A.I: Gives us a quick run down of: who you are, where you're from (originally), what you do, and why you chose this form of creativity.
Kate: Well, my name is Kate Whatley, and I spent the earlier years of my childhood moving around the Middle East, so originally I'm from a lot places you can say. I grew up with an artist for a mother, and with each move into a new house there would always be a studio room or gallery space of some sort. Although I've always been in love with art, I ultimately chose fashion design as my main creative outlet. Designing excites me in a whole new way; it's a very dynamic and ever-changing medium, but for me, it's still just another form of art. After I graduated high school in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. I moved to New York City to study at FIT and pursue a career in Fashion Design.
A.I: So why is fashion, and particularly designing intimate apparel so important to you?
Kate: Fashion, and especially intimate apparel, is an amazing tool for women to use to empower themselves. It's also a major form of self-expression, because what you put on in the morning can and most likely will set the tone for the rest of your day. It's no secret that most women feel a boost of confidence with a beautiful set of intimates under their clothes, whether it be their work suit or jeans and a t-shirt.
A.I: So you're here in NYC, was this the goal from day one?
Kate: Its hard to say, because it was only once I realized that fashion design was certainly the direction for me, that New York City became the next inclination and next step. I've always been fascinated by NYC and now that I am actually living here, I can't see myself anywhere else at this stage in my life.
A.I: You've been to so many places throughout the world, how has this shaped your current perspective on life?
Kate: Through my travels and life experiences I’ve learned that the world isn’t as intimidating as it may seem. I grew to love moving around, as it allowed me to meet and befriend so many amazing people of different nationalities. I feel that it also gave me the opportunity to become a global citizen and see the world through different eyes. I would say that I identify most particularly with Middle Eastern culture, after spending so much time immersed in it. Now, as a designer, I am most inspired by the various cultures and traditions I have experienced, as well as the physical beauty of the world. Throughout my design process I find myself constantly drawing from the unique experiences I have been exposed to.
A.I: Anything else you care to share?
Kate: Yes! I also have a line of comfortable, (and affordable) unisex shorts that I have been developing since senior year in High School. They are available on Etsy and at the FIT style shop!