Meet Catherine Holstein, the designer and founder behind the New York-based ‘It’ brand Khaite.
Kendall Jenner: What was the first item you saw or bought that made you feel a connection to the fashion industry?
Catherine Holstein: I didn’t buy it. I was 4 when my brother gave me his Oshkosh B’gosh suspenders. They were white with a multicolored car print. I had always admired them and when I was given them to wear, it was the first time I had ever learned of the feeling, exhilaration. Now, exhilaration is not a feeling that comes intuitively to a 4-year-old, it’s a process. I think I was wide-eyed for about a week, completely overwhelmed by what had washed over me. I think it has been since that that I have been fascinated with how an item that you desire can make you feel once on your actual body. I have been chasing that feeling ever since.
Jenner: Which fashion photograph is the most memorable to you?
Holstein: Gosh, what a tough question. It’s not fashion, but probably Richard Avedon’s picture of Marilyn Monroe. Nobody lit a photograph like Richard Avedon and the moment he captured her is probably one of the most fascinating portraits in history.
Jenner: If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be?
Holstein: For a day, a fine artist. To be creative for that alone.
Jenner: What do you want your legacy to be?
Holstein: I think to be a strong and fair leader, and a good mother.
Jenner: Describe your brand and customer in three words each.
Holstein: Strong, stealth, of ease.
Jenner: What inspires your creativity?
Jenner: What role does fashion represent in today's culture that it didn't in the past? Do you think fashion or culture currently influences designers more?
Holstein: Given the fast pace of social media and the bold provocation an image invokes in a mass sense, it is quite significant. Fashion is a reflection of our evolving nature and the pace at which we shift perspective. It can be both healing and dangerous. It can also be nothing at all.
Jenner: Does social media/creators influence your creative process? If they do, how?
Holstein: I don’t know. Quite possibly. I try to not think too much about my “influence.” Is it fluid? It is as I breathe, as I eat. The table I type this interview on could influence me. The sound of which the keys make. Warhol brought that to light. Creativity and influence are infinite.
Jenner: When do you consider a project a huge success?
Holstein: When I feel proud of it. From a product perspective. Numbers help too!