in her shoes

The Prop Stylist Who Keeps Hiking Shoes in Her Trunk

Kim Ficaro never knows where her job might take her.

Photo: Magdalena Wosinska
Photo: Magdalena Wosinska

Kim Ficaro’s Instagram is a dangerous place to look if you’re feeling cabin fever. The dreamy feed is full of wanderlust-inducing images like pineapples, perfect beaches, and white-washed spaces. As a prop and interiors stylist, Ficaro (who’s also the founder of home goods site Totem Home) knows how to create a beautiful image. You’ve probably seen her work — her clients include West Elm, Anthropologie, Canvas Home, and Bon Appétit.

A New York native, Ficaro went to the School of Visual Arts to study art and sculpture before assisting interior and set designers like Sibella Court and Christine Rudolph. She worked as the style editor at the original incarnation of Domino and co-authored Rizzoli’s The Inspired Home: Nests of Creatives. Now, she lives in California, where she divides her time between her site and her clients.

The Cut caught up with Ficaro at her home to talk about her daily routine, what’s in the trunk of her car, and her love of high-waisted jeans.

On her daily shoes:
It really varies if I’m on location or in a studio or going to visit artisans, but I love easy flats that go with anything. I’ll wear strappy Greek sandals in the summer and Vans when I’m running around or in the studio. For when I’m half barefoot and half in shoes during the day, I’ll opt for my Sabah slip-ons.

On what she wears to big meetings:
I usually wear something from my best friend Winnie Beattie’s collection Warm. I feel comfortable and super stylish with any of her clothes.

On shoe swapping:
Since I don’t have a desk and I work on the go, I keep shoes in my car just in case I want to go on a hike after a meeting or to the beach after work. It’s a mix of sandals in natural shades, my Vans, Roseanna boots, and flip-flops. If I’m traveling, then I’ll wear whatever the climate dictates. For shooting on the beach followed by dinner after, I’ll stick to Greek sandals. When I’m wandering around cities in Europe I’ll wear high-top check Vans and then if it’s cold, my Blundstone boots are the best.

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Photo: 18-09-17 Accessories AM1 B8 pattygranlund W

On her approach to dressing:
I want to feel as comfortable as possible — my sense of style portrays my inner life. I’ll usually mix in something from the markets or countries I visit. My aim is to project ease, oneness, and authenticity.

On going out after work:
My outfit probably will stay the same — I love high-waisted jeans from Warm worn with a T-shirt from re-done or Jungmaven, which is made from super soft hemp. Or I’ll wear Doen jeans with a white blousy shirt. Either way I’m in flat sandals. The only thing I’ll do is swap into something with height like a No.6 clogs or something by Rachel Comey.

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Photo: 17-11-20 annalund AM2 B3 chelsealahee W

On her average day:
If I’m not on set I usually practice yoga in the mornings. Then I’ll work on designing new items for my store and connect with my partners in Oaxaca to start new projects. On set days, it’s completely different: I don’t stop running around for eight hours!

On what gives her joy:
I love to be able to create an image by finding different props or textiles when I’m styling. For Totem, I’m designing what I want to live with — the colors and textures that surround me. Hopefully this speaks to people that have the same desires.

On her biggest challenge:
Right now I’m focusing on bringing Totem to the next level while balancing it with my styling career. It’s not so much a challenge as it is a gift of being open to any possibilities. I believe in letting it all unfold as it’s meant to be.

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The Prop Stylist Who Keeps Hiking Shoes in Her Trunk