Fashion Photographer Kathy Lo Sleeps in a Buddhist Temple

At the ripe old age of 22, Kathy Lo is getting plenty of attention for her documentary-style photographs. Her pictures range from intimate shots of model Hanne Gaby Odiele at home to candid portraits of her hip friends doing things like getting naked at the Standard Hotel (NSFW, depending on where you work). She shoots regularly for Supreme Management, COACD, and the journal. Lo, who grew up in Vancouver, moved to New York three years ago and now resides in a Buddhist temple in Chinatown. We caught up with Kathy to talk about photography, Fruit of the Loom tees, and the fairest model of them all — her beloved cat, Doris.

What’s the inspiration for your pictures?
My friends and my boyfriend, Kaelin, greatly inspire me and my work. I love the natural state of human beings and the capability of documenting the people and situations around me. I love the aesthetic of snapshot photos.

How do you decide who and what to shoot?
It depends. I like to shoot those close to me anywhere, anytime. Photography is such a great tool to capture moments to keep for the future.

Is there a favorite photo you’ve taken?
I don’t really have one favorite, but there’s a picture of my cat, Doris, that I really love. When she was 4 months old, I caught her trying to jump onto the windowsill. She missed, but somehow managed to hang on to the wall — it was a pretty funny and adorable moment.

What’s the inspiration behind your own look?
Simple, classic, plain, and easy.

Tell me about your personal style. What pieces or labels do you wear most?
I love a nice soft white T-shirt, especially from Fruit of the Loom — I wear one almost every day with a pair of Acne jeans and Chucks. I’m simple, easy — though sometimes I have my dark days …

What was the first designer item you bought?
My first purchase was a pair of YSL two-tone patent-leather shoes with wooden heels. I have probably only worn them five times.

Who are some of your favorite designers?
YSL, Alexander Wang, Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, and Dries van Noten.

At left, Lo captures V’s Catherine Newell-Hanson. At right, a backstage moment captured at the Paris shows.Photos: Kathy Lo

How about favorite models and photographers?
I love all the Supreme girls! Some of my favorite photographers are Diane Arbus, Helmut Newton, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Guy Bourdin.

Where do you shop most for clothes in NYC?
Acne and Opening Ceremony.

Is there an item you are currently saving up to buy?
Yes, a suede jacket from Acne — I’m waiting for it to go on sale even more!

Any trends that you either love or hate this season in fashion?
No. I’m all about simplicity, so specific trends don’t really matter to me.

What’s something every girl should have in her closet?
A big closet space and a Fruit of the Loom white T-shirt.

Finish this sentence: I never leave the house without …
A pack of Marlboro reds, a bottle of water, and Sudoku!

Fashion Photographer Kathy Lo Sleeps in a Buddhist Temple