Women We Know #31 - Katie Kay
Both Katie and Sabrina is wearing Athleisure Vol 4.0 Collection
Katie Kay is the writer and stylist behind Ms.Yang from fashion blogging duo Ms.Yin | Ms.Yang based in Singapore. After a varied career, from publisher, lawyer to business owner, Katie settled on fashion writing after moving to Hong Kong where the Instant Goddess (@instantgoddess) was born, a popular, lighthearted weekly fashion column, written initially for the readers of Sassy Hong Kong and this is also where Ms.Yin | Ms.Yang first met. Seven years in Hong Kong galloped by and, alas, as all good things do, it came to an end when Katie's family was relocated back to London in 2015. After 365 days of grey in London, her family was then relocated again but this time to sunny Singapore and this is where she resides today very much enjoying the never ending summer looking for all that glitters, writing and styling for Ms.Yin | Ms.Yang. Katie, or Ms.Yang, is the colourful one styling on the bright side where as, her other style half, Sabrina Sikora, or Ms.Yin has the edgier, darker city-chic style. Together they focus on shining the spotlight on Asia's best fashion labels.
Who and what do you think of when you hear “Fearlessly Female”?
I think of women who are proud of who they are and not afraid to stand up for what they believe in and they should all be celebrated. In today's world, Madonna immediately springs to mind as one of the pioneers in my lifetime and then in a completely different vain Michelle Obama.
Do you have a female leader you admire in your life?
My Mum who always manages to remain happy despite what life throws at her and life has thrown a lot at her! When I was growing up she would always tell me not to mope around as people like to be around happy not sad people. This still resonates with me today, and I've realised that you really do have to work at being positive. Being negative is much easier! So trying to remain positive and happy is something that I'm always working at despite life's curve balls.
What is the one thing that scares you the most and want to try at least once?
Being a K.Blu swimwear model! The K.Blu shoot came about through my style partner-in-crime Sabrina Sikora, a.k.a Ms.Yin, who is my other half in our fashion blog Ms.Yin | Ms.Yang. I was a bit reticent about modelling swimwear but then I thought to myself: "You're real life, you can do this, you don't have to be of epic model proportions, it's time to ditch the inner bitch" and that's what I did. We need to see more real life models, so our daughters don't grow up starving themselves, risking their health to achieve the unachievable. So, thank you K.Blu for embracing all body types.
Katie is wearing Mu.lan Slit Kaftan
What is the hardest life hurdle you’ve gone through and what did you take away from it?
Being diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014. You realise how fragile life is and that your life can change in a heartbeat. Being a mother it wasn't only my feelings that I had to think about; I had those of my daughter who was 3 years old at the time, and this made it even more emotional: will I see my daughter grow up, could these be the last months, how will her life be without me? All of these tearjerkers gallop through your mind. Fortunately, I was diagnosed early enough to make a full recovery. From this horrible time, I took away a natural increased respect for the medical profession, and a realisation that the human body is truly wonderful. I was amazed that just one day in terms of recovering from surgery could make such a huge difference. One day you can't walk and then the next you can. We are not immortal. Don't take your body or your health for granted. Make sure you have regular smears and make sure that you're tested for HPV.
What keeps you going when things get tough?
Retail therapy. How naughty is that? My husband despairs.
What is the one life lesson you learned that can’t be taught in school?
That academic success isn't the be all and end all.
What is your definition of success?
Being happy in your own skin with no internal negative chatter going on.
What is your ideal holiday?
Beach, boutique shopping and cocktails!
What or who are your style influences?
Bold colour, striking print and embellishment and if I get all of these in one hit then I'm very happy. Boho Luxe is always a style goal.
Living in a sunny climate, what are some of your must-haves when it comes to your skin?
Charcoal face mask to unclog blocked pores. The one I use boasts being able to absorb thousands of times its weight in bacteria. And most importantly, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Is there a song lyric or a quote you live by?
Onwards and upwards.
What is your favourite workout and why?
HIIT (including body weight exercises) because these workouts are short and effective, so if you're time poor or feeling unmotivated they are perfect as you know they're quick and you can easily fit them into your schedule even if you don't want to! They also work at helping to drop fat and build muscle which is what I'm trying to achieve.
How do you squeeze in time for workout in between your busy schedule?
I always workout in the morning because if I leave it any later I keep putting it off and then never get it done. Also, just put your workout gear on even if you don't feel like exercising as I find this simple act helps get you into the right mindset.
Do you have any special diet you follow by?
Low carb - high protein. Carbs in moderation after exercise and low sugar. Along with the rest of the world and his dog, I am trying very hard to cut out the refined sugar these days as much as possible.
What are your favourite healthy food and your favourite guilty pleasure on cheat days?
I have loved discovering how versatile cauliflower is and how you can feel like you're getting your carb hit with cauliflower rice, cauli mash, cauli pizza bases etc. On cheat days, I love chips and potatoes in any form!
What do you look for in active wear?
Style and comfort plus good structured design that can suck you in and hold you in place without cutting off your circulation. I love bright colours too! I try and get away from the all black gym uniform as much as possible.
How do you reward yourself after a hard workout?
Carbs of course.
Any words for beginners to stay focus and determined?
Just do it. Procrastination is the biggest waste of time.
Special Thanks to Trixie Khong