Where are you from/where do you live?
I grew up in a small town in southwest Michigan and currently live in Chicago.
Where did you study art/fashion/illustration? How did you get into fashion?
I earned my BFA in Fashion Design at The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago and completed my MA in Fashion Design & Merchandising at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. I have always loved drawing since as far back as I can remember. My mom always tells stories about how I would spend hours in my room drawing every night before going to bed.
How long have you been doing fashion illustrations?
It’s funny because I’ve always drawn people with really long legs. I think I started drawing actual fashion figures when I was about 10 years old. I remember watching the show Fashion Files, which was covering New York Fashion Week at the time and I became obsessed with the tall lanky models walking down the runway. They looked like my drawings!
What are your inspirations?
I’m inspired by a lot of things! Obviously I pull a lot of imagery from the latest collections from the major fashion houses during the various fashion weeks. I love looking through fashion blogs and magazines. Social media, especially Instagram, make it so easy to access great images – it’s all at your fingertips! I also love walking down Oak Street to check out designer windows to actually see the clothes in person.
This is a tough one to narrow down! There are so many talented designers who have their own vision and style, so I feel like I can always find something that I love about a line. I’d say my top five favorites would be Karl Lagerfeld, Alber Elbaz, Rei Kawakubo, Marissa Webb and Giambattista Valli.
Favorite Asian fashion icon?
Right now, Marissa Webb is a major fashion icon for me. She is a true visionary and her work from J.Crew to her own line and now Banana Republic is amazing. Also, she is Korean-American and an adoptee (like me)! Growing up I felt like there were only a handful of Asian influencers in fashion and in the media in general. To have someone I can identify with who is so successful in the fashion industry is really inspiring.
You can check out more of Kristine’s illustrations on her Instagram page @kyjsteiner!