RowASeat1: When did you fall in love with fashion?
Keaira Monique: I fell in love with fashion around the age of nine years old it was when I first saw the movie Clueless… Cher, Dionne, Amber and Tai were just everything to me! The fashion in that movie inspired me so much. The next Easter Sunday after that movie I wore a red tennis skirt and jacket set with black knee high socks and Mary Jane shoes – I wanted to be Cher so bad. (Laughs)
RowASeat1: Who is Keaira Monique?
Keaira Monique: I’m a mother, a God-fearing woman who loves fashion and everything that comes along with it. I’m a dreamer who believes I can achieve anything my heart desires if I work hard and keep God first.
RowASeat1: How did you get your start as a stylist?
Keaira Monique: I met Sean M. Rush (Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Kiss Magazine) about five years ago at an event and he complimented me on my work ethic. I was so surprised cause I didn’t think I did anything that would catch his attention (laughs) because I felt like I was in a warm up stage of my life. So, we exchanged info and maybe a month or two later he asked me to style what I thought was a test shoot for the magazine.
The shoot ended up being a 3-page editorial that was published (in Issue 3) and from there the relationship grew and I was offered a fashion writer position that was promoted to a fashion editor then most recently promoted to style director. Sean gave me an opportunity to really showcase my work as a stylist.
RowASeat1: Describe your personal style.
Keaira Monique: My personal style has changed so much over the years. My style is very mood dependent. I’m finding myself going for a more effortlessly chic look. Less is more! It’s really all about the shoe. I’m a shoe gal!
RowASeat1: What’s your opinion on Fashion vs. Style?
Keaira Monique: Style is something that is very personal. Style is an expression of who you are as an individual. Fashion is more about the different seasons and different textures and designers and different collections and trends. Fashion is a form of art that inspires style, if that makes sense. (Laughs) It’s life.
RowASeat1: As Style Director of KISS magazine, where do you pull inspiration from for photo shoots and fashion shows?
Keaira Monique: I pull my inspiration from film/movies. I’m obsessed with old Hollywood… The glamour, I love everything about it. I pull inspiration from Art, artist and music as well. I’m inspired by cool bloggers like you and Claire Sulmers. I’m inspired by my fashionable peers, it’s my job to stay inspired so I like to surround myself with dope things and people – So, that inspiration is never ending!
RowASeat1: Which KISS issue has been your most challenging?
Keaira Monique: The first issue I styled (issue 3) was the most challenging because I was the ‘new kid on the block’ and I had to prove myself. That first shoot I styled was just the worst day ever! Everything that could’ve gone wrong went completely wrong, but thank God the shoot was a success!
RowASeat1: How were you triumphant?
Keaira Monique: I was triumphant because no matter what the obstacles were I stayed focus and overcame – I’m always up for a challenge! It motivates me to grind harder to get to the next level. My work also made the cover of issue 4 and issue, and that was pretty cool too!
RowASeat1: Name your favorite designers.
Keaira Monique: Coco Chanel… She overcame SO many obstacles and never allowed them to bring her down or stop her hustle; so I just respect her as a woman, but her style is very classic and chic, I love it!
Olivier Rousteing for Balmain… I mean I really believe he just knows the type of clothes I want to wear everyday! His designs are just undeniably FLY.
Donatella Versace… She’s a boss, glamorous and fabulous, which it shows in her designs. These are my ‘Top Three’ designers, but I have so many favorites!
RowASeat1: What items are on your style wish list?
Keaira Monique: Items on My Style Wish List:
➢ A couple of Chanel Boy Bags
➢ Christian Louboutin thigh high boots (Black)
➢ Balmain leather moto jacket
➢ Givenchy gown (Just in case I decide to get married soon, laughs)
RowASeat1: What advice do you have for upcoming stylists?
Keaira Monique: Stay true to you and follow your heart when it comes to styling. Do it because it’s what you were born to do not because it’s popular right now.