Stylist Kate Young: From Anna Wintour’s Assistant to Transforming Selena Gomez | Magic Hour

(classical music) – I absolutely love being a stylist. These, Selena wore them and it sold out. The clothes that you wear
tells people who you are. And with each one of my clients,
what I am thinking about is their body and their
style, and their style is both their taste and my
version of them combined. I think I always was drawn to fashion, I can’t really pinpoint
a time when I wasn’t. My first word was shoe. (laughs) A lot of my memories of childhood are tied to what I was wearing. My great-grandmother
collected a lot of carpets and antiques and crystal, and
it was important to my mom that I know that these
things were precious and that they were special. There is this real
appreciation for beauty and art and adornment, and I was
taught to value that, that that was a pleasure of life. I just took it to an extreme. I grew up in Easton, Pennsylvania. We came to New York all the time. I always dressed myself and
always chose what I wore and I really loved saddle shoes
and I had little shoe polish ’cause I liked to make
the white super white and I’d polish them every day. When I was super little, I
was allowed to read magazines at the libraries. I wasn’t allowed to read
Cosmo ’cause it’s racy but I was allowed to read
Vogue and I loved YM, Sassy was amazing, I loved
Interview when I was little. I think my family was always supportive of my love of fashion,
but I don’t think anybody considered that working in
fashion could be a career. I remember when I was like
16, a friend’s older sister was going to FIT and I came
home and I said to my mom, do you know there are
colleges for fashion? And she like laughed. And that was sort of the
end of the discussion. So then I went to college
and I studied English and Art History. At that point, I was like, I
want to work for a magazine, I knew I wanted to work for a magazine. That was super important to
me, it was sort of in my mind. I tried to live in LA for a
little while but I’m from here. My friends are here, my family is here, and I don’t know how to
do fashion anywhere else. I got an internship running the closet at Lynne Franks and I got to
work at London fashion week. It was like eye-opening, it felt great. I lived in this cool apartment
and we went out all the time and I felt like I had a really good job. I didn’t want to come back. My parents weren’t psyched, I don’t think they were impressed by
the whole situation. Yeah. (jazzy music) I came home for Christmas holiday and Kati Korbiyako was the art
director at Glamour Magazine and she had two boys who were my friends. And I called Kati and
she said, oh Kate Young, I’ve been waiting for you to call me since you were 12 years old. Let’s go to Human Resources. Sarah Slaven was there, she
was like the Human Resources god at Conde Nast. She took me to Paul
Wilmot and Paul took me to Anna’s office. This all happened like. – Yes! Oh my god, I was totally
nervous, I was 20 years old. Flew back to England, quit my
job, moved out of my place, started working as Paul Wilmot’s assistant and Paul Wilmot quit like the
second day I worked there. But I had just met Anna and
Anna’s assistant quit that day so I went back down to Anna’s office, interviewed with her, and
got a job in her office, so it all kind of snowballed very quickly. – Anna Wintour’s office.
– You know, I insist on interviewing all the
assistants because we’re going to invest two or three years
of time and training into these young women, they
have to be promotable women. – I can tell you what I was wearing. I remember I was wearing
Tom Ford Gucci velvet drainpipe trousers and Patrick Cox boots and like a silk shirt, probably
just like what I have on now and then she knew Lynne Franks
so she looked at my resume and was like. But she said something
to me in the interview, she was like, you know,
this is a tedious job, this is a difficult job, working for me, but if you’re good at it,
it’ll be worth your while. – [Man] Anna Wintour! – I had a really hard time
watching Devil Wears Prada because my perception of the
