A.KITCH­ING

Black Magazine - - Black End -

Grant Fell: Where were you born and where did you grow up? AU­DREY KITCH­ING: I was born and raised in Philadel­phia. I have such a soft spot for the city. It’s got an amaz­ing art and food scene which are two things I’m to­tally about. You be­gan your mod­el­ling ca­reer at 14, how were you dis­cov­ered and was that your first foray into fash­ion? I was get­ting my hair done at an Aveda con­cept salon, and they wanted me to model for them and sug­gested I took classes at a mod­el­ing school. I ended up en­rolling and go­ing to a huge con­ven­tion in NYC where thou­sands of girls fly in from around the world to com­pete for agen­cies. I won Most Pho­to­genic at age 16. From there I ex­per­i­mented with print agen­cies, comp cards, and fun editorials with pho­tog­ra­phy stu­dents. Over time ev­ery­thing snow­balled which is strange be­cause in a room of mod­els, I’m most def­i­nitely the pur­ple cow in the

SHE'S STYLISH, SHE'S MIND­FUL, SHE'S PRO­LIFIC, SHE LOVES AN­I­MALS UN­EQUIV­O­CALLY - AND TO THE AP­PRE­CI­A­TION OF HER HALF-MIL­LION REV­ER­EN­TIAL FOL­LOW­ERS, SHE LAYS BARE HER PUR­SUIT OF A HEALTHY, ETH­I­CAL AND UN­APOLO­GET­I­CALLY POS­I­TIVE LIFE­STYLE FOR ALL TO SEE. GRANT FELL ASKS BUZZNET

COR­NER­STONE AU­DREY KITCH­ING ABOUT BE­ING ‘ A MOST PHO­TO­GENIC MISS', SPEAK­ING ( OUT LOUD) FOR PETA, CHARLIE

BROWNS' CRE­ATOR AND JA­PANESE ‘FRUITS'... PHO­TOS: LIZ BE­SAN­SON MAKE-UP: ALYNE HALVAJIAN HAIR: ASH­LEY MILLER

room, which is ac­tu­ally prob­a­bly what gave me a ca­reer! I’m a firm be­liever in be­ing your­self and hav­ing orig­i­nal­ity! Your blog­ging ca­reer took off when you were dis­cov­ered by Buzznet in 2006. Tell us about the Livejour­nal site you ran that cap­tured their at­ten­tion. Were there el­e­ments of your blog­ging then that still ap­ply to your on­line out­put to­day? I used to blog all kinds of silly stuff from videos with friends to mod­el­ing pho­tos and tour­ing, do­ing hair for my friends’ bands. I was just a kid then and didn’t think any­thing of it. When Buzznet reached out to me they weren’t re­ally a le­git­i­mate company yet. At that time it was more of an idea and they wanted to build this mas­sive in­te­grated site around what I was do­ing and my fol­low­ers. The rest is kinda his­tory: now they are this mas­sive on­line pres­ence owned by Spin Me­dia with count­less celeb and cul­ture sites! It’s pretty amaz­ing to have been one of the key start­ing peo­ple on a project like that. Now my blog­ging is a bit more struc­tured: I post about ve­gan recipes, astrol­ogy, fash­ion trends, DIY and a hand­ful of photo di­aries. Not so much of me run­ning around with friends as I did in my teens, but still the same con­cepts; things I’m pas­sion­ate about and en­joy! Your ap­pel­la­tion is ‘style ed­i­tor’ but how would you best de­scribe what your role on Buzznet en­tails? I’m a con­tent cu­ra­tor, hands down! I find awe­some pho­tos and cre­ate fun sto­ries and con­tent that I would want to read and I think a lot of my fol­low­ers can re­late and be in­spired by it as well! I’m pretty picky when it comes to what I post and the sto­ries I choose to high­light! Your mod­el­ling ca­reer, and now your business ini­tia­tives, fea­ture a vast num­ber of col­lab­o­ra­tions. Have you al­ways been a col­lab­o­ra­tor? I would say yes. I love com­ing up with con­cepts and cre­at­ing ideas. I ac­tu­ally help to

