When you’re flipping through the latest fashion magazine or clicking through an online lookbook do you ever stop to think more about the models themselves? What is their story, who are they really, and what do they believe in?
We stumbled upon our next MABBH Spotlight: Kate Vitamin while scrolling through the gram and were pleasantly surprised to find that she is anything but just another pretty face. She is proudly vegan, part of the LGBTQ+ community, witty and smart (as you will read), and isn’t afraid to express her authentic self- and we love that. Get to know her as we talk all things fashion, her modeling career, and why she is vegan.
1. Hey Kate, tell us a little about yourself!
Hey I’m Kate. I’m vegan, a lesbian and a model born and raised in Czech, now living in New York. My favorite actress is Sigourney Wiever. My favorite ps4 game is Last of us and favorite anime is Elfen Lied. I hate cilantro and I love pickles more than anything.
2. What was the catalyst to make you go vegan?
I never ate fish and I was about 19 when I became a vegetarian because of ethical reasons. The more I read and educated myself, I realized that the milk and egg industry is just as disgusting and cruel as the meat industry. One day (I think I was in Japan at the time) I decided I cant and I don’t want to take any part in what society is doing to animals, and became vegan. Plus, I had terrible acne and was always tired and being vegan cured it all.
3. How long have you been vegan for, and what has your experience been like adapting to our society?
I’ve been vegan for 5 wonderful years. I went through different stages. First I was angry and I couldn’t understand how anyone can be ok with eating a dead body of something that suffered its entire life (my favorite sentence to say at every family dinner). But, after a while the anger goes away. It has to. Being vegan isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle and I don’t want to be angry with everyone who doesn’t understand me for my entire life. I still get frustrated with stupid, closed minded people- but now I’m educated enough to respond to every “but people are meant to eat blahblah…” or “if you were on desert island would you eat a blahblah” with a witty comeback, that educates them and shuts them the f*** up.
4. You're an established model represented by Fusion in NY. What has that experience been like at first?
It’s good. I like modeling, its gives me the freedom to do what I want and live where I want. I have mixed feelings about living in NY. I love the food- hate the garbage. I love the how gay friendly the city is- hate how shallow and self absorbed most people in NY are. :))
5. Has there been any lessons or big takeaways from working in the modeling industry? Words of wisdom for aspiring models?
It would be don’t stress, don’t take rejections personally, eat well and enough. At the end of the day its just work, it’s not worth it to hurt your mental and physical health.
6. As a model, you have the experience of working with many different amazing fashion brands. We are all about sustainability and ethical shopping when at all possible. Do you have any sustainable clothing brands that come to mind that you've been loving?
97% of my closet is vintage or thrifted. It has soul, it’s unique and it lasts longer. When I do buy new stuff I prefer independent designers. But, I love any brand that does vegan ethical clothing/shoes. I’m still looking for my favorites! :)
7. Do you have any 'holy grail' vegan beauty products you always keep with you while in flight or traveling to shoots?
I’m a sucker for essential oils, I use them for everything…when I’m nauseous, sad, tired or I cant sleep. Even when I have a zit, scar or dry patch. I use them for toners, lotions and body oils, in defuser.. basically for any problem - I have an oil.
8. Since your profession requires a certain level of discipline, what are your favorite everyday vegan meals to cook? What are your "cheat meals" you love to splurge on?
I wouldn’t say I’m disciplined. I want to eat healthy because my body feels better when I do. I don’t really “check my weight” but I’m also pretty consistent with the way I eat. Usually it’s smoothie in the morning, eating out for lunch (I’m usually out in the city) for example ramen, burrito, macro bowl, dumplings; depends what I’m craving. I’ll have a bunch of snacks like fruit or nuts in between and than for dinner I make three things over and over and thats- gnocchi with tomato sauce and mushrooms, veggie curry or vegan mac & cheese (sauce is made out of veggies, not vegan cheese). Since everyday I eat what I love, I don’t feel like I’m “cheating”. But I do cheat with beer, because I know it’s not good for me. But I love it. I’m Czech. Let me live.
9. If you were to influence someone to go vegan, where do you normal start the conversation?
I never start the conversation. I don’t have to. I can just mention I’m vegan and I have at least five meat eaters being very concerned about my protein intake. And, if there is someone genuinely interested I will tell them everything I know to help them understand that being vegan is actually not hard at all. It’s all about habit which doesn’t mean changing your diet drastically. It is just cutting out certain ingredients and replacing them with plant based ingredients. And it’s about education. Once you see and really know how that chicken/cow/fish/cheese/egg etc. got to your plate and how much unnecessary pain and suffering is involved, it’s really hard to look away. (Not to mention the negative effects it has on your body like cancer, heart disease and many more.)
10. Living in Brooklyn and the NYC area, there many vegan joints that can satisfy even your most carnivorous friend. Which ones do you frequent the most? Any menu recommendations?
I don’t have carnivorous friends. Haha.
Some of my favorite places are: Bunna Cafe , Little Choc Apothecary, Superiority Burger, Modern Love, LuAnne’s Wild Ginger, Confectionary, Urban Vegan Kitchen, Red Bamboo, Beyond Sushi, Blossom du Jour, Hartbreakers, Double Zero, and Erin McKenna’s Bakery.
Bonus question: Lastly, we're obsessed with your hairless cat Cashew. Please tell us his story.
Cashew is actually biologically female but most assume she is male because of her masculine energy, she’s pretty flexible on her pronouns. We got her when she was a little underweight baby, but she grew into a gorgeous slightly chunky cat. She has the biggest eyes and personality. I think she thinks she’s a human, since she hates other cats. She is super needy, I haven’t peed or pooped in privacy since I got her. One day she’ll be insta famous, so she can make her own money to buy food- cause she is one picky mf. She is my child and love of my life (sharing that title with odie) and I hope she’ll live till I’m 100yrs old so we can die together.
Follow Kate on Instagram and let us know who we should feature next!