As soon as we met globe-trotting writer-editor Katie Armour (born and
raised in Cali, she’s logged in time in Switzerland, New York, and
West Virginia), we were completely smitten. Not only are the two
online publications that she directs utterly adorable and inspiring,
personally, she’s got style in spades, too. On the eve of Matchbook
Magazine’s Issue Four release, the classics-loving lady (cigarette
pants, black ballet flats, and a silk blouse are her daily steez)
invited us into her charming Alameda home to chat about her favorite
local restos, her high-low obsession, and finding health and happiness
in the Bay.
I live on: The island of Alameda in the East Bay
How did you get into the website game?
"After working in interior design in San Francisco and New York, I took
a leap of faith and moved to West Virginia to live with my then
boyfriend (now husband, my plan worked out!). As an outlet to gush
about my design obsessions, I started a little blog. I had no idea
what I was doing, but all these nice girls from around the world
started reading it. We've since moved out West and I’m now blogging
full-time. In January, I teamed up with my college friend, Jane Lilly
Warren, to launch Matchbook, an online lifestyle magazine celebrating
'the classics—shaken and stirred.' We're learning as we go and having
the time of our lives doing it!"
What are your favorite parts of your work?
"I love meeting new people. Everyone we feature is ridiculously
inspiring, kind, and creative. The Matchbook photo-shoots are an
especially fun time. I so enjoy getting to know the ladies and gents
we feature and helping them feel comfortable in front of the camera.
Personally, I am far more at-ease behind the camera than in front of
How does San Francisco inspire you?
"I love being walking distance from the beach and a 15-minute train
ride to downtown. We like being outdoors and walking our pugs around
the neighborhood with all its charming Victorian homes. And yes, San
Francisco has great dining, shopping, and museums, but what really
strikes me is that it's generally just so healthy and happy. My New
Englander husband used to smoke a pack a day, but he quit when we
moved out here a year ago and is now training for a marathon. I'm
convinced there's something in the air."
Describe your daily uniform or the pieces you wear to work the most.
"I definitely gravitate toward classic, tailored pieces. I practically
live in cigarette pants, black pumps or ballet flats, and a silk
blouse. I like to accessorize with lots of jewelry picked up along my
travels or 'borrowed' from my grandmother's vanity. My staples all
come from places like J.Crew, Kate Spade, and Club Monaco. And I, like
my Matchbook reader, appreciate things that are both chic and
affordable (tossing in an investment piece here and there for good
measure). I love mixing my Chanel bag with a Zara blazer—high and low
is a fabulous thing."
What's your favorite local distraction from work?
"My husband and I have become big film-goers since moving out West. In
downtown Alameda we have a fabulously restored Art Deco theater from
the 1930's and every Wednesday they screen a classic like Casablanca
or All About Eve. Some are newer classics—last week we saw Annie Hall,
one of my favorite films. It was such fun to see it up on the big
screen. If we ever move away, I'd miss our local theater dearly."
Last meal in S.F., where would it be?
"It would be here on the island: Pappo on Central Avenue just off Park
Street. We had our wedding dinner there. The food is divine."
What of your work do we have to look forward to?
"Matchbook's fourth issue is coming out next week and it features some
fantastic creatives from San Francisco, New York, Charleston, South
Carolina, and more. I think Refinery29 readers and Matchbook girls alike
will appreciate the latest roundup. Long-term, we have lots of crazy,
ambitious dreams for our little magazine—stay tuned!"
If someone recognizes you on the street, what would you like them to say?
“You looked swell on Refinery29!”