Dressing Up with Kate Young and Target

It always strikes me how many roads seem to cross here in New York City. A few weeks ago, I met Kate Young at 9SPR‘s press preview; I didn’t know who she was or what she did for a living, but we spent a while chatting about our children and parenthood and I really enjoyed talking to her. She seemed very real-a rare trait and one that I recognize and sincerely appreciate in a person. Weeks later, I found myself in a studio on the Hudson to not only interview her, but also take some photos in her new collection for Target and when I saw her face it immediately clicked. Kate Young is the uber stylist behind the likes of Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams and consults for various labels and often styles runway shows for designers such as Jason Wu, Derek Lam and Nina Ricci amongst others.

Kate’s new collection is “inspired by the promise of nighttime, champagne, diamonds and the midnight sky-that feeling of getting dressed for a special occasion.” “I’m not a super girly-girl” she says, “but I really love the magic of the night and the idea that it can be so fun and so special. I wanted to bring some of that red carpet glamour and magic at a price point that everyone can afford.”

My personal look was inspired by a night out with the girls. My hair and makeup was perfected by the professionals on set before the photos were taken-it felt like the ultimate star treatment.


I wore Kate Young for Target’s Look #11: the Drop Waist Dress in Black paired with the Wide Epoxy Star Bracelet in Jet, and the Neema Pumps in Black. They were all surprisingly comfortable and versatile-I would wear the shoes with some jeans and a blazer for a daytime look.

Drumroll… I’ve been waiting for weeks to see the professional shots taken by the Target team and they’re finally here!


Pretty incredible what they do and how well they do it. I really enjoyed the glamorous aspect of this experience, but my conversation with Kate was the best part of the day. I came prepared with a few questions, but had to pare a 45 minute conversation down to a few lines for this article-no easy feat.

How would you define your personal style? KY: I dress in a pretty minimal way. It’s kind of embarrassing to say, but when I was an assistant at Vogue we did this story called Edgy Classics, and I’ve always felt that’s sort of how I dress. Really iconic, simple things; I like denim, I like leather, I like cashmere-I wear basic things but I like them to have a twist. I like smart design-y versions of classic pieces.

What was your inspiration for the Target line? KY: The Target line was inspired by all of my work and my clients and working to make evening dresses for award shows. I started thinking about doing an evening wear line last year during awards season while I was dressing Natalie Portman and Michelle Williams –I loved the process of finding the accessories and working with designers to make the dresses and I didn’t want it to end. So I started working on this book of inspiration ideas because I was hoping that somehow I would be able to make an evening line based on it.

How has being a mother influenced your style, and has it altered your perspective at all? KY:I don’t think that being a mother has influenced my style much, I really hope it hasn’t. I really try to stay who I was before at work and try to keep myself MYSELF-not that I love my kids any less, I just think it’s important that you get your hair dyed and put on some makeup sometimes and still feel beautiful despite getting less sleep and having less time to think. I’m more ambitious in a way that I used to be to work {since having kids}, if I’m leaving my kids to work, I want to do the best work possible…I want to make them proud. I want to be really good at it. I try to be super focused and do my best work, because I don’t want to leave them and do stuff that doesn’t matter.

How do you balance it all? KY: My husband is super involved and he’s really great with the kids, and both of our moms live within an hour and a half away. My parents come and stay every Thursday night so we can both work late and go out to dinner and the kids are with their grandparents. It also makes it easy, like during awards season when I travel on weekends, the kids just go to their grandparents house. We have a great nanny too. I try to take them to swimming lessons and mommy-and-me classes, so I just schedule my day around it-those are priorities. Dinner at 6:30 is a priority. I go home I give them dinner and I put them to sleep. If I need to go out for business, I go out after that. Once you have your have your kids, you’re never going to live up to our expectations again. Just throw them out. You’re never going to be perfect again, just try your best. Your house is never going to look like Elle décor again. Something on you will always be a mess; Either your nails or there’s barf on your shoulder. When they were little it was a little different, like when they were nursing my mom came everywhere because she is a retired nurse. Both kids have been everywhere-they’ve been to Europe and LA 100 times, they’ve been all over because my mom would just come with me. I’m really close with my mom-I’m really lucky. I don’t think everyone has two grandparents and a nanny and a husband who is totally competent.

What has been your favorite part of doing the Target collection? KY: It’s crazy because it keeps evolving. First we did the design stuff, then we did the final sampling, and then the ad campaign and now I’m getting to see it on real people. I’m starting to plan the party, which is really fun-the people are incredible! It is an amazing company. They are all so good at what they do, and they’re all so positive. I have yet to meet someone that works for Target that isn’t happy. Everything that I’m doing is sort of currently my favorite. Seeing it become real is amazing.

Kate Young’s collection for Target launched this morning, April 14th and features items ranging in price from $29.99 to $89.99 for apparel and $14.99 to $49.99 for jewelry, handbags and shoes. Her pieces are just how she described: Edgy, pretty, cool, yet fancy and also versatile. I personally love her collection and will be heading over to grab the items I was wearing at the very least!

I had a blast spending the day getting glammed up, but my favorite part of the day was talking with Kate about her collection and her life. I was incredibly inspired by her; She is super successful and driven, yet is very clear about her family being her priority and manages to “do it all”.

I was participated in this event as a part of my affiliation with Target’s Inner Circle. I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own.

Join the Conversation


  • Love, love, love. Also NEED to know about the nylons!

  • You look AMAZING! I went to the launch party last week – I felt the same way when I met Kate. She just seems so “normal” – whatever that is! LOL. Very sweet.

  • Beautiful pictures of you! Looks like so much fun.

  • Oh my gosh Jessica, you look amazing! It must have been really fun. Thanks for this interview, it´s wonderful to read about the mummy side of this talented lady!

  • I got two full length dresses from the collection which I love. I just need more occasions to wear them!

  • You look amazing as always!!

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