The model talks fashion, favorites and sharing wardrobe real estate with her sisters
There’s a world of difference between Kaila Estrada’s bedroom and her walk-in closet. Where her room is vastly spacious even with three beds each taking up a corner, the closet is filled to the brim with racks upon racks of clothing and literal piles of jeans. It’s a full closet, it’s the style-savvy dresser’s dream.
“I share this closet with both my sisters,” she explains as we walk into the space. There’s a row of sunglasses adorning a wall shelf and a coat rack-turned-intricate shirt display. It feels homey, lived in. As she talks about the woes of sharing sartorial real estate with her siblings (“I borrow from them and they borrow from me, but they have to ask before they use my stuff,” she expresses), I soak in the feeling of a well-loved wardrobe. This is the closet of someone who genuinely enjoys dressing up, whose sartorial tastes have grown with her in step.
Curious yet? Scroll ahead to get a peek into Kaila Estrada’s closet, hear about the pieces she holds dear and see her try on a favorite jacket or two.
Hey, Kaila! First thing’s first, please introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do.
I’m Kaila Estrada. I’m a model and a digital influencer. When I share stories or what I do, it’s usually through the platform of Instagram, but I’m looking into evolving into more videos just to break that fourth wall when it comes to me and my followers. So, I’m starting to explore YouTube and IGTV as well!
Could you describe your personal style?
I mean it really depends on my mood, but I’m more street than I am dressy. But there are times when I do like to play it a little more feminine! Generally, I feel like I’m a lot more street.
Now, we first met a few years back. On that note, how would you say your sense of style has changed compared to a few years ago?
I feel like when we met years ago, I was still trying to find what I really liked in terms of style. I was a lot girlier then, but not because I was girlier before but really because I felt like it was a style that I had to sort of internalize. I was starting in the modeling industry and people around me would be wearing dresses or heels all the time. I kind of felt like that was what I had to look like to be able to land a lot of jobs in modeling. But then I realized that the more unique you are, the more that you stay true to yourself, the more people will recognize you because that says a lot about your character. That sets you apart from everyone. When I became more comfortable with myself, which I feel I am now, I became more sure of how I wanted to look and what my style was.
Do you have any style icons, or sources of style inspiration?
I have a lot, to be honest. Now people are so fashion forward. Before I would say Rihanna all the time, but then now I look up to people like Lauren “Kittens” Abedini. She’s a DJ; I like her style. Then, Margaret Zhang. She nails it every time so I love her also. Oh, and Sara Crampton!
Are you a planner, or more of a spur-of-the-moment dresser?
I’m a planner, definitely.
How far in advance do you plan your looks?
Not at the start of the week; I feel like that’s a little intense! I plan probably the day before. Even if I’m just going to the mall, I plan it. Especially with what I do, I know that I have to post something and I wanna be sure that I look fashionable, [what I wear] is in tune with my style or I’m wearing something fresh. I have to plan it.
Let’s talk favorites. Do you have any favorite designers?
Jenni Contreras. I love her style and that she’s not afraid to express sexuality. She’s also very young, and I find that really impressive and very inspiring because she kind of breaks the mold from the culture in our industry of being too conservative. I find it cool and brave that she does that. I also really like Mark Bumgarner, Esme Palaganas and Rosbert Villar, who I’ve worked with a couple of times and is actually a friend of mine.
What is your usual go-to outfit?
I wear jeans all the time. My favorite pair of jeans would be my flared jeans that come in a light denim. I wear them with almost everything. I’m still trying to look for another two pairs just so I’m not always wearing that same pair every other day. That, or a t-shirt and sneakers.
Are you into accessorizing? What’s your favorite way to spice up an outfit?
I love accessories! I feel like now is the only time I’m really appreciating them. I love layered gold necklaces. It’s something that’s in right now, but personally, I really like it whether or not it’s a trend.
Cool! How about when you’re feeling fancy or need to dress up a little, what are the pieces you reach for?
Blazers! I also love statement earrings for sure, especially when I want to dress up for something a little more formal, I go with statement earrings.
Do you have anything you collect?
Sneakers. Now I have around…10 pairs?
We all have those pieces that we love a little more than the others because they’re hand-me-downs or have sentimental value. Tell us about your fave hand-me-downs or vintage pieces!
I have hand-me-downs but I don’t know if I should call them that because I don’t own them yet? [laughs] But there are a lot of vintage pieces that I borrowed from my tita because she and I have the same size. Whenever I’d go to her house and look through her things, I’d find that she’s kept a lot of stuff from the ‘90s––a lot of vintage designer pieces that I feel would still work if I wore them today. She gave me one blazer that’s vintage Randy Ortiz. I’m glad she kept those!
Could you show us your latest purchases?
A sports jacket, a pair of sneakers and a striped smyth sweater.
One last thing. This is going to sound terrible, but imagine your closet’s on fire. What are the first 3 things you would save?
First three things I’d save? Oh my god, this is so hard…Um, my underwear? [laughs] That would be one. Collectively, just a bag of my underwear…My flared jeans? And a hoodie. I know it’s random but if my closet were on fire, I think those are the things I would really need!
Keep up with the best of Kaila’s day-to-day fits and be there to catch her forays into the video realm by following her on Instagram!
Art Alexandra Lara