art di­rect most of my mag­a­zine shoots which I know most mod­els don’t do. That’s the most fun part for me, hav­ing an idea and get­ting to cre­ate it and watch it come to life! One of the things we love about Au­drey Kitch­ing is the fact you im­part a num­ber of strong, pos­i­tive mes­sages to your read­ers and fol­low­ers. For ex­am­ple, you are strongly against an­i­mal test­ing and are recog­nised as a lead­ing spokesper­son for PETA (Peo­ple for the Eth­i­cal Treat­ment of An­i­mals). How aware are you, of your abil­ity to ed­u­cate and in­flu­ence your half-mil­lion or so fol­low­ers on­line? Is this an im­por­tant part of your work as you see it? Thank you! It’s where my pas­sion is. I feel like it’s my job to ed­u­cate peo­ple on real is­sues. The In­ter­net is ei­ther a bril­liant tool or a ter­ri­ble crutch. I use it to con­stantly learn; ev­ery day I’m read­ing new ar­ti­cles. Way too much of to­day’s gen­er­a­tion only uses it for self­ies and in­ter­net bul­ly­ing. I’m try­ing to plant pos­i­tive seeds in peo­ples’ minds in the hope that they will grow into us­ing all this amaz­ing tech­nol­ogy to spread knowl­edge as I do! Ev­ery lit­tle post on en­vi­ron­ment, food, an­i­mals and pos­i­tive cul­ture can have a great ef­fect. You never know who is read­ing it and look­ing for a sign to change! Sim­i­larly, you are a prac­tic­ing ve­gan and of­ten post de­li­cious-look­ing dishes! Ve­g­an­ism is a highly in­di­vid­ual choice, do you find your­self push­ing that cause or is it sim­ply a case of show­ing a nu­tri­tional and life­style al­ter­na­tive? It’s a bit of both. I am re­ally into nu­tri­tion and holis­tic heal­ing. I’m al­ways tak­ing cour­ses and learn­ing more when I can. We all know that eat­ing ve­gan, sugar, and gluten free, as well as non-pro­cessed or­ganic food, can re­verse many ill­nesses or health is­sues when done cor­rectly. To me it’s more a mat­ter of pro­mot­ing what I love and I’m pas­sion­ate about in hopes peo­ple will choose to bet­ter their own ex­is­tence. I’m not big on preach­ing. I want peo­ple to want to change on their own. You can lead a horse to wa­ter... but you most def­i­nitely can’t make it drink. That has been a big les­son for me. You are also a de­signer! Talk us through your line LUNA – how it came about? I re­cently fin­ished the first col­lec­tion of my cloth­ing line, called LUNA. It’s in­spired by all things cos­mic, pos­i­tive and en­light­en­ing! My goal is to have a high-end lux­ury line of pullovers and shirts that make peo­ple not only feel beau­ti­ful but in­spired as well. I’m so tired of see­ing all th­ese neg­a­tive cloth­ing lines that pro­mote self-loathing. I think we’re all a bit sick of the neg­a­tiv­ity! Then there is Crys­tal Cac­tus – jew­ellery for the mind, body and soul as you say. A mantra of bal­ance, the yin and the yang, and a marked quest for spir­i­tu­al­ity and a sense of con­scious liv­ing. Talk us through Crys­tal Cac­tus and your own sense of spir­i­tu­al­ity… I have al­ways been huge fan of spir­i­tual shops, but they also seem a bit cheeky or tacky in a way. I wanted to merge fash­ion and spir­i­tu­al­ity in a way that didn’t make peo­ple shy away. I think it’s the most nat­u­ral and beau­ti­ful way of liv­ing to be con­nected with your true self. Be­ing able to ex­press this in a shop where I cu­rate and make all the prod­ucts has been an amaz­ing jour­ney! I have got­ten more pos­i­tive feed­back than I ever could have dreamed. You have a sig­nif­i­cant fol­low­ing in Asia, why do you think the Asian pop­u­la­tion are such big fans? I have al­ways loved Asian cul­tures! When I first started this, my big­gest in­spi­ra­tion was, hands-down, Ja­panese street fash­ion. My walls as a teenager were plas­tered with FRUITS mag­a­zine pages! Your out­put of con­tent on­line across your sites and so­cial me­dia is sig­nif­i­cant, de­scribe a typ­i­cal full day on­line – how would your day start, what sort of re­search and brows­ing do you do and how do you trans­late that to your own out­put as it were? I nor­mally spend the first 4-5 hours a day on­line cre­at­ing con­tent, blog­ging, mak­ing files and weekly post plans! The sec­ond part of my day is more hands-on with LUNA pro­duc­tion, Crys­tal Cac­tus and in­ter­views, trav­el­ing, photo-shoots, etc! I cre­ate my con­tent by what­ever I’m in­spired by in my per­sonal life at the mo­ment. It’s im­por­tant to keep it au­then­tic! With your rapidly de­vel­op­ing on­line fame comes chal­lenges, the cy­ber troll thing seems to be ex­pand­ing ex­po­nen­tially, es­pe­cially on In­sta­gram. Do you have trolls and de­trac­tors on­line? If so, how do you deal with them? Funny you bring this up! Last night I must have blocked about 50 peo­ple, ha ha! It used to get un­der my skin but now I just block ev­ery­one and any­one who shows any signs of neg­a­tiv­ity. It is poi­son to me and my fol­low­ers; no one wants to see that. The only thing that ever makes me sad about it is the stu­pid­ity, ig­no­rance and self-ha­tred be­hind it. I’m sad for the peo­ple who spend their days do­ing this. If you im­age Google ‘Au­drey Kitch­ing’ you will find a sea of pink but re­ally, and per­haps pro­gres­sively, you ap­pear to just have a fab­u­lous ap­pre­ci­a­tion of colour. Are you a colourist as such, and is pink still your favourite color? Google Im­age is my worst night­mare! I’m con­fi­dent in say­ing 93% of images that come up are me in my teenage phases. Most peo­ple go through that and grow out of it and move on. Mine for­ever haunts me via Google Im­age search, ha ha! I love all col­ors though, and I’m more of a pas­tels and dark col­ors lover rather than neons! I love navy blue, royal pur­ple, lavender, bal­le­rina pink, mint, gold, and nude. You come across as a woman with plans! What does 2014 hold for Au­drey Kitch­ing? What is go­ing to be spe­cial for you this year? Lots of col­lab­o­ra­tions and de­sign­ing! I have a ve­gan shoe line, cloth­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion and even a chakra crys­tal juice line com­ing out! This year is all about cel­e­brat­ing and shar­ing ideas with like-minded com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als! You have a rare day off. De­scribe a per­fect day off for you. I don’t get them of­ten but when I do they are amaz­ing! I’m very low key. Since my job is so fast passed, when I’m not work­ing I re­ally like to en­joy the sim­ple things! A morn­ing hike, spa date, cook­ing brunch, mu­seum hop­ing, din­ner at a new restau­rant, walks in the city, movies with friends, porch par­ties… I love hav­ing peo­ple over and cook­ing for them, it’s one of my great­est plea­sures! What was your last dream about? I have been hav­ing some CRAZY dreams this past week. I have no idea why! Last night my friend’s girl­friend was in­ter­view­ing the cre­ator of Charlie Brown and wanted me to sell my house on the Ellen show. You are hold­ing a din­ner party for four very spe­cial guests with no con­cern for cost or lo­ca­tion. Who would you in­vite and what would be on the menu? It would be held out­side a beau­ti­ful tem­ple in In­dia, and we would eat the most beau­ti­ful ve­gan In­dian food and all wear amaz­ing Henna and colour­ful jew­els! Ryan Gosling, The Olsen Twins and Elvis would be my in­vites. Your all­time favourite de­signer wants to make you some­thing spe­cial, who are they and what would it be? Ashish and I would have them make me a wed­ding dress. Liv­ing that Car­rie Bradshaw mo­ment! If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? I truly be­lieve elim­i­nat­ing judg­ment, lack of knowl­edge and greed would solve ev­ery prob­lem in the world.

