The Creatives: An Interview With Kathryn Hurni

I have known photographer Kate Hurni for nearly a dozen years. In that time, she has proven herself to be a major editorial talent shooting for the likes of W, Vogue, Real Simple, and Stella magazines.  But I like to think of her as one of the best fine art portrait photographers around.  Elegant, nuanced, original, Kate's portraits are in every way a reflection of who she is and how she moves through the world.  So to is her sense of style, honed from close proximity to the the tastemakers of the fashion world and her own unique spin on downtown urban chic.

What do you see trending in fashion now?

Cropped trench coats and motorcycle jackets. Girls are donning them all over SoHo.

When was the last time you had a fashion epiphany?

This morning, while in the subway. I saw a girl about my age, wearing SKY HIGH platform stilettos and realized how comical they are. New York is a pedestrian city. Your shoes should be chic and practical.

What is your favorite High brand? And your low brand? How do you mix high and low?

For High: I like Rag & Bone, Yigal, Balmain, Band of Outsiders
For Low: I like the basics such as Madewell, Zara, J. Crew

Honestly most of my clothing is “low.” I wont spend over $100 on jeans because I beat the hell out of them and eventually they rip, tear, and stretch. I only buy large ticket items that will last. For example, I have two nice watches that look fantastic with any outfit and will never go out of style.  Generally, I’ll lay down money for glasses, shoes, bags, and coats (and cameras!). Everything else should be cheap, but well made.

What is your go-to uniform for a day of work? The weekend?

Luckily, when I’m in the office I can be relaxed. I’m usually wearing a high-waisted skinny jean, or a wide leg trouser with a button down. But hitting repeat on that look can become a little stale over time, so occasionally I switch it up and throw on a Vena Cava dress with boots. For me the weekends, if you can believe it, are even more casual. You can usually find me in my Ralph Lauren grey sweatshirt that I’ve had for over 10 years. It has rips at the elbows, bleach stains all over, and is the most worn in comfortable thing I own. It gains more character every time I wear it.

What is your favorite ILR piece and why?
I’m really drawn to The Skinny ring.  It’s simple, organic feel is easy to pull-off for everyday. Nothing beats a plain gold ring, especially when they’re stacked!

Who are your style icons?

I don’t really have any style icons per say. I think I’m more inspired by the art and design that I encounter. I’m lucky to be surrounded by Creatives day in and day out, producing work and dressing in their own unique ways. Being around people who are themselves and know their own path is what prompts me to go out and explore my own sense of style. Instead of asking what are other people wearing, I find I have a lot more fun with what I wear by looking to myself and asking, “what makes me tick?” 

What are you living in these days?

Anything that’s pared down, effortless, and comfortable.  My rule of thumb: I want to be able to look back at a photo 20 years from now and not gasp, “what was I wearing?!”