Kate Parfet is effortless in that best-friend, summers-at-the-beach, dreamy-dresses kind of way we all secretly wish we were. She’s lived on both coasts and has spent her days as a model, a flea marketer extraordinaire and, at present, is the much talked about marketing mind behind many of the good doings at TOMS shoes. We spent the day treasure hunting at flea markets, uncovering her secrets to impeccable style.
Q-What do you do?
I’m the Ambassador of Sole at TOMS. Early on, corporate titles seemed a bit too formal for the group, but then they just sort of stuck. I still model sometimes, too. Actually, I shot for TOMS the other week.
Q-How did you begin to make the transition from Model to Marketing?
I’ve known Blake, Chief Shoe Giver, since college. It’s pretty wild to think back to a conversation we had at a funny party on Sunset Boulevard years ago. He told me he had just started a small shoe company where, with every pair purchased, he gives a pair to a child in need. At first, I just sort of Iooked at him like, “Okay, this sounds great, but is it sustainable?” No one had ever done anything like that before, but I found myself thinking about it. A lot. I emailed him design inspirations, bugged him about editors I thought he should meet in New York, and before I knew it, I was writing and pitching my job description. In the early days, I used to go to castings in the morning and then help ship boxes of shoes in the afternoon (from Blake’s apartment). Since the company has grown, so has my role. I chartered the Influencer Marketing Department – meaning I built, and continue to build, meaningful relationship with key people in music, entertainment, art, and fashion. A lot of that initial support came from the fashion community I’d worked with as a model.
Q-What’s it about flea markets that gets you so?
I love the whole Sunday ritual of rolling out of bed, grabbing a coffee and heading down to the Flea. I think the Santa Monica Antique Market is my favorite. It’s a haven of vintage clothing, antiques, and all sorts of other odds and ends. I love flea markets because I’ve always had this strong devotion to things forgotten… yet still, at least to me, far from over. I like the idea of picking up where perhaps someone else has left off, adding my little chapter and then someday letting go for someone else. No beginnings and no ends, you know?
Q-What’s your style like? What do you love about dresses?
Nowadays, more and more minimalist. Gimme low-key with a nice bag or a pair of good looking boots. With the exception of some killer “mom jeans,” I almost exclusively wear dresses. A pretty tricky endeavor during New York winters, but California’s embraced my uniform. They’re easy to throw on and you don’t have to worry about changing for an evening out. It’s the best: you look put together even if you’re just lazy.
Q-Where are some of your favorite places?
I’ve only recently started taking advantage LA’s day trip scene: Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, Ojai. We had the best time shooting for Dawn a few weeks ago in Ojai at Christy’s friend’s Amelia and Spoon’s ranch. Old bicycles, beers, chickens, goats, skinny dipping at sunset – it was unreal. You can’t really beat that, especially the blue hour up there. Magic.
Q-What other creative endeavors do you have your toes in?
I started playing around with a Yashica film camera I bought on ebay recently. My friend Alexis and I promised one another we’d start some sort of an exchange from Florence to California – a photo for a story since she’s a brilliant writer, mailing them back and forth to one another.
Q-Where do you find inspiration?
I’m quite drawn to the areas in-between. The negative space. It’s those areas that no one talks about, yet they say it all. I think that translates to my personal style, and recent picture taking, too.
Q-What are you listening to at the moment?
Really into London Grammar right now. That and 90’s staples like Broadcast and Kool Keith. Just can’t quit them. Indulge a little more: http://instagram.com/kateparfet https://www.facebook.com/berryparfet https://twitter.com/KatieParfet http://www.pinterest.com/berryparfet/ http://www.toms.com