Soft Power
Harper's Bazaar Australia|October 2019
Soft Power
Cult New York label Khaite has become the fashion crowd’s go-to for aspirational minimalism. Grace O’Neill speaks to Catherine Holstein, the brand’s founder and best walking advertisement, to see what all the fuss is about.
Grace O’Neill


THE MOST STYLISH women in the world are often those who eschew trends entirely. And there’s a second irony: for all the millions of pieces designed, produced, distributed and advertised every single season, it’s still really difficult to find the good quality, non-trend-driven basics that make those aforementioned women look so stylish. A great T-shirt, a perfectly fitting pair of jeans, an oversized cashmere jumper that hangs just so — these things are all famously elusive, even to those in the know. These two facts go some way to explaining the runaway success of the New York-based label Khaite, which has in three short years become both an A-list sensation and the bread and butter of many a fashion editor’s wardrobe.

“I started this brand because I couldn’t find the things I actually wanted to wear every day,” Catherine Holstein, the brand’s founder and creative director, explains succinctly. This simple premise was a surprisingly hard sell when she launched in 2016. “There was so much ‘We don’t do it that way in this industry’,” Holstein recalls. “I was told it would be impossible to have a serious denim collection sit with the runway collection — that they had to be separate — but I simply kept asking, ‘Why? That’s how I dress. Why do I need to get jeans from another brand? Why do I need to go somewhere else for the shoes I want, or the handbag? Why can’t they all live together as they do in my own home?’”


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October 2019