When Kate Betts came to Vogue in the early ’90s, Anna Wintour tucked her into a tiny office next to mine and asked me to welcome the new fashion writer. Kate had just come from Paris where she had been the associate bureau chief at the fashion industry bible, WWD. Smart and pithy, the ambitious new editor and I did not, despite our close proximity, become good friends until years later when I went to work with her at Harper’s Bazaar, where she was the editor-in-chief. The brief stint with Kate at Bazaar was the happiest time of my magazine career.
Paris in the late ’80s-early ’90s was the epicenter of the fashion world. I went often to scout models and buy Azzedine Alaia pieces from Azzedine himself. After reading her new memoir, My Paris Dream, I now realize that Kate had been at the forefront of all the seismic changes that were taking place in the industry at that magical moment in fashion history. It was a time that “saw a changing of the guard—from Yves Saint Laurent and legendary Paris couturiers to the explosion of street style that gave rise to a new generation of talent: Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang, John Galliano, and Christian Louboutin, and from fashion as an industry steeped in tradition and craftsmanship into big business.”
A poignant coming-of-age tale, in My Paris Dream Kate shares why she was so determined to live in Paris post graduation, her apprenticeship at WWD to the fashion arbiters of the day and, most importantly, how she became one herself.