Kate Schelter’s Gramercy Park apartment is cozy, warm and delighfully charming. Watercolor paintings, delicate drawings, mood boards, photos and calligraphy place cards are artfully strewn across the walls. Memories and souvenirs are very important to Kate, so she makes sure they are a constant visual reminder, from the moment the first sunbeam wakes her up. But she’ll soon have to give her up her apartment of 8 years. No, this is not some disastrous New York lease-end story. It’s a very happy move: she is engaged to be married this summer! “Chris and I both have too much stuff to combine in one of our apartments. I don’t know where we will live but I know that it will be nice, where ever we end up,” she says with confidence.
Kate Schelter was the original, pre-Ton, pre-Sart street style photographer for Vogue. At a time when fashion blogging and internet traffic was at its lowest, Kate was everywhere, backstage at fashion shows, mingling at cocktail parties, and on the street, her camera always close and her eyes peeled for a streak of fashion-forward style. What was so special about Kate though, was that whenever I saw her, I’d wish someone would turn the camera on her. With her signature black Chanel bag, red lipstick, enfatuating giggle and often wearing something short and sweet to show off her killer legs, she usually shined as bright and mighty as the starlets and socialites she was photographing. When she finally left her freelance position at Vogue to pursue a career in fashion consulting, it didn’t take long before her colorful, feminine style took the spotlight and became a staple all on its own.
When she’s not working, or walking her dog, or preparing her wedding, Kate goes vintage shopping. She’s a pro, with a handful of tricks in her pocket. “I don’t think I’ve ever bid on anything on Ebay that’s over $50.” She goes to flea markets and no-name stores outside of the city to get the best deals. She reads the classifieds to find out about Estate Sales in Cape Cod or Los Angeles. “I get in line at 5 AM before all the dealers arrive!” A few weeks before our shoot, she had just sold about 30 pieces to a large vintage archive. “It was mostly Yves Saint Laurent. I just can’t store it all and sometimes I want the pieces to go to “good homes” if I’m not wearing them. Vintage is like boomerang karma: what goes out, must come back.”