NEW KDHamptons Diary: Robert McKinley & Kate Nauta's Rocking Designer Life In Amagansett


Robert McKinley & Kate Nauta

You could consider haute Hamptons couple Robert McKinley and Kate Nauta [above] the prom king and queen of the east end style set.  Designer Robert McKinley started his career in the fashion houses of Giorgio Armani and Donna Karan. In NYC, he is known for his sophisticated designs for venues such as GoldBar and the Sant Ambroeus restaurants, and is frequently featured in publications including GQ, The New York Times, and Esquire. In Montauk, McKinley is credited with changing the climate and drawing many to his properties such as The Surf Lodge and Ruschmeyers. He recently opened Tijuana Picnic in NYC and has a busy fall, with no less than 6 projects opening.


Kate Nauta, a native of Oregon, is an accomplished fashion model, actress, and singer. Modeling since she was 15, Nauta has been featured in campaigns for Versace, L’Oreal, DKNY, and Abercrombie & Fitch. In 2005, she was picked by French director Luc Besson to star alongside Jason Statham in Transporter 2. She is currently putting the finishing touches an eponymous album produced by Lenny Kravitz, which they recorded together at his studio in the Bahamas. She married Robert last year in a fantastical seaside affair at the Montauk Lighthouse.  Learn more about the Amagansett lifestyle of this gorgeous gifted couple in this NEW KDHamptons Diary, below: 

Robert McKinley & Kate Nauta

KDHamptons: How long have you been coming to the Hamptons? Why do you love it so much?

Kate Nauta: I started coming to the Hamptons when I was 18, which is when I first met Rob. We were just friends at the time. After several years of being in LA making movies, I found myself back in NYC & I reconnected with Rob on the beach three summers ago. We fell in love & were married in Montauk last year. The beach is a very special place for us. I’m pretty sure that’s why I love it so much. It brought us back together….forever.

Robert McKinley: I’ve been coming to the Hamptons since I was a kid. First and foremost, I love the ocean & its wild coastline.  I also love being in the country, and the ease that it brings me.

Montauk  Point LIghthouse

KDHamptons: What does a perfect Hamptons day look like to you? 

Kate: A perfect Hamptons day is waking up early & making breakfast together at our cottage. Once in a while we go to the beach and have our morning coffee there. We love spending days on the beach surfing and soaking up the sun with friends. We usually pack a picnic for lunch. At night, one of our favorite things to do is take a drive to the Crows Nest [below] to watch the sunset on the bay while enjoying a spicy jalapeño margarita & a delish Uruguay treat from the BBQ.

Robert: I usually wake up around 7AM, take a walk on the beach and check the waves… Hopefully I have time to surf for a few hours, grab some lunch with my wife & friends then get together later in the evening for a BBQ or even a beach fire. We like Naturally Good for lunch, and Crows Nest or Ricks Crabby Cowboy for dinner.

crows nest

Ditch Plains

KDHamptons: Kate, tell us about what you are working on this summer? 

Kate: I have been in the studio writing music, and adding new material to an album I recently worked on with Lenny Kravitz. I’m very close to finishing the album and I can’t wait to perform some of my new material live. I will be performing at the Surf Lodge Aug 15th!

Robert McKinley & Kate Nauta


* Don’t miss Kate’s show at the Surf Lodge in Montauk on August 15th!

Robert McKinley & Kate Nauta

KDHamptons: Robert which projects can we can look forward to next from you?

Robert: I just finished designing a beautiful private beach residence here in Montauk, and a fun beach club in Todos Santos, Mexico. I’ve recently opened a new restaurant on the Lower East Side in NYC called Tijuana Picnic, it’s two levels of casual Mexican fun, with a 1970’s vibe. This fall, I am excited about a handful of new projects opening in Miami including a brasserie restaurant called Marion, a new hotel called The Hall, a casual eatery called Sunny’s, and a supper-club/music venue named El Tucan.


Robert McKinley & Kate Nauta

KDHamptons: What has been the highlight of your summer so far?

Kate: The highlight has been traveling to Italy with good friends with whom we share the love of summer with while on the East End. We were in Capri & Rome and it was magical.

Robert: Without a doubt, sailing through Italy with our close friends [below]!

Robert McKinley & Kate Nauta

*Follow Kate and Robert here: