As one of fashion's most prolific and influential stylists, collaborators and editors, Katie Grand has gotten some of the recognition she deserves in a new Wall Street Journal profile, in which she is said to be at the top of the fashion pyramid. It's true. Her ability to take risks and make something look fresh, while knowing what will have mass appeal, has made brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Topshop and many others, what they are today. She's also the editor-in-chief of LOVE, which launched in 2009 and has quickly become one of our own fashion bibles.
Katie's at the top of her game and doesn't do anything she doesn't want to (and gets paid pretty well despite that). From how much money she makes to celebrities who were mean to her, click through for six of the most interesting new things we learned about this fashion visionary.
In models, Katie prefers "fearless" over "dewy." On putting Kristen McMenamy in the latest issue of LOVE:
At 46, McMenamy is no longer dewy, but she's got something Grand values more. "She's fearless," she says. McMenamy constantly exasperated the on-set safety supervisors by refusing to come up for air until Grand got the shot she wanted.
"I like women who look like they wanted to do what they were asked, not women who worry that they're going to get thrown off the set if they don't," she says.
Katie has a lot to do with why Topshop is selling a lot of hotpants right now:
"I think Topshop is selling thousands of hot pants because Marc [Jacobs] and I put Kate Moss in a pair with a posh jacket smoking a cigarette on the catwalk for the last Vuitton show," Grand says. "That shows up in newspapers around the world, and then some girl, if she's got decent legs, says, 'Oh yeah, I could wear a nice jacket and a pair of hot pants.' But I wouldn't say any of these people know who I am."
Katie's first issue of LOVE was the fastest-selling debut issue ever for Condé Nast U.K.
Love turned a profit in its first year; the first issue was the fastest-selling debut issue ever for Condé Nast U.K.
That Grand is a risk taker is a given; that Condé Nast bankrolls these risks is surprising in today's publishing climate. But it demonstrates just how much faith they have in her vision. The fall 2011 issue weighed in at an impressive 432 pages.
She makes around $6,000 per day (and spends a lot of that on clothes).
Her voracious shopping habit is funded by the high fees she can command. It was the late Isabella Blow who dubbed her Katie Grand-a-minute, and the moniker stuck. She currently pulls in around $6,000 a day for the work she does for the major fashion labels. She could make more money, but it would mean doing the kind of work that interests her less and less.
She wanted to be the editor of Vogue
Grand grew up in Birmingham, England, and was raised by her father after her mother walked out. He was a cancer researcher who also adored fashion—the second bedroom where she kept all her extra clothes is now where he keeps all his extra clothes. He fed his daughter the magazines that captivated her as a 13-year-old. Like any fashion-bedazzled adolescent, she wanted to be editor of Vogue. She wrote to the late Liz Tilberis, the editor of Harper's Bazaar, for advice. Tilberis told her to enroll at Central St. Martins College to study fashion. A year later she had dropped out.
Victoria Beckham was mean to her on a shoot and she no longer really works with celebrities.
Dazed & Confused developed a cult following, and Rankin got famous shooting portraits of pop stars. Grand ended up styling many of them. "Kylie Minogue saw me through about half that time," Grand says, "but I realized I never wanted to be a music stylist. My ego was always too big for me to keep my mouth shut. Victoria Beckham was vile to me!" She was beginning to cultivate her singular style of doing what she wanted, which doesn't usually work with celebrity clients.