Kathy Fang is a multi-hyphenate queen. She's an award-winning celebrity chef and co-owner of Fang, a popular Chinese restaurant in San Francisco's SoMa neighborhood. She's a cookbook author (Easy Asian Cookbook:100+ Takeout Favorites Made Simple) and star of a Food Network reality show: Chef Dynasty: House of Fang. She's a daughter, wife and mother of two. And, yes, she's a diehard jewelry fan.
Introducing Cast's Fearless Muse
Her approach to life never wavers: be bold, push boundaries, never give up. Plus, her bling game is crazy good and her unapologetic use of color slays. In other words, she's an all-around badass, inspiration and our current crush. And since Mother's Day is all about celebrating amazing women, now's the perfect time to get to know Kathy, peel back a few layers and find out how she nails her signature effortless-glam style.
Watch any episode of House of Fang and Kathy's passion for food and family is palpable, as is the immense respect she has for her business partner/father Peter Fang, legendary chef of House of Nanking. It is he, along with her mom and grandmother, who taught Kathy to cook when she was young.
Another through line of the show? Her never-ending quest to honor her family's Chinese heritage and legacy while remaining true to the modern, creative and daring parts of herself. (Spoiler alert: she never fails to impress.)
Get Kathy's Look
Kathy's jewelry box reflects the balancing act that is her life. And what an enviable collection of contemporary and traditional pieces it is. (We love that she stores jewelry in antique Chinese boxes that pull double-duty as beautiful display pieces.)
"My jewelry tells people I’m not afraid to be bold. I always want a little sparkle to make anything I wear pop! I’ll be in sweatpants and a hoodie on a lazy weekend but never walk out without a few pieces of jewelry—be it a pair of simple stud earrings or hoops, or a simple ring or two. There’s something about it that just makes me feel complete. It’s like makeup…without it, I feel bare," Kathy says.
Her go-to bling look sizzles just like one of her signature fusion dishes. Here’s Kathy’s recipe: “I generally wear three rings on my right hand, whenever I go out. The largest on my pointer finger, then the middle finger, and lastly the pinky. I tend to wear just my engagement ring on my left. I also love to stack bracelets on both wrists.”
When it comes to Cast must-haves, the Fearless Muse Ring tops Kathy's list. "It's such a versatile piece," she says, adding that it's a great starter for anyone's collection. The same goes for the Fresh Track Stack Ring: "Stackable delicate pieces also go with anything and can be added on top of other rings. It’s super chic and understated if you're just getting started on jewelry. From there, you can expand into a bracelet and necklace."
Along with the Fearless Muse Ring, Kathy is currently lusting for the statement-making Getaway Signet which brings everyday drama with its two different sides. "It will give any outfit a big wow factor, whether dressed down or up. I know I can travel with it and pair it with anything."
With such a strong sense of individual style—an aesthetic Kathy describes as "chic, classic and sexy"—it's hard to believe the SF native was a bit of a late bloomer. Kathy chalks it up to attending an all-girls high school, uniform required.
"It wasn’t until I met my ex-boyfriend at USC during my senior year of college that I was truly inspired. His family is Italian and they were all incredibly fashionable. His mom had the most fabulous jewelry I’ve ever seen, and there was always a story behind each piece. I learned so much from her, especially when it came to mixing and matching jewelry. There was a lot of gold, rose gold, silver, some mixed together, some not. She also taught me to accept bold colors. She would have pieces that combined colored stones in hues of red, blue, purple, yellow and green…she never shied away from color," Kathy says.
The ex's mom's style most certainly rubbed off on her: "I remember coming home every holiday and showing my parents my new fashion finds, and my mom would love it! My mom started embracing this ethos, as well, and that’s when we started to share and bond over jewelry."
The Family Jewels
No doubt, a love of jewelry is in the genes for three generations of Fang women: Kathy, her mom Lily and her six-year-old daughter Ava. Sharing their bling passion is not only bonding but lots of fun, too.
"My mother tends to go for more traditional styles with a slant towards Asian designs. She loves jade and, traditionally, it’s supposed to be good luck to have jade on you. (It’s also supposed to protect you.) My mother and I like to design our own pieces to include more Asian elements into jewelry. They're one-of-a-kind, and special to us. I have two rings from my mom that I like to wear a lot, both made from jade," Kathy explains.
A lot of Lily's pieces will eventually make their way to Ava. "There’s something very special about passing down heirlooms to future generations. I would also love to pass down pieces I collect over time—the ones I find timeless. And if there is a story to each one, even better," she adds.
As for Ava, the little one's already a bona-fide jewelry girl, constantly asking Mom if she can see, wear and/or "have" one of her rings (so adorable).
Kathy's Fearless Muse
She's ours, but who's hers? The answer: Michelle Yeoh.
"I started following her as a kid back in the late '80s and early '90s. She always exuded a regal air, had a sophisticated confidence and would shine on every red carpet. At the same time, there is a humility to her, and you see the hard work and stress in the fine lines of her face. You can tell this woman is a fighter, and this year ,she finally won an Oscar! It’s amazing to see this trajectory after following her for over 30 years. She is truly an inspiration and a fearless muse for me,” she says.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Fearless Muses!