Favourites: What are you lis­ten­ing to at the mo­ment? Beach Boys Pan­dora ra­dio sta­tion! Is it sum­mer yet? What are you read­ing? Eat­ing In The Light by Doreen Virtue. Your cur­rent favourite TV se­ries? Home­land. Fash­ion blog? Re­fin­ery 29. Form of ex­er­cise? Hik­ing. Film? Break­fast At Tif­fany’s and Igby Goes Down. Cos­met­ics brand? Tarte. Hair brand? Derm Or­gan­ics. Nail brand? Burberry nail pol­ishes are pretty fan­tas­tic. Footwear brand? Dolce Vita. City in the world? That’s a hard one. I love trav­el­ing so much but I haven’t been to them all yet. Let’s say Mi­lan and NYC for now. (To be con­tin­ued!). Restau­rant? Real Food Daily in LA. Jew­eller? Pamela Love. In­dul­gence? Spa days and late night take­out. Drink? Car­rot, yel­low beet, orange, lime, ginger and ap­ple juice. Store? Top­shop.

au­drey.buzznet.com

"I FEEL LIKE IT'S MY JOB TO ED­U­CATE PEO­PLE ON REAL IS­SUES. THE IN­TER­NET IS EI­THER A BRIL­LIANT TOOL OR A TER­RI­BLE CRUTCH. I USE IT TO CON­STANTLY LEARN; EV­ERY DAY I'M READ­ING NEW AR­TI­CLES. WAY TOO MUCH OF TO­DAY'S GEN­ER­A­TION ONLY USES IT FOR SELF­IES AND IN­TER­NET BUL­LY­ING. I'M TRY­ING TO PLANT POS­I­TIVE SEEDS IN PEO­PLE'S MINDS..."

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