then there is the opposite thought, which is, "Oh my god, this was made by workmen who studied for 100 years and it took them 13 weeks." There are different ways of appreciating fashion and they are totally unique but, ultimately, they are the same. It's about wanting stuff and liking stuff and things that make us feel good. It’s the same feeling, but for different reasons.

What has been your inspiration behind the Macy’s INC line?

I really like how a lot of the collection is kind of flashy. In my real life, I like to dress [in] black and minimal, but I do really love a tight, sexy dress for going out at night. It makes me feel like a girl. It makes me feel hot. I like that the Macy’s collection has both. We wanted it to look like a hot rock 'n' roll wife. Like a sexy girl who has a good time.

What is an item that every woman should have?

That’s so hard. I hate that question. I’ve said this before, and I really maintain that it totally depends on your lifestyle. If you throw pots in Marfa, Texas, what do you need a black dress for? Nothing! You know what I mean? It really depends on your body, your lifestyle, and your age. Every woman should have something that makes her feel beautiful but that thing might be different for each person. You should have something you can put on when you are having a bad day and you feel amazing, but that changes if you are 16 or you are 42. If you feel your most beautiful in a velour sweatsuit, then you should have one.

Macys Inc

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Looks from Macy's new INC collection, styled by Kate Young

Do you have your Fashion Week outfits and accessories planned?

I haven’t sorted it out yet. I’m in big trouble—I’ve been too busy. I just got some Charlotte Olympia heels that I really love. I’m really hoping that I get my Jason Wu resort clothes soon so I have something new to wear. I really love The Row. I love Givenchy. I need to go shopping. I need to go to Net-a-Porter and buy the Karl Lagerfeld collection. Tonight on my way home on my iPhone, I’m going to be buying some Karl.

What are the best parts about styling Natalie Portman?

My favorite look she’s worn was Givenchy Couture at Cannes. Why do I love dressing her? She is someone I really respect and admire and like. She’s a good friend and a good person. She is someone I know as a regular person. I have two assistants during this time of year and we were all watching the Golden Globes together and they know her. We spend a lot of time with her and every time the camera panned to her during the show we were like “WOW!” She is someone we know who is a normal, good, awesome person and then you see her in hair and makeup with jewelry and a dress and we somehow forget, which seems impossible, that she is just about the most beautiful person on the planet right now. So that is awesome to see her sometimes and be removed from it and be like "Holy sh*t, she’s beautiful." I should show you my text messages. I texted her during the Globes saying, “Holy sh*t, you’re gorgeous. We are dying.”