Natalie Kates

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Natalie says that style is her Prozac and that nuances speak volumes on an individual’s behalf. The distinction of her giant gold cuff with spikes and gems, a necklace with molded silver lips and hanging agate stones or a YSL three piece smoking suit also gives me the best kind of high – a visual one. Born in Vietnam to a native mother and Irish American soldier, Natalie’s family became part of “The U.S. Exodus” which found them in Small Town, TX at the age of three, in which Walmart was the “highlight.” Natalie says, “You were raised in Texas to believe the world is flat. You are either white, black or Mexican. If you are different, it doesn’t compute.” Being multi-dimensional is who Natalie is, whether in her high school-era hot pink hair and mohawk or Louboutin chiffon sandals in the same hue with sky blue polish.

She sought solace by escaping into MTV’s edgy ’80s heyday and the elite fashion world of CNN’s Elsa Klensch with the Claude Montanas and Jerry Halls of the world, where Natalie discovered that “the world was round.” In addition, Natalie recalls her mother being the spitting image of Cher and having the flair of Carrie Bradshaw before “Sex and the City,” wearing huge silk corsages from Woolworth’s. Hyper aware of her surroundings like a Timothy Leary “trip,” Natalie not only has the vision to covet a monkey fur as much as an H&M sheer sheath, but an ability to perceive pop culture before it catches on. Her drug is her eye, whether it’s curating emerging artists, finding the new face in male modeling for her agencies or hunting down the seminal piece of jewelry found in her travels. As Natalie says regarding style and visual curating, “You can reinvent, you can be anything or anyone.”

If you love Natalie, you may also like Ashley Wick, Drue Kataoka and Alexandria Hilfiger.