Kim Seybert is the kind of woman who can host a dinner party for twelve in the perfect outfit and make it all look easy. She’s an effortlessly stylish woman, and frankly it can be annoying. I’ve known her since her days working in the fashion world, and later worked with her at One Kings Lane when we carried her line, Kim Seybert. You’re going to love her stylish, glamorous home designs. More importantly, you’re going to love her.
Name, Age, where do you live?
Kim Seybert, 61, NYC
Give us an overview of your career.
I have always loved fashion and design. I began my career designing evening gowns and cocktail dresses, it was there that I fell in love with intricate bead work! In fact, I worked with one of your good friends, Kay Unger which is how you and I know each other!
Tell us about what you are doing now.
I am in a nice cycle of the business that is calm and organized. I am taking advantage of the moment to really think about how I see the company in the next five years. It is so nice to have the time to evaluate the opportunities I feel the most passionate about. There are a few charities that I am involved with and I am hoping to collaborate on a project where part of the proceeds will support a cause I am passionate about.
How did you decide to make the jump from fashion to home?
A few things happened simultaneously, I knew I needed a career change and wanted to start a business but hadn’t narrowed down what I wanted to do. I love home accessories and always bought them on my travels, but everything was white. I would have a dinner party and while I have these beautiful hand-embroidered napkins and tablecloths, the table looked monotonous. The only pop of color was the flowers on the table. A light bulb went off, if I couldn’t find the table accessories I wanted, I could make them! With my background in design and love of decorating I started out making things, for myself and for friends, that I wanted to put on my table. Enjoying the process, I took my samples to Henri Bendels and got an order. The rest just fell into place. It wasn’t easy but it was meant to happen.
Your line is “fashion for the table”. That’s such a great example of how style is something that spills over into all aspects of our lives. How would you describe your style?
You are correct, style absolutely transcends fashion and is incorporated seamlessly into home design. I am constantly searching for new trends and different looks to add to my wardrobe. Instead of having a specific style all the time, I like to mix it up and experiment, I would say my style is casual glamour with a touch of boho chic.
I approach setting the table in the same way. I love to mix and match, I always try a fresh color scheme or a style that I haven’t used before. No two tables will ever look exactly the same!
Where do you get inspiration from when it comes to designing your line?
Honestly, I find inspiration everywhere. I travel a lot; I am always intrigued by design practices and traditions specific to a certain culture or area. As you can see from my products, I am drawn to artisanal techniques; anything handmade; embroidery, painting, sculpting, drawing and beading. That is what gets me excited and inspired.
Style is so personal, and it really does change as we get older. How would you say yours has changed?
I don’t compromise when it comes to quality and function. I love an effortless, elegant, fashionable look. When I was younger, I was willing to put up with a lot more when it came to trends. Now I gravitate towards more relaxed styles that combine comfort and quality with a beautiful aesthetic.
Summer is peak entertaining season. Do you have a go-to dinner menu to keep things easy?
My go-to summer menu is a freshly caught, plank salmon, a refreshing quinoa arugula salad with a fig balsamic reduction and a perfectly cooked tenderloin. The salad is hearty and can be eaten as a main course, so there is something for everyone. I always serve fun drinks. Currently, I love mixing Berettas, a gin-based cocktail that includes grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and elderflower liqueur. It’s smooth, refreshing and the perfect summer drink. I end the evening with light desserts.
What kind of advice would you give to someone who finds entertaining really intimidating?
Trying to do everything can be really overwhelming, especially when you first start entertaining. My biggest piece of advice is, find what you enjoy and outsource the other parts, that way you want to do it again. Remember that you are not alone in feeling that way.
I love to set a gorgeous table; I have a few go-to settings that I change up with fun additions. I’d rather focus on the table details than the menu, so I keep the food simple. Other people love to focus on the menu, if setting a table is intimidating, get help! Call a local store or design professional and ask for a consultation, they can guide you. I have created style guides for different occasions, I love helping people plan a beautiful table setting. On my website, you will find how-to advice and design suggestions for setting a beautiful table.
It is most important that you find what you like to do and do it. The goal is to make entertaining simple and enjoyable.
Culturally, aging is viewed as this sad thing. In reality, I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t feel bad or sad. I feel better than ever. What’s the key to changing the conversation about aging?
Luckily, I think we live in a time where the view is changing. It seems like in the media aging has one connotation, but in reality, it is changing. I have friends who are much younger and much older, and I consider them all very close friends. It’s all about shared values and interests and less about the age difference. The last dinner party I attended, there were people in their early 30’s to someone who was 91 years young. Age was irrelevant, we were just 16 people enjoying the conversation! Interacting with all age’s breakdown barriers.
What’s the best thing you’ve read lately? I am always reading two books at one time; I tend to read a lot of non-fiction. I enjoy a well-written book that I don’t want to put down. Currently, I am reading A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win WWII and Bad Blood, Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup.
What’s your go-to hostess gift? I like to give my napkins. They are fun and versatile, I chose designs based on the host or hostess interests. You can never have too many when you like to entertain.
Do you have any seasonal traditions? Summer? Holidays?
Summer is the one time of year that I can throw a dinner party and not limit the guest list! I have more space in the Hamptons, as opposed to my apartment in the city, and love to invite up to 30 people over for dinner. The atmosphere is always fun and low-key.
I love to set a traditional green and red holiday table. It’s the one time of year I really embrace the time-honored Christmas motifs and decoration. Other times of the year, I love to mix and match styles and patterns, creating an element of surprise. However, during Christmas, I get a kick out of the nostalgia inspiring traditional table.
Who would play you in the movie of your life?
Tina Fey. Who doesn’t love to laugh?
What’s the last thing you bought online?
I order everything online! I even buy clothes on line that fit! I just bought an OSMO Learning Game System for a 5-year old’s birthday party and a relief band for a pregnant friend with morning sickness.
What would you put on your menopause registry?
Meditation and yoga classes and a room at 60 degrees.
If you could have one superpower what would it be?
The power to give or teach empathy.
If you had a warning label what would it say?
Overly Patient until poked one time too many. Caution will explode.
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