Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Industry Icon of the Week: Kate Lanphear

“Lanphearites” are the cult following of Kate Lanphear.  These people see Kate as a fashion God, and she certainly seems to fit that description.  She is constantly a front row fixture at the hottest fashion shows across the globe.  Lanphear's signature platinum blonde locks, her punky, chic, and androgynous style has made her a regular on online blog sites such as The Sartorialist and Jak & Jil, she even has Tumblr and blog sites devoted to her.

(From top left, clockwise: off-glass.com, redcarpet-fashionawards.com, anananasamiami.com, redcarpet-fashionawards.com, off-glass.com, redcarpet-fashionawards.com)

Kate grew up in a conservative Irish Catholic family in rural Virginia.  She was inspired by her aunt and Godmother, who were always so meticulously putting together their outfits.  She just could not tear her eyes away from this attention to fashion and she soon followed suit.  Kate decided to go to college for journalism, but quickly discovered it was harder than she thought getting into the fashion industry.  She turned to London as her new place to find her fashion calling.  She lived in a hostel with seven guys, and soon followed one of them to Sydney.  In Australia, Kate bartended, picking up any fashion jobs that came along.  Finally, she landed a job at Australian Vogue, and then went onto Australian Harper’s Bazaar, where she gained an immense amount of knowledge.  From her experiences with the Australian fashion magazines, she says:

"The staff were so small that if you put your hand up you were allowed to do anything…I had no experience, but before I knew it, I was styling the cover with amazing people.  You’re allowed to execute your own ideas, because it’s so small.  It’s really like Fashion Editor 101.  I became really well versed in budgets and how to do production because you’re doing everything yourself."

(From top-left, clockwise: ananasamiami.comtalkshoes.comananasamiami.commonoxious.comflare.comananasamiami.com
Middle photo:ananasamiami.com)

When she returned to the States, she had a bounty of knowledge and experience under her belt.  However, she found it difficult to find a job in the US because they were particularly descriptive with each job description, and Lanphear had a broad range of qualifications. She soon secured a job at Harper’s Bazaar, moving onto a position as senior fashion editor at Elle.  She is currently the style director for Elle magazine, a position that she has held since 2008.  She is also a huge supporter of her designer friends, including the jewellery designer Eddie Borgo, whom she was part of his Fall/Winter 2010 ad campaign.

By: Adam Keller

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