Kate Goldwater

Posted 11.02.2010 by Semir

interview

Photo by Ann Sanfedele

IS a fashion designer and shop owner
DOES eco-friendly and socially conscious clothing
LIVES in the East Village of New York City
LIKES Obama and the environment (in this order)

Kate is the owner of a small but growing business in New York’s East Village. After graduation from NYU she opened AuH2O, her very own clothing store and enjoys its growing success. She is part of an increasing number of designers with a focus on eco-friendliness and social awareness. Read on for some insights into the New York fashion scene.

What do you like about fashion and how would you describe your own style?

Kate: I think fashion is the best form of self expression. Before I even open up my mouth people can see from my appearance that I’m unique, I’m creative, I care about the environment, or I support Obama, or that I’m Pro-Choice. In general, fashion just makes life more fun. It’s something to look at – people’s outfits are walking works of art – constant stimulation.

What inspired you to work in this area?

Kate: I’ve always been making my own clothing and jewelry, but I used to think it was just a hobby. Once I moved to New York for college, people would stop me on the street and ask where I got my clothes, and I realized that this was something I could do as a career.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Kate: The best advice I’ve ever gotten is to make connections everywhere you go. Talk to anybody, anywhere, even the person you’re standing in line behind at the deli – tell them what you do, hand out your card, exchange emails. You never know who will be a potential customer/press contact/model/intern/consignor/supplier/etc..

What’s a typical working day for you like?

Kate: Well, running my own business and store keeps me very busy, and it’s rare to have a routine or normal work day. One day I’m at the shop assisting customers, cutting and sewing new creations and meeting with consignors, another day I’m out shopping for vintage pieces to resell or rework into new clothes, stocking up on antique buttons and trim to use as embellishments, and sometimes I work from home and catch up on email, plan fashion shows or coordinate craft fairs, work on my blog or online store, and respond to press inquiries. It’s a good variety – I’m certainly never bored!

What is your favorite piece that you designed by yourself or offer in your shop?

Kate: Hm, that’s tough because every time I make a piece I really, really like, I keep it for myself, wear it once then wash it and sell it! But if I had to choose an all-time favorite, I’d say the dress I made for my store opening fashion show back in October 2006. Not only was the dress beautiful, but I wore it on one of the best days of my life – celebrating the opening of my shop! I put it out on the rack for $250, which is about five times more expensive than an other dress in my shop, but I didn’t want it to sell unless it was for that price. I mentioned that in front of my investor, and then he bought it for me! So, that’s the one dress I’ve made in three years that I actually still own.

Please describe the NY fashion scene in one sentence.

I think the best way to describe the NY fashion scene is to say that people over-accessorize – in a good way. Women aren’t just wearing a dress with cute shoes, they’re wearing a dress and a belt with cute shoes, a scarf, multiple necklaces, earrings, a bag and sunglasses. An outfit here is the true definition of the word.

Find her store on 84 E 7th St (btw. 1st and 2nd Ave) in Manhattan, or online on Etsy.com.

Photo: Ann Sanfedele

TAGS new york, shop, Eco-Friendly, East Village, Clothing, Fashion, Accessories, NY, Obama, Vintage, Store

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