Her Style: Leopard Print with Kiana Brooks
Her Style is a bi-weekly article on Southern New Yorker, showcasing one fashionable woman styling a current trend of her choice, accompanied by an interview with her on fashion, beauty, career, and more!
Kiana Brooks is a Fashion Institute of Technology grad, an assistant buyer at Gucci for Men's Ready-to-Wear, and a Georgia peach turned New Yorker. She has been one of my close friends since studying abroad together in Florence, Italy during college, and has such an electric personality that makes everyone instantly love her! Her style shows her vibrant personality, and mixes her Atlanta roots with a Manhattan chic that is all her own.
See how we both styled the leopard print trend in our own ways, and read her fun interview where she talks everything from fashion to faith!
How would you describe your style?
My answer for this question always always always varies. Because as with most of us, my style is ever-changing and is dependent on my mood. Take now, for example. Sitting at the Gucci Corporate office, one airpod in, Lizzo Truth Hurts blasting, confidence all the way up... in this moment, I would describe my style as bold but polished, daring but sophisticated. To paint the picture, I have on a Cinderella-esque lace midi dress with dramatic puff sleeves and circle cut outs at the waist - paired with white Nikes for a touch of casual flair. However, on a Friday night at the Blond (a snazzy nightclub in Soho), you might find me in a black slip dress with my hair in a tight low bun, representative of my more sleek, lustful, and feminine side. --- Anyways, if you wanted a simple answer, my style is striking, vivid, playful, and always a touch limited by my budget lol.
Who are some of your biggest style influences and why?
My biggest style influences are my peers. I am very fortunate to have a girl gang of empowering, fierce, go-getter women who also share my love for fashion! (Audra included obviously). From constantly digging through my roommate's collection of vintage coats, to scouring the side streets of Soho with my blogger friends, I am constantly inspired by those around me and their willingness to push the fashion envelope.
You're such a confident and vibrant person, has that always come naturally to you?
Short answer, yes. Long answer, also yes. Haha. No but actually, my friend Meghan would say it is in my Leo nature to be outgoing and very sociable -- lending itself well to confidence. But it has not always been an easy journey! We all have our insecurities and I have had my fair share of downs on the roller coaster ride that is self-confidence... But I think what has kept me sane, is always remembering the bigger picture of what is really important to me, and sourcing my confidence from there, as opposed to what I see in the mirror. For example, I have always been incredibly driven by and focused on my career. So instead of worrying about if I ate too many calories in a day, I try to think about if I spent enough time practicing my Italian so I can be fluent when I go on my next work trip! Obviously, it is all about balance, but I think taking pride in things besides the progression of my physical attributes has definitely made me a more confident and vibrant person.
What's one piece of style advice you wish you knew when you were younger?
OMG. I wish someone -- anyone -- would have told me not to get bangs. The end. that's the answer.
What's one thing you're passionate about right now?
Church! I have recently found a new church home in the city, which has been a long time coming for me! Being from Atlanta, I was used to a very different type of church than those often found in NYC. I let that be an excuse for too long, and when I finally put some effort into finding a new church that worked for me, that's exactly what I found! The name of the church is Trinity Church Harlem and I was recently baptized and have been trying to get a lot more involved - whether it be volunteering or just attending more services! I highly recommend to anyone just taking a minute to refocus on what is important to you and not letting excuses keep you from potential victories.
If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Hmm, most of my friends would laugh at me, but I would have to pick my go-to airport outfit for sure -- black high waisted leggings with my black cropped hoodie and my heather grey Yeezys. Not only is this the most comfortable outfit I own, but it would also mean I would be ready to hop on a plane at any given point! My only fear would be being called basic everyday, but hey a girls gotta wear what her heart desires :)
I hope you loved seeing how Kiana and I styled the leopard trend, and learning more about her! If you want Her Style delivered to your inbox, you get get it here!