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By Emma Sarran Webster | July 12, 2016 | People
We chat with E! News anchor/theCATTWALK founder Catt Sadler right before she comes to Chicago for Simply Stylist this weekend to get her thoughts on growing up in the Midwest, Snapchat, and go-to summer styles.
As an E! News anchor, Catt Sadler is as central to the entertainment scene as you can get. And, like many red carpet regulars, Sadler has become a fashion icon in her own right. Her savvy on-camera style is an extension of her innate fashion and beauty sense, which she shares with fans in the form of inspiration, ideas, and stunning images on her website, theCATTWALK.
This Saturday, July 16, Sadler, an Indiana native, will stop in Chicago for the fourth annual Simply Stylist conference, where she’ll connect with career-minded fashion and beauty lovers during a day of networking, workshops, and, of course, killer style. We caught up with Sadler in advance of the event to chat about her passion for fashion, her Midwestern roots, and what she really thinks of the entertainment industry.
You're coming to Chicago to host Simply Stylist this weekend. Tell us about your involvement with Simply Stylist and its Chicago conference.
CATT SADLER: Well it’s been such a privilege, I have to say. I’ve been involved with Simply Stylist almost since its inception. Sarah Boyd, the founder, is a very dear friend of mine—really, family of mine. It’s always so nice to go to the Midwest; I’m from Indiana, and any chance I can get back to Chicago I try and make happen. [At the conference], I facilitate most of the conversations and interview the keynote speaker, and welcome everybody. It’s fun because there’s so much enthusiasm from everybody who comes to talk all things beauty and fashion, so it doesn't feel like work at all.
A lot of people know you as an E! News anchor and TV personality, but you also have your website, theCATTWALK, which is very fashion- and beauty-focused. What do you love about that side of your career?
CS: It has been such a wonderful creative outlet for me. It really started because of my E! News audience and fan base around the world. It’s been an amazing way to connect with them outside of just the one-way traffic of me standing up in front of a TV camera and delivering entertainment news. This has been so great because I am a creative person. I love fashion—I’ve learned so much after being in front of the camera for 10 solid years here in Hollywood—and I love beauty. I used to work at a Trish McEvoy counter when I was in college. I was a makeup artist; so when all these worlds collided it was just so, so cool. And with the digital evolution, I can create my own content, I can really reflect my own personal style aesthetic, and I can share and inspire. That really is something that again, on television, I don’t necessarily get to do because I'm more of a performer in that sense. But in the online space, it’s really more of an exchange. So, I do love that, and I love photography, and I love imagery. theCATTWALK is a real labor of love. And I have a wonderful team, so it’s kind of like being a girl boss in that sense as well, and really having a team that really collaborates, so I just feel super lucky.
What is your go-to summer outfit?
CS: I change clothes all the time because I'm either shooting stuff with the blog or I'm on TV wearing certain clothes. My wardrobe is so versatile. One minute I’m wearing denim cutoffs, and then next minute I'm in stilettos and leather pants. But I’m really into this cold-shoulder trend this summer. I think [the exposed-shoulder blouse is] a really flattering, pretty, and feminine style choice. I also think that's a look that I can wear all day that takes me from day to night. You can wear it with shorts and flats, and it can be more casual [or] you can throw on jeans and high heels and take it into the evening for cocktails with your friends. I personally don’t do a lot of dresses—I tend to gravitate more to jumpsuits. I think full-length jumpsuits are fun this time of year. Those are comfortable and comfort is key. [And] I’ve been living in flats way more than I ever thought I would. There are so many cute sandals out right now, that [I] even [wear them] on TV. 10 years ago on E! News I would’ve never worn flats, but I think everybody can embrace that more Parisian trend now. It's not all about wearing high heels and platforms all the time.
Catt Sadler attends Simply Stylist 'Do What You Love' Fashion and Beauty Conference at The Grove in Los Angeles on March 19, 2016.
You’re from the Midwest. How do you think your Midwestern roots play into your career and your success out in L.A.?
CS: I think it’s been absolutely invaluable for me, because when you’re from the Midwest, there’s a certain value system I think people abide by. I think that has served me in remaining grounded. There are a lot of temptations and distractions, and the entertainment business as a whole can be somewhat superficial, and sometimes you don’t always get what you think you’re going to get. Things aren't always face value, so I think the core values of being from the Midwest—and also just being a mom—[have] served me really well. I think I have a decent sense of my priorities in life. This is all glamorous and fun—I'm sitting in my dressing room right now, and there are beautiful clothes around me, and shoes, and jewelry, but that is obviously very temporary. And I have two beautiful boys [who] bring it right back anytime I start to lose my way or think that any of this is super important. Because it's been so enjoyable and I love what I do, and I feel so grateful to do what I do, but at the end of the day, everything's fleeting. It always comes back to family.
As an entertainment reporter, what do you think about the ever-growing film and TV scene here in Chicago?
CS: I think it’s wonderful! I think Chicago as a whole, my goodness, the city has everything—it’s got wonderful people and a great cosmopolitan vibe; it's got the water—so it only makes sense that they’re starting to create storylines that exist out of Chicago. I think it's super cool.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you're in Chicago?
CS: I love to just explore. My brother actually lives there, and I always follow his lead when I have any time at all. Usually when I’m there for Simply Stylist, unfortunately because I'm not with my kids, I’m kind of in and out working, but I try to take in anything I can. [I don’t get to] a lot of cultural experiences, but I'm usually at least at restaurants eating and drinking, and sometimes shopping. I had a really great margarita at Big Star the last time I was there. I’m in the West Loop a lot because that’s where my brother hangs, so we’ve popped around the places there. And the last time I was in Chicago, I had brunch on the balcony at Freds at Barneys New York Chicago on the Magnificent Mile. That was lovely. I wish I had more time to visit. I grew up going to the dunes, and I would go to Lake Michigan and swim, I have so many really fond memories [from childhood].
You're a big Snapchat user. Will you share your Chicago journey on Snapchat this weekend?
CS: Oh my gosh, of course—that’s an easy thing to answer! It’s so funny; I think I’ve only snapped three times in the last 24 hours, and I already feel like I'm going through withdrawal; that's how busy I've been. I do love Snapchat so much. I don't know if it's a healthy addiction, but it is definitely an addiction. So Chicago will be the perfect place to do that and you better believe I will absolutely be doing it!
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF SIMPLY, INC.; BY ARAYA DIAZ/GETTY IMAGES (SIMPLY STYLIST)
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