Search #DCModel on Insta and you're bound to spot style muse and influencer Kym Laird. A former goth kid who describes her look as "vampire chic," Kym moved to DC from Florida 8 years ago and has been making an impact on the DC style community ever since. Aside from overseeing business operations for designer resale destination Current Boutique, Kym is a sought after model (she calls herself a "living photo prop") with a vibrant social presence.
I had the pleasure of meeting Kym at InstaStories 101 (For Biz + Bloggers) a social media workshop hosted at Current Boutique in Arlington. When Kym greeted me at the door I was taken by her old world vibe. TBH, I don't remember exactly what she was wearing but my mind recorded the look as full on Marilyn Monroe-issue glam: A creamy silk shin grazing midi dress, her platinum bob and porcelain skin set off by stunning red lips.
The evening was nothing sort of inspiring (have you seen my InstaStories?) but I really admired Kym's warm presence and the smart, savvy and supportive circle of fashion and lifestyle influencers that are both her friends and professional collaborators. Boasting a combined social reach well over 100K, the impressive panel included Phoebe McPherson of Honestly, Though (@pnmcpherson); DC Style Factory Pro Stylist Marisa Gonzalez (@cloverriot), Washington D.C. Fashion / Travel Blogger Shell (@acourageousbeauty); Holistic Health and Wellness Coach Katie Marshall (@katie.d.marshall) and Editorial & Personal Stylist Patty Chism (@stylebypatty). Now I fully intend to profile all of these amazing woman but why not kick off this DC Influencers series with a deep dive on the stylish and savvy business gal who brought us all together.
Up, Close & Personal Style: Kym Laird
JMB: Describe your personal style in three or four sentences
KL: My aesthetic has been described as 'vampire chic.' I love clothes with an edge! I stick to a neutral color palette of well-made pieces with clean, modern lines. I think of myself as a minimalist, grown-up goth.
JMB: How does your lifestyle influence your wardrobe?
KL: My job is the biggest influence on my fashion. As a retail District Manager, I get to express my style and creativity daily. I feel incredibly lucky not to be confined to a buttoned-up office style. You can find me in trendy, statement looks one day, over the top GothGirl the next, and then casual "model off-duty" style on days where I am running between stores or helping with inventory or events. I always say that being able to express my personality through fashion is one of the very best things about my job! I love that there is no distinction between my "off hours" wardrobe and 'on the clock' looks.
JMB: How has your style evolved from your 20s to your 30s and beyond?
KL: Like so many women out there, it took me a long time to accept my body and self as I am. My early twenties was all about trying to hide. I felt like my high school goth style was something I would have to give up as an adult, but found myself unable to find a new style that seemed right. I would always wear baggy denim and over-sized tees. Though I always loved fashion, I felt to self-conscious to wear the items I really loved. Then, at 28, I left a high level professional management job to work in women's consignment. It was here that I found my style again! As I've gotten older, I've started to be happy with the body I've got and realized that with style - as with anything in life - you have to "fake it til you make it." So I slowly started wearing the things I wanted to and faked the confidence to pull them off. Now, three years later, I can easily describe my style and find items I love!
JMB: Do you have a signature look or piece?
KL: My go to outfit staples are my black leather motorcycle jacket, my grey wool overcoat by Vince, black Rag&Bone ball cap and black matte watch by TheFifth. Throw on a pair of black jeans and I am good to go! Every time I reach for these guys I am SO grateful to have purchased them! Investing in great, long-lasting investment pieces mean that even if I am super casual I still look polished and ready to go.
JMB: What are you wearing when you feel most like you?
KL: Black jeans, black shirt, black motorcycle jacket and lace up boots. All black everything, forever.
JMB: Do you have a closet organizational system?
KL: Yes! Working in Retail Management for so long - it sort of becomes ingrained. First, I have almost no dresser space. I hang all my clothing. Pants are on hangers by trouser length and color (shorts, skirts, denim, slacks.) Then shirts are hung by sleeve length. All outerwear is hanging by sleeve length and color on a rolling rack and shoes are by season. Each season change I gather HUGE amounts of clothing for consignment - if I didn't wear it in the last month, it's time to help it find a new home!
JMB: If you had to give away all of your wardrobe except for 5 items what would they be and why?
KL: That would be oh-so hard! But if I had to, I would keep my Vince wool overcoat, my DL1961 black jeans, Rag and Bone hat, Tinley Road leather jacket, and Celine handbag. These are investment items that are timeless and work in almost any season and with any look!
Kym's Spring 2018 Trend Report
Given Kym is a style expert and fashion retailer, I asked her to share some insider Spring 2018 style inspo.
Spring 2018 Trend #1: All Pastel Everything
I am a huge fan of pastels, but I especially love the look of a monochromatic pastel look. I have to have my moto jackets, and changing up the color from the basic black to say, a pale blush, makes it feel fresh.
Spring 2018 Trend #2: Big in Japan
Japan-inspired cuts and prints are huge this season. My first style inspiration was Harajuku fashion - my twin sis and I were known as teh harajuku twins throughout high school because we lives in crazy colors, textures, and massively stacked platform boots. To see similar styles on this year's runways was a real joy!
Spring 2018 Trend #3: Texture Talk
Texture Talk: Mesh and fishnet continues its trend trajectory - which is great because I love a hint of texture no matter the time of year!
Kisses to Kym!
I hope you enjoyed this installment of MappCraft | Up, Close and Personal Style. Big Tiny Closet love to Kym for allowing us to photograph her at work and for being so easy to work with. In the Washington DC metro area? Peep the spring trends (and so much more), curated by Kym, at any Current Boutique location. Follow Kym's looks and fashion musings @Spooky.City.
Know a fashion savvy friend? Tell me about her! Or - share your personal style, outfit pics and burning fashion questions in the MappCraft | Tiny Closet, Tons of Style Facebook Group.
Be the Bright!