Sunday, 29 April 2012


Born on August 6th 1992, Missouri native Katie Fogarty signed with NEXT Management at the age of 16. Having joined the blockbuster agency, Fogarty made her catwalk debut that September with appearances for Jill Stuart, Kenzo, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Ohne Titel, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti and Prada.

The Prada show proved to be memorable, with Fogarty tripping up on the runway. The show, featuring the now-notorious 6” snakeskin heels, saw not only Fogarty struggle but several other models as well. Fogarty was helped to her feet by those in the front row, but after another trip, Katie had no choice but to remove the shoes and walk the rest of the circuit barefoot. It was a brave move for a new model and the footage created headlines across the world. Far from being a disaster for Katie, the moment scored her extra press attention, with both and featuring her as a top newcomer of the season.

Fogarty’s moment in the spotlight quickly translated into big-money campaigns with Balenciaga and Prada’s sister label, Miu Miu. The latter saw Katie model the Italian label’s beautiful pleated dresses – a trend that continues to have fashion momentum today. 

Appearing in editorials for Wonderland and Dazed & Confused, Katie’s next runway season grew to 44 shows including Brian Reyes, Chloe, Christopher Kane, Herve Leger, Jason Wu, Karl Lagerfeld, Missoni, Peter Jensen, Rebecca Taylor, Richard Nicoll and Valentino. As well as getting that all-important kudos from some of the biggest names in the business, Katie was a hit with fashion’s young talent, with Kane, Nicoll and Jensen all vying for her time.

Her successful season saw Fogarty lauded as a rising star by and move into major editorial territory with appearances in V and Japanese Vogue. Katie made her couture debut in July, walking for Valentino. Her delicate features acted as the perfect complement to Valentino’s finely-spun take on femininity.

Katie landed another huge campaign in the autumn, this time for D&G. Photographed by Mario Testino, this was classic territory for Dolce & Gabbana’s diffusion label. Fun, exuberantly-styled clothes modelled against an opulent, stately home backdrop. With the off-setting of ‘old’ style language (headscarves, quilted jackets) on young models, D&G anticipated the trend for vintage-feel clothes several years before it became the norm. 

Katie’s stock rose even further in September with a massive 64-show season including the closing spot for the Roberto Cavalli show. Modelling for Chanel, DKNY, Erdem, Jonathan Saunders, Nina Ricci, Peter Pilotto and Thakoon, Katie was featured in some of the biggest collections of the season. Getting recognition from the American fashion press, Fogarty landed her first editorial for W in January 2010. Photographed by Craig McDean, ‘Run of Show’ included Elsa Sylvan, Frida Gustavsson and Hanne Gaby Odiele in a massive shoot featuring the season-defining looks from the best shows.

Now a runway regular, Katie appeared in the Autumn 2010 shows in February, in a smaller 33-show season. It was smaller for Katie, but of course, in the big picture, it was still a substantial total. Walking for Dolce & Gabbana, Giambattista Valli and Sonia Rykiel, it was a more niche season than the one before, with lots of newer designers in the mix including Prabal Gurung and Olsen sisters’ passion project, The Row.
Katie’s ability to take on the biggest campaigns continued in Autumn 2010, with an appearance in the Sonia Rykiel campaign with Anna de Rijk. Rykiel, a stalwart of the French fashion scene, shows the flip side of groomed Parisian chic. Rykiel takes her lead from the seamier aspects of Paris: it is not too big a leap to imagine the Sonia Rykiel woman in the Montmartre of Renoir, Van Gogh and Picasso. The feel of the brand is left-wing, artistic and free-wheeling, with a thread of naughtiness running through it. Katie and Anna get the tone of the campaign absolutely right with Rykiel sticking closely to her brand’s core values, proving that a successful campaign doesn’t necessarily need bells and whistles to grab our attention. 

