‘He’d twist things I said to make me feel that I was in the wrong. It was pure manipulation’
‘He’d twist things I said to make me feel that I was in the wrong....

Amanda Cassidy

The Michael Schumacher documentary is your new must-see emotional watch
The Michael Schumacher documentary is your new must-see emotional watch

Jennifer McShane

The most iconic Met Gala gowns through the years
The most iconic Met Gala gowns through the years

Jennifer McShane

Can’t nod off? Eating these foods should help you get a better night’s sleep
Can’t nod off? Eating these foods should help you get a better night’s sleep

Jennifer McShane

This miracle, unisex skin product should be stocked in every couple’s bathroom
This miracle, unisex skin product should be stocked in every couple’s bathroom

Shayna Sappington

8 must-see fashion documentaries all couture-lovers will adore
8 must-see fashion documentaries all couture-lovers will adore

Jennifer McShane

How to resell your pre-loved designer handbag
How to resell your pre-loved designer handbag

IMAGE

5 marvellous must-reads to add to your reading list this September
5 marvellous must-reads to add to your reading list this September

Jennifer McShane

Meet the top beauty bosses taking skincare to the next level
Meet the top beauty bosses taking skincare to the next level

Rose Mary Roche

10 genius decluttering hacks we can’t believe we didn’t know
10 genius decluttering hacks we can’t believe we didn’t know

Shayna Sappington

Image / Fashion

Meet the stylish Dublin native who owns a chic coffee/wine bar in NYC


by Freya Drohan
04th Jul 2019

Image via Instagram/Babydollkate

blank

For Irish expat Kate Monahan, style inspiration comes in many forms: but mainly from people watching in a diverse city like New York.

“I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint ‘my style’ per se,” Skerries-native Kate Monahan said. “I’m normally inspired by a mood or look. One of my favourite things about living in New York City is that fashion varies so much from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. It’s fun to be able to change your look from ladylike or luxe at an afternoon tea in the Upper East Side, to vintage chic for a day spent browsing a flea market in Brooklyn.”

Usually, she can be found behind the bar of her own elegant Upper East Side café and wine bar, Stella & Fly. Along with her co-owners, 28-year-old Monahan opened the neighbourhood favourite in 2018, after learning the ropes in the city’s lively hospitality scene for years.

Here she tells IMAGE about her thrifty shopping habits, how to nab a vintage bargain, and her favourite brands sourced straight from Instagram.

What’s your failsafe, go-to look for a day when you’re lacking inspiration?

A vintage band tee, Levi’s, and a pair of white platform Supergas: like the true 90’s baby I am at heart.

Do you have a general ‘uniform’ you default to for days at Stella & Fly?

Now that I serve cocktails on a Friday and Saturday night instead of drinking them, I transferred the trusty Irish failsafe option of  ‘jeans and a nice top’ from one side of the bar to the other!

Last piece you bought?

A pair of white Princeton loafers by Gucci. Durable and comfortable footwear is a must in NYC. I’m a big fan of white leather footwear, so these should see me through a few spring/summer seasons.

First piece you saved all your pocket money for?

A pair of glittery silver cat eye sunglasses by Miu Miu – which I still have and love.

Where do you shop usually?

I’ll usually hit the high street once a month to see what’s in the stores; Zara and & Other Stories are my go-to’s. The issue of sustainability in fashion is making waves in the industry, and I’m more than happy to support this movement. My favourite sustainable store to visit in NYC is Reformation in the Lower East Side; it’s really pretty. Luckily, there’s no shortage of quirky thrift stores or luxury vintage boutiques in the city either, making it easier than ever to buy clothes second-hand regardless of your budget.

If you have something big coming up, where do you look for a killer outfit? 

My favourite online store is Revolve; I can always be sure to find something killer here. I got a lace pink For Love & Lemons dress on their site for a wedding I was at recently. Their shoe and accessory offering is also amazing, a perfect one-stop-shop for a big event.