experience was so different. I never felt like I was
being taken advantage of or that I was disrespected in any way. I was like, I’m getting
Anna Wintour coffee. I was so excited that she gave
me a couture dress to clean and I could, I had never
held a couture dress before, I could open it up and look
at it and see the beading. So Vogue was actually the
first place where I felt seen, I felt like, oh, I can talk
about shoes for 15 minutes and you won’t think I’m dumb. I’m going to talk about
shoes with two girls with Ivy League educations
for the next 35 minutes and we’re going to be
really serious about it and it was the first time in
my life that I could do that and feel validated. (somber music) I wake up incredibly early
and it’s often still dark out and no one else is awake. Things are still and quiet and I can think and drink coffee. I just love it. I have ideas all the time
and I’m constantly like, oh, I should do this, I should do this. – Hello!
– Hi! – Good to see you. – I like this one. I really enjoy making
things and finding an outlet for creative inspiration,
but the thing that’s really exciting about optical is
it’s not a season like fashion that just disappears, we
just keep selling them. So the collection is getting broader, we’re not really losing
any of the old styles. Which is really satisfying
as a creative person, it’s really nice to not have
your work just like go away. You know? – No is not an answer. So if she asks you something
and it’s impossible, come up with seven other ways
that you’re going to accomplish something very very very
similar and present them to her. Done. It’s a great way to know how
to work with celebrities. No is a cop-out, there’s
always an alternative. I think the first celebrity
that I styled outside of magazines was Jennifer
Connelly and we really got along and so that continued from there. I think this is the dress
that Margot wore to the Oscars in 2016, and this is the
sketch from Tom Ford. There have been times when
I’ve done an awards season with clients where we have a mood board and we have a plan we’re sticking to. And then there are other
clients who I just kind of know how I want them to look, but
I mean, it has to suit them, they have to feel comfortable in it, it’s not like some thing
I create and push on them. I met Selena because
she was ready to change and she was so open to sort
of anything, it was exciting. – Selena, you’re up!
– And it was like Salron, Dior, and Valentino. Like, let’s raise the bar. This is the dress Selena wore
to the Victoria’s Secret show a few years ago. I had this idea in my mind
that I wanted her to wear a dress that was like a swimsuit and that’s for the mic pack. Do you appreciate that? This is Dakota’s dress from the Met, it came with all the embroidery. I think it’s easy to talk
to movie stars about movies, it’s what they, that’s what
they know, it’s their business and it’s also to talk about
characters through the lens of cinema, and I think
it’s important to have some sort of voice, some sort of identity. It’s these tiny little
gestures and details. Each person or story or
designer needs to have this very clear vision that
is maintained throughout so that it’s recognizable
and that there’s a strong narrative thread for each client. I think that whether you like it or not, your clothes say a lot
about you to other people. (classical music) – Selena!
– Celebrities, when they’re doing press and red carpet, they’re trying to communicate an image that will help to promote
a film, and also promote themselves as business people, as actors, so I want to create an image
that’s as true to their idea of themselves as possible. I do this ’cause I really am
connected to a magical dress on a real woman who is the
woman everybody cares about for something she created that
touched people this season. The woman of the moment
in the most amazing dress walking is exciting to me, on
a really fundamental level. Everything’s so different
from when I first started, magazines were king and
people bought fashion, I don’t know what’s happening anymore. I’m doing the same thing
I’ve been doing for 20 years but people care about it now.


