1. Who is Katie Schmidt?
I am a creative person at heart who enjoys creating and building things. I also love nature and I feel a lot of compassion for the world around me and so when I create, I want to make sure that what I am creating is not going to harm the world or the people that make life so beautiful. I started sewing when I was about 7 years old. I can still remember as a child sitting in the back seat of the car and using my finger to draw the shape of how garments are made. I love color, and I am a tactile person.
2. How do you define fashion and or style?
Even before I started Passion Lilie, I loved finding unique and colorful textiles in mostly natural fibers that were either vintage or from other countries. I travelled a lot in my early 20s and would pick up clothing and jewelry from wherever I went. My style is vintage romantic meets beach-loving free spirit.
3. What influences your style? ie travel, work, movies, magazines, social media trends, celebrities, color, etc.
I am very much influenced by nature, especially the colors of nature. In terms of silhouettes, I studied costume design and history in college, and I am often inspired by vintage silhouettes that I find to be classic and timeless. And finally I am inspired while I am at festivals in New Orleans. New Orleanians don’t follow trends, they usually wear what they want, what makes them feel good and especially at a festival. So while I work at festivals, I love to people watch.
4. How has your style evolved?
I think when I was younger my style was much more hippie and even a little rugged. I never knew how to dress up to go out to bars, because I thought I had to wear the trendy type of items going out, which was not my style. New Orleans helped teach me how to elevate my wardrobe for going out while remaining true to my style.
5. What does your dream wardrobe consist of?
Color, embroidery, sequins, long flowy dresses, flowy pants, mini skirts, jumpsuits and lots of earrings, long necklaces, bangles and colorful scarves.
6. If you were to give fashion advice to your younger self what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to wear what you want to wear. I remember in junior high school, one day I showed up wearing a head scarf and I was made fun of, a couple of weeks later I saw other girls wearing them. I never followed trends, and so I would remind my younger self that your strength is your creativity and the best way for you to be happy is to let it flow.
7. How important is it to be body positive and to appreciate the skin that you're in?
Extremely! My job is so important and all fashion companies should be so careful that their marketing, photos and products promote body positivity and self-love. We need more models in every skin color and size. For all those who are reading this who want to be a model, but don’t think they can be for whatever reason, please be a model. The world needs you to model.
8. What do you love about jewelry? What is your absolute favorite is it earrings, necklaces, etc.
Jewelry for me is the final touches that complete a look. Sometimes they add that statement to a simple dress or t-shirt and other times they help to draw the eye up to the face. Earrings are my favorite. I am especially excited about Passion Lilie’s new zero waste earrings, the colors and prints are fun and the best part is that they are light-weight. I love a statement earring, but I can not wear a heavy earring.
9. How do you incorporate accessories and jewelry into your daily looks?
I usually wear either a simple necklace that hits at the collar bone or a longer statement necklace, sometimes both. I have a good-luck long crystal necklace that I wear on days when I need it. For earrings, my favorite right now are a simple pair of gold hoops. I take them traveling with me because they work with everything. And when I want to add some color, I put on the new Passion Lilie loop or fringe earrings.
10. What are your non-negotiables... What must you have / wear / do? and what are your, “I’m never ever doing or wearing that”?
Dresses are a must for me. I wear them year around (pairing them with tights for the winter). They are fun, easily create an elevated look and comfortable (I only wear cotton dresses). I only wear jeans a few times a year, they are not my favorite. I am never going to do hip hugger jeans again- that look didn’t even work for Paris Hilton.
11. Tell us why you choose fashion and style. So what we mean by that is, we don’t have to dress up, we don’t have to adorn ourselves with jewels and embellish with accessories, but we do, we choose to… why do you?
As I mentioned, I am a creative person, so fashion and style is my way to express myself, it gives me happiness and joy in life.12. What’s your favorite fashion/style quote or mantra?
"Only an artist can play on people's feelings." -from the Three Penny Opera
13. How and where can people connect with you?
Well said, Katie- jewelry can be the final touches to your entire look. Thanks for telling us your awesome story.
P.S. We love gold hoops, too!