Still in school and with a closet that includes Louis Vuitton loafers and Marc Jacobs suede boots? We are impressed. With aspirations to be a creative director in fashion (he starts a degree in creative direction at the prestigious London College of Fashion in June), eighteen-year-old British-Malaysia fashion blogger Kieren Kanda (stylebykieren.com) opened up his closet for The Directory.
My top five favourite items in my closet are:
Givenchy high-top sneakers: I love the studs across the strap. It never goes unnoticed – I don’t know if the attention is good or bad but I don’t really mind. Since they are black and white, they go with most looks, and sneakers again are so versatile in the sense that you can wear it with any look except a strictly formal one or to the beach.
Maison Martin Margiela for H&M peacoat: It’s huge and comes in just one size. Such a statement piece, and the wool is of such great quality.
Vintage Tommy Hilfiger sweater: It’s an oversized sweater with a massive logo on the chest. It’s my first-ever vintage piece, picked it up in a boutique in Paris.
Maison Martin Margiela for H&M suit trouser: In a beautiful tan colour, they come complete with a jacket and a waistcoat. I have never seen a three-piece look that good. The quality of the fabric is great too.
Calvin Klein watch: It’s one of my only watches. My parents gave it to me on my 16th birthday and I love the thin leather straps with the oversized, huge circle dial – it has no number and just two hands.
My top 5 beauty products:
Matte wax: I hate the normal gel as it has a wet-look, whereas this gives a more natural look.
Silver shampoo: It brightens my blonde hair and is ideal because the sun leaves it yellow in places sometimes.
Cologne: My favourite is Chanel’s Bleu.
Lip balm: I love Vaseline’s crème brulee lip balm, chapped lips are a big no-no for me. My mum recently got me Vaseline’s pink champagne one from London, it’s really nice too. You don’t get them here.
Leave-in conditioner: Since I dye my hair so much, it’s quite damaged and leave-in conditioner is perfect to rehydrate it and leave it all soft and shiny.
The one thing I will never get enough of .. is tank tops, I have many in neutral colours. It’s so easy to wear them, you can dress them up or down. For an evening, I’d like to pair a white one with, say, my Zara Burberry-inspired leather-sleeved trench coat with dressy sneakers. And for the day I can dress them down with my Franklin Marshall reversible jacket I bought during the summer. My biggest bargain is a Marc Jacobs white tank top for Dh20 and a Michael Kors one for Dh10.
My style icon is .. I’d like to say Kanye West, only because he has so much Givenchy in his closet. I don’t believe in style icons: I take a bit from everyone’s style and add a personal touch to make it mine. I’d rather be a style icon than have one.
Style is .. an expression of one’s individuality and identity. It’s necessary to get as creative as possible, I believe. It shows you your ability and where you can progress to in any endeavours.
I got interested in fashion .. when America’s Next Top Model first went on the air. The behind-the-scenes look at the fashion industry was amazing. One of the judges, Jay Manuel, who is a creative director, is one of my biggest fashion influences. He was the inspiration behind the silver hair - I am going completely silver when I am done with school -- they don’t let me dye my hair too light.
My friends and family add to my wardrobe -- I make wishlists before my birthday and Christmas. I just celebrated my birthday and some of my gifts included a Zadig and Voltaire sweater, a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt my mum found on Etsy and these lovely cuff bangles my friend Lailli Mirza bought from Asos. One of my favourite Christmas gifts this year given to me by my sister is a HE by Mango pure cashmere sweater.
My clothes hangers .. are Maison Martin Margiela for H&M. When I went to the launch at Dubai Mall, I convinced the store manager to give me the MMM hangers they use in the store. I even got one of the aprons the store workers wear.