Triple threat Kayla Brianna dishes on the future of her fashion line, NYFW, and more
Kayla Brianna Smith is a triple threat you need to know: singer, actress, and fashion designer. Daughter of NBA champion Kenny Smith, Kayla has paved her own way in the world of fashion and music.
She and her younger sister are collaborating on a new fashion line, K.M. Fem: "clothing for the sassy, self-sufficient lady." Kayla also recently released her latest single "Work For It" Ft. YFN Lucci.
We had a chance to sit down with Kayla while she was in town for NYFW and chat about everything from her music inspiration to her career aspirations. Read the full interview below!
So you and your sister came up with the clothing brand K.M. Fem -- how did that come about?
Originally, we knew we wanted to do something together and capitalize on the fact that we're two sisters who love fashion. We would take pictures together on Instagram and people would start asking us what we were wearing in the comments, and we initially thought we'd do leggings, because we always wear leggings. We still might but eventually it, but it turned into clothes because my neighbor is a clothing manufacturer for Macy's and Nordstrom, and we came to him with our idea and he had the idea to let us choose which clothes we would want to put out and he would be a partner with us.
What is the vision you have for the future of K.M. Fem?
I definitely see us in department stores -- that's the ultimate goal. We want to make a brand and a big name for ourselves. Being here at Fashion Week is really cool because we can see the designers and aspire to have our clothes here at Fashion Week.
What do you hope people take away from the clothing brand you're trying to build?
The pieces can be dressed up or down, they're very easy for day to night. All you have to do is throw on a pair of heels. That's what we were really going for, you know my sister is in college so it just makes sense for us. It's all about being comfortable but still being able to go out and look your best.
Do you want to talk a little bit about how you first fell in love with music and how that also fed your love for fashion?
Music has always been in my family. My grandfather is in the songwriter's hall of fame. He wrote "Natural Woman", "Saving All of My Love for You", "Locomotion", and more. Music has always been in the family and I think being surrounded by that helped. Growing up, I was shy, but eventually I grew out of that and joined some girl groups, and now I'm solo. I feel like art and fashion collide, being able to do both is really cool.
How does your love for music influence your fashion choices?
Well, for example with my last music video we shot three different video because I needed it to be perfect, and we finally got what I loved 100% and something that's really raw and true and authentic -- that's also what I want people to see with my fashion.
Is this your first time and NYFW? What has the experience been like for you so far?
Yeah, this is my first NYFW! It's been really cool so far. Yesterday at Serena Williams' event I was sitting next to Ciara, Lala, Anna Wintour, and we were all in the same row. It was so surreal, especially because this is my first time. Really getting into the swing of things here has been awesome.
Who would you say are your fashion and music icons?
Beyonce. Also Rihanna, for both fashion and music. She always pushes the envelope and everyone is always checking to see what she's wearing next. That's something, with music and fashion, that is desirable. You want people asking what you're going to do and wear next. So yeah, Beyonce and Rihanna are my top two right now. Of course there's others like Gigi Hadid -- they always make it look so effortless when they walk out.
How has social media helped your career while you grow your music and fashion brand?
It's been really helpful because, the song I have out now is a super up-tempo dance song, and people have been creating videos to my song. So, we're doing a contest, and we're going to have some amazing prizes. We're going to be releasing everything on friday. So, people can make a dance video to my song 'Work For It' and the prizes are really really good. It'll be fun to see the videos people make.
Do you have a favorite social media platform?
Instagram and Snapchat are tied, I definitely go back and forth between both.
What's the best career advice you've ever received?
You can't cheat the grind. My dad says that all the time. At the end of the day you still have to work hard and grind to get to where you need to be.
Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?
I hope to have K.M. Fem out in department stores, a couple of successful albums out, I would also love to star in a TV show as a series regular. A Grammy Award or two wouldn't hurt either.
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