What do you do with your fashion purchases when you no longer need them?

& Other Stories accepts donated clothes to recycle as well as offering 10% off your purchase when you bring in your unwanted clothes. Winning! Buffalo Exchange stores in New York are also awesome thrift stores where you can exchange your old clothes for store credit or cash.

Favourite fashion memory?

I had been warned that the typical Parisian street style leans towards muted tones and Breton stripes and that anything extra would attract attention. But this only made me enjoy strutting around Paris in a pink power suit last spring even more!

Designer you’d wear all the time if you won the Lotto?

Presumably, I’d be living on an island somewhere warm for most of the year if this were the case, so I’d live in flowy dresses and huge sun hats from Jacquemus.

Where do you seek style inspiration?

Usually Instagram. I’ve found lots of clothing brands I buy from via Instagram, such as I Am Gia, Musier Paris, and Rèalisation Par. Also, sitting at a busy cafe window in the city is a great way to people watch and scope out what people are wearing.

Last outfit you’d wear on earth?

Pink is my ultimate favourite colour, so I think it would have to be something in that hue: glam and extra. I’d happily be laid to rest in killer heels, a floor-length sheer dressing gown and some bling. I blended my passion for mixology and fashion when I created a namesake cocktail ‘The Babydoll’ for Stella & Fly which is, of course, pink and fluffy. I feel at my most fab when I’ve spent the evening with friends getting ready to head out to a cocktail bar, so I was inspired to create a drink to capture this fun and glamorous vibe.

Best ever bargain purchase? 

I bought a dark brown leather trench coat from a vintage shop a few summers ago in NYC. If you’re willing to try on winter coats on a sweltering hot day in July in NYC, you’re worthy of the bargain! The same stores charge a lot more for winter coats once it gets past October.

Trend you’d never be caught dead in?

Although I love the 1990’s, jelly sandals for grown-ups can stay away.

Trend you’d wear ‘til the cows come home?

Silk slip dresses.

One thing that’s been on your wishlist forever?

A Saint Laurent Kate tassel clutch.


Related: 

  • Read more: Stylish singer Mairead Carlin knows how to dress both on and off stage
  • Read more: The fashion insider who marches to the beat of her own drum
  • Read more: How to nail model off duty style, with catwalk queen Kelly Horrigan
  • Read more: The fashion PR with a die-hard love for vintage

Also Read

blank
FASHION
Jimmy Choo launches a collection designed by fan sketches

It started as a lockdown Instagram competition and resulted in a one-of-a-kind Jimmy Choo shoe collection. Jimmy Choo has released...

By Louise Slyth

occasionwear
FASHION, SHOPPING, WEDDINGS
Stylist Courtney Smith picks the occasionwear to buy now

Have a wedding coming up, or a trip to the races? Stylist Courtney Smith tells us what she has her...

By Holly O'Neill

blank
FASHION, SHOPPING
Ireland’s most stylish women on their summer wishlist buys

The insider intel on what Ireland’s most stylish women are adding to their summer wardrobes.

By Holly O'Neill

Zendaya leather dress
FASHION
You will not believe how they made THAT Zendaya Balmain dress

The leather Balmain dress the actress wore at the Venice Film Festival last week was certainly not off the rack....

By Lauren Heskin

blank
FASHION, SHOPPING
All things seaside, from shells to starfish, are making a splash

Fashion's new wave? All things seaside are making a splash.

By Holly O'Neill

Georgiana Huddart
premium FASHION
How to revive a heritage brand, and create cute swimwear to coordinate with your kids

Georgiana Huddart revived heritage brand Hunza G with huge success, and we’re guessing the children’s range is headed in the...

By Sarah Macken

blank
FASHION
How dressing for your forties has changed

Designers Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley are both in their forties. They once told the Guardian, “…women don’t age in...

By Marie Kelly