Q&A with Kathleen Cheevers:
Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you ended up in NYC.
I moved to NYC from Kansas City almost two years ago to pursue a career in fashion. My husband and I decided to move here after I was offered a design internship at WHIT. We knew we wanted to leave the mid-west for a while and when the opportunity presented itself we jumped!
What has been career path?
When I went to college the first time around I didn’t really know what I wanted to do or study. I ended up with a BA in Communications and no idea what I was going to do with it. I worked as an executive assistant for several years in Kansas City and quickly realized that the role wasn’t going to hold my attention for much longer. Around this time I had hosted a bachelorette party for a friend and decided to make her a fun (and very simple) outfit to wear out for the night. I enjoyed making it and started thinking back to all the design/business ideas I’d had over the years for bags, shoes and clothes. A few months later I had enrolled myself in a 2-year design program and quit my job.
How did you learn to do what you do as a fashion designer?
Going back to school started the learning process for me but it was the year of intern/freelance work I did after I finished my program that made the biggest impact. One of the things I love about design is seeing the evolution of a collection from the initial stages of concept development/inspiration to the finished product and I was lucky to apprentice with designers who exposed me to so many parts of this process.
How would you describe your personal style?
My style…I’m pretty laid back in terms of my personal style. I’d say I’m a bit tom-boyish at times. I love clean, minimal, basic shapes that are easy to wear and comfortable but also chic.
What do you love about the work you do?
To me, the most important thing about fashion is how it makes you feel. I love how fashion can really empower people to feel sexy, confident, playful, smart, strong, beautiful…the list can go on. Even if you are at home in your favorite t-shirt, it makes you feel good!
Where do you get inspiration?
People! I love people watching and NYC is the best for it. It’s inspiring to watch how people express themselves with what they wear.
But inspiration can really come from anything. It can come from the past or present. It can start with just a color or shape. It can come from nature or art. Just anything that makes your look or think twice.
Any interesting stories about the work you’ve done or an experience you’ve had?
I’ve had all kinds of crazy and fun experiences in the garment district in NYC but definitely one of the coolest was seeing Anna Wintour in the flesh! She looked just as amazing as I’d always imagined she would… the hair, the glasses, the dress…it was all perfection.
Any advice for someone interested in following in your path?
Buckle up! It’s not always easy. And it’s definitely not as glamorous as most would assume. As with any creative industry, it’s a melting pot of passionate personalities so there’s never a dull moment!
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Ha, well the most frequently given piece of advice I hear in this industry is “You’ve gotta fake it till you make it” but my favorite recently received piece of advice is “Don’t take yourself too seriously”.