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The celebrity stylist caught up with PEOPLE at the fourth annual WWD Honors in New York City on Tuesday night

By Hanna Flanagan
October 30, 2019 02:37 PM
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After dropping two songs in 24 hours last week, it’s safe to say Selena Gomez is having a moment — and her stylist Kate Young is ushering in this new era in her music with some major fashions.

Speaking with PEOPLE at the fourth annual WWD Honors on Tuesday night at New York City’s InterContinental Barclay, the in-demand celebrity stylist opened up about dressing her longtime client for success.

selena gomez NYC oct 2019
Credit: Getty (4)

“It was really important that [Gomez] looked powerful and strong and it wasn’t about doing girlish or baby looks,” Young told PEOPLE at the star-studded event, which honored fashion icons like Giorgio Armani and Stella McCartney. “It was about her looking sexy and strong. She’s here to do business.”

Kate Young, Selena Gomez
Credit: Sean Zanni/Getty

“I also thought it was really great that her hair and makeup looked like Selena,” she added. “Sometimes it’s really fun to do costumes and to make it fun and crazy…But we weren’t doing costumes. None of it.”

Selena Gomez
Credit: Steven Ferdman/Getty
Selena Gomez
Credit: Roy Rochlin/Getty

While out and about promoting her new singles “Loose You to Love Me” and “Look At Her Now” this week, Gomez has rocked everything from slouchy belted suits, to an animal-print midi dress and a classic houndstooth number.

Selena Gomez
Credit: Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
Selena Gomez
Credit: GC Images

But each look is true to Gomez’s elevated girl-next-door style, and for Young, that was the goal: “This particular press tour was very much about Selena looking like Selena,” she explains.

Young (who’s worked with Gomez, now 27, since 2014) also discussed the pop star’s style evolution — from child star to best-dressed list regular.

Kate Young, Selena Gomez
Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty

“She was so much younger when we started, and I think, when I first met Selena, the thing that we really wanted to do was make her ‘fashion,'” the stylist explained. “She had come out of Disney and she was turning into who we all know her to be now. It was about making her into a fashion woman and it happened.”

“She is very much a fashion woman and now she’s able to play different characters,” Young added.

Last Tuesday, Gomez dropped the first of her new singles (“Loose You to Love Me”), and the highly-anticipated track gives insight into the last few years of her life.

Selena Gomez/Instagram
Credit: Selena Gomez/Instagram

In an accompanying music video (shot on an iPhone 11 Pro and directed by Sophie Muller), Gomez bares a range of emotions — anger, sadness, and ultimately, freedom and joy — for the camera.

“This song was inspired by many things that have happened in my life since releasing my last album,” says Gomez — who co-wrote the track — in a statement. “I thought it was important to share the music, as I know many can relate to the fact that the road to self-discovery generally comes through the scars in one’s life.”

“I want people to feel hope and to know you will come out the other side stronger and a better version of yourself,” she added.