  1. As always, these jobs go to the wealthy. She went to her Vogue job interview straight from internship in Tom Ford pants, I mean – come on, let's not fool anyone;)

  2. does anybody know the classic music that was playing in the background in the beginning of the video? or any recommendations to similar ones?

  3. I have absolute respect for this women, her talent and creativity, and then I wonder why she had to have her shirt buttoned down that low for an interview. I like her for her mind not her boobs, besides mine are bigger, so they arent' really that impressive. Sorry

  4. "No is a cope out. There's always an alternative" Great words. I need at least an hour of this woman. Where's the rest? 🙂

  5. What an inspirational woman. I could watch her talk for hours. I loved it. Thank you The Hollywood Reporter. Much love from France

  6. Wish they would also talk about the cost of all of this, and on a world-wide scale, because what is possible in say LA, is definitely not in some places in Europe.

  7. God bless this video but I can't get over the fact that the titles look like It's Always Sunny episode title cards

  8. Loved this video. Wow, I can only imagine being Anna Wintour's assistant at the age of 20. Very inspiring.

  9. Very talented and hard working woman, but I would love to hear an interview from a successful woman in the fashion industry who didn't come from money and family connections. The fashion industry from the poor and working class perspective is a closed door. To see a different financial class represented in this industry would be extremely refreshing.

  10. Basically it's all about who you know is what I took from this. You can be great at something but it doesn't matter if you don't have the connections.

  11. She makes a really valid point, while getting coffee and running errands you learn a lot about your chosen industry and start earning the respect necessary to progress in your career (as long as your superiors aren't absolute garbage people) Of course the movie is exaggerated but so often now you hear "well how am I supposed to get experience if no one will hire me?" You take the low level assistant/admin/mail-room job and you listen, you learn, and you work your way up. Never under value your worth but don't make the mistake of overvaluing it either.

  12. Kate is a lot of fun …I’ve worked with her in several design houses while she was to style for fashion week . Her quirky personality and eclectic taste make her so much fun to converse with and I can remember how enamoured she would even get by talking about chickens

  13. She’s amazing! One of the best stylists out there! The women she dresses are lucky to have her in their lives! ❤️

  14. I am glad she talks how much she appreciated being there. Because it's the same excitment for the job I had in my beginnings. Getting an assistant or trainee who's really into the field is quite difficult. It's sad to see that so many young people just want to have a selfie-esque job. But REALLY learning and appreciating the chance to BE THERE and watching and learning not so much.

  15. Thank you so much for this video. I want to be a fashion stylist/consultant someday. You truly are an inspiration for letting us know about your story and how you feel about fashion :). Meagon

  16. I love Kate Young! She is such a talented inspirational woman! Keep them coming please! More on Kate Young and more on stylists please.

  17. Okay so… real world translation: A middle/high class, white, woman gets a job through her friends' parents connection at the biggest fashion magazine in the world. Her east coast parents were unpleased by her measly position as a postgrad intern at Lynn Franks in London, so they had her fast passed to Anna Wintour's office at once. Initially she was pretty bummed to be leaving her fun and comfortable job in London (we all know how that is). But, she would soon make history in NYC as an iconic stylist and inspiration to many. Thank you Hollywood Reporter, for showcasing white privilege in the fashion industry. You have made it crystal clear.

  18. This was lovely.
    Listening to her speak about clothes and fashion in general, really made me appreciate fashion more. If you see it as art, or as a feeling you want to convey, or show who you are – I totally understand.
    Maybe you are passionate about home design, or book club, or cooking. Doing those things makes you feel something special that possibly nothing else makes you feel.
    This has really opened my eyes to how I present myself to the world. Maybe I'm not showing the best me, even if Im trying to be the best me inside – I should reflect that more in my appearance, because I know when I look my best, I always feel better.

  19. Wintour’s assistants are overworked and over stressed, she is very relaxed. Something doesn’t add up

  20. her hair is unforgivable is that glue holding it down to her skull? she's ugly and dumb and that way is not a threat to anyone above her

  21. She got the job bcuz that's all she knows. Shoes bags n clothes. She was born into it just like a cobbler born into passion.

  22. So many of y'all talking about connections. It's a mindset. People with no connections succeed and many with connections don't. Stop making excuses. You can do it if you truly want it bad enough.

  23. I totally agree with many of the comments below. I worked as a designer for Calvin Klein and still work in the industry. I end to school on loans and scholarships and was working at a pizza restaurant while freelancing for Calvin Klein simultaneously. White, affluent privilege is annoying.

  24. Great interview. I felt the same way about my experience with AW. I never felt disrespected or looked down upon. I was given an incredible opportunity to please. And I still have that thank you note to prove it.

  25. I still have fond memories of these fashion videos she did for Dillard's a million years ago. The way she talks about clothes is practically ASMR to me.

  26. I think Kate Young comes across as intelligent, extremely talented and passionate about her work. I love her choices. It would also have been good to have seen other celebrities who are not beautiful, tall and young being put into outfits that are game changers for their careers which I think would be more challenging but would show off Kate’s talent even more.

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