“Besides love, I believe creativity is the greatest force in nature.” – Kathy Fielder
There is no shortage of lifestyle experts in today’s media-rich world, but few boast the innate talent, business acumen, and broad skill set of Kathy Fielder. Since launching her first design firm in 1998, this Texas native’s brand has expanded in both style and substance. Today, her KF Design | Life | Style umbrella encompasses interior design, a very special bespoke bedding collection, and multiple product lines, all made in the USA, in high demand from the likes of Neiman Marcus, Horchow, One Kings Lane, and Rue La La.
As her brands boomed, Fielder herself earned multiple awards and launched a beautiful e-commerce site and blog, as well as a brick-and-mortar storefront, ibC Design Studio. Not to mention, Hollywood often comes calling to commission Fielder’s unique creative touch. And through it all, this designing woman’s family, including hubby Jeromy, daughter Isabella, and son Harrison, maintains the dearest place in her heart.
Earlier this week, DFW Style Daily was proud to sit down with this true-blue, talented Texan for an exclusive interview. Read on for Kathy Fielder’s expert insights on trends versus perennial style, her Hollywood ties, new fashion focus, and much more.
DFW Style Daily: Let’s start from the beginning. When did you realize that design was your calling? What aspects of this industry speak to you, from a creative point of view?
Kathy Fielder: “I worked for an Interior Designer when I was dancing with a ballet company in college at The University of North Texas. I was so intrigued by what she was doing, that I knew that it was the direction that I wanted to go in my own career. I started my own company a year and a half later, which ultimately grew into seven companies!
“Today, I am so much more than a designer. I am a manufacturer, a retailer, a blogger, and a lifestyle and design expert. However, all of my companies do point back to design. What I love about design is the ability to create something new and exciting and to do it a little differently than anyone else is doing it.
“‘Design’ has become an overused word. Good design is always well thought out, completely put together, and is unassuming. If done well, you don’t consciously think about the design of a product or space, you just appreciate its value and brilliance. In other words, it simply makes life easier and better.”
We love the attention to trend in your designs. Tell us about a few of your favorite trends in the décor sector for the upcoming season.
“Some of the top trends that I am seeing right now for fall and spring are luscious textures, great details, and fine tailoring. I find that the colors are a little more saturated in the upcoming season, but I have to say I will always be in love with a room of well-done neutrals and textures. That said, I don’t watch trends too much; I like to try to come up with something original, classic, and timeless. I believe that if you take the time to know yourself and stay true to what you like, it will always look good.”
Where do you find inspiration?
“I find inspiration everywhere, and in many unexpected places. I find that home really does follow fashion. If you watch what hits the runways, you will see it come alive in home décor soon thereafter.
“I am also inspired by being a great example to my children. My hope is that I have inspired something of a dreamer and creator in each of them. Besides love, I believe creativity is the greatest force in nature. I hope, as well, to one day be able to do more to help people less fortunate to enjoy some of the things that most of us take for granted. Once I accomplish this, then I will feel as if I am truly on trend.”
Which design elements do you believe are perennial? To your point above, describe what makes an item truly timeless.
“Vintage textiles will always stand the test of time, and they can be repurposed into gorgeous new accessories for your home. The bolster pillow on my bed is actually made from an embroidered table runner from my great, great-grandmother. It is one of my favorite pieces. I love finding vintage pieces and remaking them into something current and beautiful, as well as designing things ‘from scratch’ that are new and exciting.
“Within the KF brand, we have pieces that are timeless and are handmade here in America. These are bespoke items that are made to stand the test of time, and our hope is that they will be passed down through generations.”
The inspiration behind your Isabella Collection bedding line speaks to this point. Tell us about its history and meaning.
“I started Isabella Collection about ten years ago, and I named it after my daughter Isabella. It was my first foray into manufacturing, and I had no experience whatsoever in the manufacturing arena. However, as they say, ‘Where there is a will there is a way.’ That is probably what I love most about owning companies – taking on challenges, solving problems, and always creating.
“Isabella Collection has taught me more about business and commerce than I could have ever imagined. It is probably the most creative arm of my company, and I can’t think of a more fitting tribute than naming it after my daughter, who is one of the most talented and creative people I know.”
Turning to the fashion side of your business, your creativity has overflowed into clutches, faux furs, and more, that bring your eye for design to wearable art. Tell us about what prompted this expansion.
“In all honesty, some opportunities in Hollywood caused the desire and necessity to create fashion industry goods. The items have been very well received so far. We are very excited to be premiering some one-of-a-kind fashion pieces this fall in both Los Angeles and Dallas, with the intent to develop our fashion lines even more over the next 12-18 months.”
To the Hollywood point, you were a “silver sponsor” at the rehearsal tent for the Golden Globes in January, and later participated in the gifting suite for this year’s Academy Awards. Tell us about those very glamorous experiences!
“At both the Golden Globes and Academy Awards gifting suites this year, we met a variety of high-profile television and film stars, as well as many up-and-coming stars. We were able to showcase a number of my home and fashion accessories, and create additional exposure and awareness of the KF brand. We gifted stars from Joan Collins to Bold & The Beautiful star, Sean Kanan. I have since done a refresh on Sean’s vacation home, and I enjoy working on projects like this with new high-profile clientele.”
Finally, speaking of ‘refreshing,’ if given a modest budget and just an afternoon, what is your favorite way to fashionably refresh a room?
“Refreshing a room is one of my favorite things to do! First, I take everything out of the space; get rid of what I don’t need or use. Then, I take a look at how I want the space to function, and figure out what is missing in order to do that. Next, I lay the space out in the best possible way, so that the room is organized and beautiful. Lastly, I source the things that I need to finish it off and make it beautiful. As a designer, and through KF Design I Life I Style, I specialize in amazing finishing touches with fabrics and detail that take a room from just so-so to fabulous in an instant.”