This is a special one – I went to visit Katie on 7th September when I was in New York City, to do this feature! Katie is my pal Ryddy’s ex-classmate from King’s College London (where they did their MA). Since they last met, Katie has lost a considerable amount of weight for health reasons but she did admit that she’ll “never be a toothpick” and at her current size, is probably the happiest she’s been. We go by the fashion industry’s misguided standards of anyone above a size 12 being PLUS SIZED and I’ve been happy flipping the metaphorical bird with my features of sassy, confident and stylish women who lead interesting, non-average lives. And I am proud to have Miss Katie Ichtertz (or kay-tee-aye as she’s more commonly known) in this month’s NYAW.
Katie, a California native, is all of 25 years old. While she currently shares a cool apartment with 3 other flatmates in Downtown Brooklyn, she’s also lived in Spain and England. Her adventures started in 2008 when she graduated from the University of California to a lacklustre job market. She took the plunge and decided that the 1-year programme offered by KCL was going to be her next move.
For the last 3 years since finishing grad school, Katie has been living out of a suitcase. For work she has been jet-setting and living in different parts of the US – half a year at the Lincoln Center in New York, then the other half at the Sundance Film Festival (in Park City, Utah). How exciting is that? If anything, this girl is really dipping her fingers in every pie! Right now though, she’s decided that her base would be New York City and she’s also embarked on something else that has come her way – touring the country with the production “Man in a Case”, a play with stories adapted from Anton Chekov featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov! In case you’re wondering, he’s a famous Russian ballet dancer who’s also been in Sex & the City (wooing Carrie Bradshaw, no less).
And with Carrie Bradshaw, I’d now like segue to Katie’s style philosophy:
- What is your dress/shoe size? I am a US dress size 14 with a size 10 shoe.
- Describe Your Style Regal rocker. I love denim, studs and skulls, gems and jewels, wraps and classy frocks. I’m a huge fan of taking staple pieces like a color-blocked dress or a seemingly simple pencil skirt with blouse and glamming them up with fun statement accessories.
- What do you normally wear to work or a work event/meeting? In the office, I usually wear black jeans with a blazer or a fun colorful blouse. I work long hours so I need to be comfortable but I also want to show off my personality and creativity. For events (of which there are many) I love to get dressed up to the nines. I plan a lot of parties and attend a lot of performances/screenings, so my favorite part is choosing what to wear (I’ve even calendered my outfits for festivals in my Outlook schedule!).
- Where and how do you shop? I have to be pretty strategic about my shopping since I live out of suitcases for much of the year. Each piece I buy has to count: it has to be timeless, comfortable and capable of being dressed up or dressed down. The benefit to being so calculating is that I only buy pieces that I absolutely love. You know when you’re in a dressing room of a shop and you think “I have to have this”… that’s my cue to buy. If it doesn’t scream to be taken home, I have to leave it behind. In the States, I most often shop at larger anchor stores like Macy’s, JC Penney’s, Target, etc. In London, I love Monsoon, Accessorize, and Dorothy P. In Spain, C&A is a trusty go-to… the sizing is too small and short (I’m 5′ 9”) everywhere else!
- What are your favourite things to buy? JEWELRY! I go bonkers for fun earrings and necklaces. I spend more money on jewelry from Etsy, Modcloth and eBay than I do on clothing or shoes combined.
- What are your favourite brands or shops? My favorite NYC shops for clothing are probably Fox’s and Century 21, both in the Upper West Side. I love finding unique and quirky jewelry on Etsy or at any of the awesome flea markets and craft fairs that pop up in Brooklyn (I love to support DIYers whenever I can!). For sneakers and sunglasses, I’m loyal to Converse and Ray-ban.
- How do you dress on your blah-days? When I’m having one of those days, I put on a tried and true outfit, something that I know I look and feel great in and then I really doll myself up with makeup and baubles. Blah-days are when you most deserve to take some time to primp and pamper yourself.
- When you were 12, what did you imagine your life would be like at your current age? When I was 12, I was absolutely convinced I would be married with children by 25. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would travel to and live in the places that I have. How lucky I am to have been so wrong. I hope for a family in the future, but right now I am very much in love with my gypsy life and my blossoming career.
From being a UC Davis graduate in Spanish and International Relations to earning her MA in Cultural and Creative Industries from King’s College London to leading such an exciting, jet-setting life – this girl has energy, imagination and lots of guts! Go and be inspired by Kickass Katie!