In September, Katie returned to the runway with another massive RTW season including appearances for Balenciaga, Giorgio Armani, Peter Som and Reed Krakoff. Included in her list of new credits was a coveted spot in the runway line-up for designer Mary Katrantzou. This collection saw Mary go from hotly-tipped newcomer to fashion’s grande amour. Just three years ago, Mary was operating on the sidelines of high-fashion, but her fearless exploration of print has made Katrantzou a star. Her success is incredibly well-timed, as we’re all getting a little braver with our fashion choices, Mary’s way of seeing the world – a kaleidoscopic, joyful collision of pattern and colour – is not only deemed beautiful, but downright covetable.

Katie continued her association with fashion’s biggest names in early 2011 with a campaign for Barney’s department store. With stores dotted across the USA, the store has become a go-to destination for fashion’s brightest and boldest designs. The campaign follows suit, photographed by Juergen Teller, Nan Goldin and William Klein. Doing everything on a grand scale, Katie joined a slew of top models including Ming Xi, Mirte Maas, Karlie Kloss and Anja Rubik. Staged to look like a series of candid shots taken backstage at a runway show, the campaign makes itself the connecting link between runway and customer.
Following a challenging editorial for Chinese Harper’s Bazaar in February, Katie added beauty to her CV with a shoot in the March edition of Allure. ‘Spring Fling’, photographed by Greg Kadel, also features Ariel Meredith, Hannah Holman and Kate Spade’s newest campaign star, Anna Speckhart. Katie had already mastered fashion, but beauty can test even the most seasoned of runway girls. In this shoot, Katie looks cool, calm and totally on-game.

In September, Katie’s career went long haul with a trip to Australia. Working for Australian Vogue, she appeared in a major editorial plus the cover. The spread, ‘Night Watch’ saw Katie model sleekly gothic eveningwear. Each Vogue has its own personality, and Australia has a penchant for classic glamour. It might be surprising, coming from the country that as defined beach chic, but a lot of Aussie success stories are all in the field of glamour: Alex Perry, Colette Dinnigan, Alice McCall and Rachel Gilbert. Just like her long-standing association with Valentino, Katie is perfect for designers who deal in high-octane glamour. It’s a deceptively hard area to master: high-end modelling requires a subtlety that often takes years to get right. Glamour at this level is all about aspiration and creating that from scratch is no mean feat. Modelling glamour with a light touch to keep it sophisticated is a balancing act that requires confidence, poise and precision. 

Katie returned again to Australian Vogue in December with another editorial. ‘L’Afrique, c’est chic’ was an epic, multi-page shoot, featuring the tribal trend. Teeming with Aztec prints and vibrant colours, the shoot anticipates the surprise hit of the season. Shaking off its gap-year associations, tribal fashion has at last scored with consumers by playing up its adaptability: worn diluted (D&G, Stella McCartney) or in a more literal way (Kenzo), tribal fashion can be worn in endless translations. 

Its versatility makes tribal a core modern trend. The many ways it can be worn (even just an accessory can transform a neutral outfit) makes tribal a very contemporary way of exploring a trend. Its complex prints and colour palette put many off trying it for years, but its dilution on the high-street worked wonders, with consumers at last seeing its true potential. Tribal could well lead the way in how we digest fashion in the future: a trend that contracts or expands to suit us, but loses none of its impact however it’s worn, is nothing short of revolutionary. As we get choosier about where our fashion spend goes, a trend that offers serious mileage in terms of cost-per-wear is going to get our attention. Tribal may have started off as a micro trend, but its impact has been phenomenal. In making adaptability the focus of our fashion desires, thinking small could soon become the next big thing.

As Katie enters the next phase of her career, her ability to sell difficult trends puts her ahead of the pack. As fashion exits its ‘safe’ era and heads into new territories, boldly exploring print, colour and shape, the demand for models who can take the fear out of these designs will sky-rocket. Katie not only makes classic, familiar shapes look good, but can also work newer silhouettes in such a way that we feel we know them. Fashion that feels (and looks) like a friend is key to getting consumers to spend, when disposable income is at a low. The big surprise of the recession has been that fashion consumers don’t only want comfort, they want innovation. Individual pieces and limited editions have soared in popularity with new designers doing particularly well. The fact that we are buying these designs is empowering the fashion industry to create fashion that is bigger, better, stronger. Challenging the limits of what we wear, the future of fashion’s creative edge has never looked so good. 


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