“I don’t even know how to define myself or what I do,” says Kim Hastreiter, sitting behind her art- and tchotchke-filled desk in the Koreatown offices of Paper magazine. On the surface — and, indeed, on the masthead — the winner of this year’s Eugenia Sheppard Award can be described as one of the trendsetting monthly’s two editor-slash-publishers and founders (the other being David Hershkovits), but she is speaking more generally here. What to call a woman who has, in her own five-plus decades and her magazine’s 26-year history, done more connecting, creating, nurturing, inspiring, blabbing and collecting than most matchmakers, artists, publicists, nurses and curators do in a lifetime? A fashion editor? “I’m really not a fashion person,” the New Jersey native insists. “I’m an artist, and, in a way, I really kind of made this job up for myself so I could apply my creativity to all of these different things — to communicating.”
This story first appeared in the June 1, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
At this point, her eyes, encircled by the ruby-red specs she’s rarely seen without (she owns 12 pairs, made “specially” for her by Robert Marc), widen. She’s figured out what she wants to say. “I think what I do is communicate in all these different ways about amazing creativity that I see and that I want to shine a spotlight on,” she says. “I love connecting creative people with other creative people and then I love to see the explosion of what happens.”