Katya Moorman, creator of Style Defined NYC, dives into the NYC nightlife with her Nikon to bring her readers images of the intriguing and unique characters of the party scene.
Leaving the prim and proper styled fashionistas aside, she focuses on the brash and bold looks of NYC streetstyle. Her eye for the new and the innovative has granted her work places on the pages of French Vogue, TIME OUT and Glamour.
Name: Katya Moorman
University/ Major: Cranbrook Academy of Art – 2D Design
When and why did you decide to start Style Defined NYC?
I started StyleDefined NYC 4 years ago. It actually started after a conversation with a friend about London vs NYC street style –which was better. I felt that NYC had style that could easily rival London’s but at the time the main street style sites were the Sartorialist and ModelOffDuty and they’re both so…tasteful. I wanted to showcase the style that had a nightlife edge to it instead. The site has branched out a bit as my interests have shifted but that’s where it started.
How did you decide to settle down in NYC?
The energy is in my blood. There was simply no other option
Would you consider Style Defined NYC as a Photography, Fashion, or Nightlife blog first and foremost?
That’s such a good question –let me get back to you on that!
Seriously I am aware that for some people it’s confusing. They’re like “what are you? A style blogger? A party photographer?” etc and it used to stress me out and I’d trip out over “the message” and branding. But I realized: this is my site and it’s basically about sharing what I love about New York –which happens to be fashion and nightlife– and I do it through photography!
In NYC there are so many people and so much driven energy that it really takes a lot to grab my attention. When it’s nightlife or style photography there generally has to be something about the person that makes me want to know them more –a real sense of presence even more than style. I love risk takers and would rather shoot an extravagant borderline fashion disaster than a perfectly styled trendy girl. (so boring!)
How do you decide the events you cover?
It’s usually by instinct at this point and sometimes I get it wrong. But if I get an invitation in the mail in a pink envelope or if I know I’ll see at least 20 friends and 5 of them will be trannies it’s a YES. (I don’t know why really good invites come in pink envelopes but they do!)
What intrigues you about nightlife and underground culture/ fashion?
The absolute freedom that still exists –It’s a place for those who are marginalized elsewhere to define themselves as they’d like and create a community. When I was 19 years old I came to NYC on a scholarship at a dance school and danced in a bar at night to earn money. And Sunday night was when people who worked in nightlife: dancers, bartenders, hostesses –along with hair and make up people-would go out because it would be our night off. And it was a wonderful community then and I fell in love with it. I love the joy and celebration of eccentricities that can still be found in that culture and the creativity of the fashion.
How do you feel style in NYC compares to that of other major cities?
Well as far as I’m concerned it’s the only city with decent style in the states! Relative to Western European cities it’s probably a bit brasher, bolder and with a bit more bling!
How would you describe your personal style?
Not nearly as exciting as many of the people I photograph! I have a uniform of silk or cashmere tees, small structured jackets, black skinny jeans and black platform boots. And I almost always wear the same jewelry: silver earrings, necklace and one ring by Chris Habana, a heavy ring by efva attling that has “sans peur” engraved on it and a pale pink oversized skull with swarovski crystals by Made Her Think.
The biggest accomplishment in my blogging career is:
Committing to it. I post at least 5 days a week and it’s all original content. I’m really proud of that.
Thrilled, of course!
On your blog you explain that you have been able to shoot celebrities and look books. How did you find those opportunities? The celebrities are people in the NYC downtown nightlife scene that I’ve become friends with over time.
As a blogger I get emails all the time from people who want me to write about their products or designs so I started sending them counter proposals. Basically I’d say “I love your work and would be interested in collaborating with you…” and then give a specific idea tailored to them.
If they were interested then I would propose a budget and we’d go from there. Now I have people contact me directly about my work. But having a site where you can promote others is great leverage to allow you to create work that you like.
As a blogger, I couldn’t live without: Social media: facebook, twitter and hootsuite to manage them. Also a brilliant handbag large enough to carry my Nikon (currently a Stella McCartney large Falabella faux Python bag)
As a blogger, I can’t stand: condescending PR people. Some are great but some act as if they’re doing you a favor by asking you to write about their products.
What can we expect next from Katya Moorman?
More fashion collaborations on StyleDefined NYC and more integration of video and animation! I have three projects I’m currently really excited about but right now they’re “top secret” ;) (and you can see my portfolio at www.styledefinedstudio.com)