Guy Pewsey, celebrity di­rec­tor

She may be the lat­est A-lis­ter to turn her hand to fash­ion, but Kate Hudson is tak­ing her ‘side hus­tle’ – and its ethics – very se­ri­ously, she tells Guy Pewsey

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‘Through her role in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, Kate Hudson lit­er­ally made me want to work in mag­a­zines. Luck­ily, she lived up to ex­pec­ta­tions. Funny and charm­ing, she’s also queen of the side hus­tle…’

kate hudson calls me from LA.

I imagine her sit­ting on the ter­race of her Cal­i­for­nia home, per­haps sip­ping cu­cum­ber wa­ter and picking at a pa­leo salad as her an­gelic chil­dren play qui­etly around her. She shat­ters the vi­sion im­me­di­ately: she is caught in traf­fic, ‘Stuck be­hind a garbage truck.’

Nev­er­the­less, she is patient and po­lite, im­me­di­ately ask­ing me how I am and, more im­por­tantly, if it’s rain­ing in Lon­don. I tell her that, mirac­u­lously, it is not, and she is thrilled: she is sched­uled to fly into the cap­i­tal in a few days to host the launch of her new fash­ion brand, Hap­pyx­na­ture. Kate is so in­fec­tiously chip­per, her tone so un­err­ingly perky, that I don’t have the heart to tell her when it be­gins to pour down a few min­utes into our con­ver­sa­tion.

Hap­pyx­na­ture (the x is pro­nounced ‘by’, as in 4x4) is Kate’s pas­sion project, a new side­line that sits be­side her im­pres­sive act­ing ca­reer. The clothes epit­o­mise her style, of­fer­ing the clever mix of Boho and el­e­gance that she has long made her trade­mark. Com­ing up with a strik­ing, co­he­sive col­lec­tion, how­ever, is far from the only ob­jec­tive: bud­get and sus­tain­abil­ity are at the fore­front of the en­deav­our.

‘Ac­ces­si­ble pric­ing is re­ally im­por­tant,’ she ex­plains, ‘but I find that try­ing to use re­spon­si­bly sourced ma­te­ri­als makes clothes very ex­pen­sive.’ It is, she ad­mits, a con­stant com­pro­mise, as she works to­wards a bal­ance that pre­serves the planet with­out pass­ing on costs to the con­sumer. ‘If you’re go­ing to start com­pa­nies, you have to be look­ing at the en­vi­ron­ment, and what you’re re­ally putting out there. The fash­ion in­dus­try is the sec­ond most harm­ful to the en­vi­ron­ment.’ Hon­esty, then, is key: ‘Let’s just be trans­par­ent and talk about ev­ery­thing that’s go­ing into our clothes. Right now, 50% is kind of where we’re sit­ting , in terms of how re­spon­si­ble we are.’

Kate joins a crowded mar­ket of Hol­ly­wood stars who find lu­cra­tive projects be­yond cinema. And, like Gwyneth Pal­trow – who she con­sid­ers a close friend – she has faced re­sis­tance from those who don’t take her se­ri­ously as an en­tre­pre­neur. ‘We will al­ways, some­how, be fight­ing against be­ing the court jester,’ she sug­gests. ‘And hey man, you turn on a light and put me in tap shoes, and I’ll tap, you know?’ she says with a chuckle. You get the dis­tinct im­pres­sion she would get up to prove it, if she wasn’t be­hind the wheel. ‘I’ll tap for lunch. It’s in­grained.’ She feels a change in the air, though. ‘It’s shift­ing, so that’s nice,’ she says, ‘but I think any artist would agree that there’s al­ways an up­hill bat­tle there.’

Kate first came to in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion as Penny Lane, the forth­right yet vul­ner­a­ble groupie in Al­most Fa­mous. The per­for­mance earned her an Academy Award nom­i­na­tion at the age of 21. Roles in Rais­ing He­len, Mother’s Day and sem­i­nal rom­com How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days – who could for­get that divine ca­nary yel­low gown? – fol­lowed and ce­mented her sta­tus as Amer­ica’s sweet­heart. She has, how­ever, also em­braced a more se­ri­ous tone in films such as The Re­luc­tant Fun­da­men­tal­ist and The Killer In­side Me. Along the way, she has had three chil­dren: as well as sons Ryder, 15, and Bingham, eight, from pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ships, she and part­ner Danny Fu­jikawa, a mu­si­cian, wel­comed daugh­ter Rani Rose last Oc­to­ber.

‘I wish there was a per­fect bal­ance,’ she sighs. ‘The truth is, there’s not. I just take it day by day, you know?’ Her daugh­ter, ex­hibit­ing a knack for her mother’s per­fect comedic timing, be­gins to bawl in the back seat. Kate laughs at the in­ter­rup­tion. ‘I’ve got a very, very loud girl these days.’

Self-care, though, is the key to jug­gling her life with her busi­ness. ‘Mak­ing sure that I feel healthy, that I’m tak­ing a tiny bit of time to make sure that I feel good, men­tally and phys­i­cally, re­ally goes a long way,’ she says. ‘I just started to check in ev­ery day. Am I OK? Burn­ing the can­dle at both ends, spend­ing enough time with my, you know, 3,000 chil­dren. We’re all do­ing the best we can, you know?’

She credits Danny, who she started dat­ing in 2017 af­ter years of friend­ship, with help­ing her strike a bal­ance. ‘My man is so great and sup­port­ive and help­ful,’ she gushes. ‘To have some­one who’s so hands-on and so avail­able is just the most won­der­ful thing. We’re a great team.’ She is also, she adds, enormously close to her mother, Goldie Hawn. ‘My mother is awe­some’, she says. ‘She is my mother, though, so, you know, we have our mo­ments.’

Nev­er­the­less, Kate counts one fig­ure of in­spi­ra­tion out­side of the fam­ily, cit­ing fash­ion de­signer Diane Von Fursten­berg as her style and busi­ness icon. ‘She is in­cred­i­bly self-pos­sessed and I find her to be a re­ally in­spir­ing, strong woman. She lives her life her way, and I love be­ing with her. Ev­ery time I travel, I think of Diane: she doesn’t ever check lug­gage. I’m like, “You’re my hero!” I want to live my life like Diane Von Fursten­berg, to be fash­ion­ably ready, in one carry-on case.’

The traf­fic clears, the garbage truck turns off, and Kate says her good­byes. A few days later, we meet in per­son for a cup of iced tea at Sel­fridges. On ar­rival, I look down at her feet, just in case, and find my­self mildly dis­ap­pointed: no tap shoes in sight. Hap­pyx­na­ture is avail­able ex­clu­sively at Sel­fridges Lon­don and sel­fridges.com

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