Just following the 2013 inauguration of President Barack Obama, Hildy Kuryk, who served as the finance director of the Democratic National Committee, left Washington for New York City. Shortly after, Kuryk, who in 2011 was named one of POLITICO’s top 50 fundraisers to watch, joined Anna Wintour’s Vogue fashion empire as communications director, having first met the fashion icon in the spring of 2008 when Wintour was supporting then-Senator Obama’s campaign for president.
Nearly 18 months after leaving her life in Washington politics, we spoke with Kuryk about her new career in the fashion industry often foreign to life inside the Beltway, the intersection of politics and fashion, and what she’s learned most about Washington politics since her departure.
FishbowlDC: What have you been up to since leaving the DNC?
Hildy Kurky: “I left the DNC right after the inauguration in January 2013 and my husband, our son and I moved back to NYC. We are both from New York so it has been great being back in the city and enjoying all our old haunts and finding new ones in Brooklyn where we just moved!”
“In April of last year I started working as the Communications Director at Vogue magazine. I can’t believe it has been well over a year already – time has really flown by.”
FBDC: Where do you see the intersection of politics and fashion?
HK: “In my opinion one of the best things to come out of the 2008 Obama campaign was the idea that individual Americans could take ownership over their politics. Everyone could play a role in that campaign, no matter who you were or where you came from. In a similar vein, with the rise of social media, you have continued to see a movement in fashion toward individual style, the mix of high and low, the street style, the Instagram fashion shoots (that Vogue was the first to do!). Most of all there is a prevailing sense that you don’t have to buy designer fashion to be fashionable anymore – it is about how you present yourself and what your personal message is.”
“Of course I would also be remiss if I didn’t commend our First Lady, Mrs. Obama, on her dedication to young American designers and the spotlight she shines on our industry.”