Originally from Nebraska, this soft-spoken, intelligentsia grew up obsessing over periodicals and glossy magazines. “I’d study back issues from the library and then quiz myself on looks and designers.” The fashion-ravenous female made it her goal to go to New York where her passion would come to life.
Upon getting into NYU, she successfully made contacts that led to big-name by-lines that boasted an impressive resume. She immersed herself into the journalism world of sports, music and eventually fashion. Even before graduating, Zambrano landed her breakout role pitching stories for ESPN the Magazine to the likes of her passion for the NBA. She’s since gained headway at Style.com, NYMag.com’s The Cut, Elle, teen Vogue, Marie Claire and Nylon just to name a few. The diverse writer’s also contributed to more unlikely pubs such as XXL, Vibe and KING magazine as a hip-hop expert. She then worked for Marie Claire as a writer when all her assignments and clips snowballed into an impressive portfolio.
The 29-year-old also has a fascination with bathrooms. Well, design- in general, but bathrooms specifically for the meeting place at San Francisco’s oober-hip Four Barrel Coffee. Always in search of unique places in the city, she pays close attention to detail and invariously jots down potential story ideas as they come up in conversation. And, a chat with young Bay Area natives last Friday proved no different.
Working in tech, her husband inevitably moved to Cisco headquarters in the Silicon Valley almost a year ago which brought on Refinery’s latest Spawn: the San Francisco edition. Among Chicago, New York, Miami, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, why is San Francisco the most successful locale? Zambrano thinks it’s the unique variables that attract people to San Francisco “Girls here have to worry bout the elements so that adds a different factor that the other cities don’t have to. There’s hills, wind, fog and everything in between,” she says.”People have unique style that you have to find and aren’t necessaryily surrounding you. Makes it more interesting.”
A perk of being a big fashionable fish in a small pond, is Zambrano gets the opportunity to hit hot fashion spots and events that she may not otherwise in a bigger city like New York. The night before our meeting she covered the Academy of Art University’s annual fashion show where she got a personal interview with Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton. So there she was—sitting and speaking with fashion’s most hailed designer who just a year ago boasted the most famous bridal gown on another Katherine. Kate Middleton (who goes without explanation). But this year, Zambrano had the pleasure of meeting Burton among other events such as Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the De Young Museum.
Refinery29 SF Stats:
- SF is most successful locale
- Rate viewing by clicks on email newsletters
- Stories hit NYC headquarters 48 hours before deadline
Have general social networks but hope to have location-based twitter handles.
So here we were—six girls swallowing each experienced word that leaves the egoless beauty’s bright pink lips. We sat as she shared with us advice for young journalists and style-g0-getters:
- When pitching story ideas, pitch to “fashion news” section.
- It’s all about people you know. Make contacts on good terms with whoever you can no matter how big or small the publication.
- Network with people a few years older because they are not threatened by youand can give you junior-level opportunities so your not competing.
Katie’s Coffee Fit:
Jacket: Joe’s Jeans
Shirt: American Apparel
Shoes: Tsubo (local brand)
Necklace from Argentina
Bag: A vintage tool bag from a friend
Lipstick: Top Shop “Brighton Rock”
For more photos, follow me on Instagram @Jennyz63
Academy of Art, American Apparel, Cisco, fashion, Four Barrel Coffee, Journalism, Katie Hintz, Katie Hintz-Zambrano, Katie Zambrano, NYU, Quicksilver, Refinery 29, San Francisco, sarah Burton, SJSU, style