- Words Stevie Carter
- Photography Klara Waldberg
- Styling Emily Tighe
- Styling Nasra Mohamed
- Artistic Direction Catherine Schmid
- Hair Nicola Harrowell at Premier using Sam McKnight
- Makeup Maria Comparetto at The Only Agency
- Photography Assistant Charlotte Dobson
- Styling Assistants Andrezza Capstick and Jessica Flynn
A rising force within the fashion industry, the talented model, social media star and creative Kendra Bailey discusses fashion, career aspirations, motherhood, and much more.
At only 23 years old, model, social media personality, and fashion icon Kendra Bailey has rapidly been placing her mark on the industry and establishing herself as an exciting new talent and rising star to watch.
Garnering an impressive social media following across Instagram and YouTube, showcasing her stunning and artistic fashion sense, Kendra Bailey is a fresh new face on the scene and one we are sure to be seeing a lot more of in the months and years to come.
Recently signing to renowned London-based agency Storm, Kendra’s portfolio is ever-expanding and sees her go from strength to strength, with one of her biggest achievements to date being her becoming an ambassador for Christian Dior.
Having recently become a mom to her now one and a half-year-old daughter, Kendra has been balancing her new life as a working mum, while looking ahead to the future and the exciting new career opportunities and directions it presents.
Notion caught up with Kendra to discuss life as a new mom, some of her favourite brands and most prominent influences within the world of fashion, and exciting plans for the future and next steps in her career.
- Hairband Prada
- Tights Falke
- Body Stylist's own
- Boots Giuseppe Zanotti
Hey, how are you?
Pretty good, just enjoying the sun out here for once.
So did you just fly over from Miami or make any stops along the way?
Yes, I flew in from Miami a little bit ago. Not a bad flight, it’s eight hours so you can sleep through it.
Amazing! How are you enjoying the trip so far?
So far, loving it. There’s good food, nice people, good weather for once when I’m here, I guess. I like the architecture out here too, it’s beautiful; kind of a big switch from Miami to here. In Miami, everything is very white and very tropical and here it’s a little bit more historical looking and it’s fun to look at. It’s almost a better New York, honestly!
Do you have any favourite places you like to head to when you come to London, or the UK; any restaurants, shops or venues?
Well, my manager showed me a great seafood restaurant called Trap Kitchen that’s really good, love that. I was just at a place called German Gymnasium yesterday, that was pretty good, no complaints. Where else have I gone… oh yeah, I’ve been to Manchester. Manchester has The Ivy. The Ivy’s nice, that was cute. I like the dim lighting, there’s something about dim lighting at a restaurant that makes it feel more family to me.
Manchester’s a really cool city.
Manchester’s nice. I’ve heard it’s slowed down a bit since Covid and everything like that so there’s not as much of a roar in Manchester as there use to be, and it’s a little bit more mellow from what I’ve seen and experienced, but they can party there!
There are definitely a few good party spots up in Manchester!
And I also fell in love with Selfridges, what a beautiful place. I love Selfridges, what a dangerous spot to walk into.
Good food, I walked through the bakery area; what a dream! I’m going to get pretty thick out here with all good food on every corner, curry on every corner; amazing!
Selfridges is definitely such a good spot to hit when in London, but yeah, you definitely have to be careful around there.
Yeah, walk in and you’re definitely walking out without some money; quite a bit of it!
So have you managed to do much travelling so far this year with Covid and everything?
I have done a bit of travelling, but mainly just to London since my management is out here; my agency, Storm, is out here. I’ve been out here a total of three times since 2021 but during Covid, I was with my daughter for most of it, as soon it started. I had her about three months before Covid hit and just closed everything down, so I was just in the house mum-ing for a year and some change; just me and my baby, relaxing. Not bad though!
That must have been such a wild experience having a baby during lockdown and the pandemic.
It was actually really nice cause I didn’t really want to go out anyways. I had her at the perfect time to have a baby because what better time. Everybody has to slow down, everybody is taking a break, everything pauses, so I got a chance to actually soak up all the time with her in her first year which feels like the most important thing to me. She started walking, first words, first experiences; I couldn’t have picked a better time to have a baby really so I can bounce back a little quicker and as soon as everything is wrapping up, I’m feeling good, my body’s back together, I feel mentally prepared to just go for what I want to do and I don’t feel bad because I gave her undivided attention. I just stared at her the whole time!
That sounds amazing, it must have been fantastic to just be able to enjoy that first year of her life and be there with her and watch her grow up. I imagine it goes so fast!
So fast. She’s one and a half now and I feel like she’s like three. She runs around everywhere at high speed, climbs up on everything, she’s so advanced, she’s a big girl. It makes me sad a little bit, but it makes me excited. She’s super advanced, she started walking at eight months; cardio started early for me. She was moving up and downstairs, everywhere, there were no breaks starting at eight months.
Oh wow! What’s your favourite thing about being a mum?
Honestly, just being able to… it feels like I get to experience things for the first time again watching her do it. It makes you think about all the stuff that you’re used to and she’s just seeing and just figuring out and just trying to wrap her head around. We’ll go for a walk and she’ll see a plane in the sky and then she’s looking at it like “what is that”. And you know what, what is that? You’re so right, it doesn’t make any sense. So all the first experiences are incredible, it feels like you’re reliving life.
- Bra di petsa
- Top & Leggings marine serre
- Shoes jimmy choo
- Coat Marc Martha
So going from having that more relaxed and chilled year at home with your daughter, where you could adjust to being a mom and new parent, to now going back to work and being a jet-setting superstar; how have you found that transition into being a working mom?
Yeah, I think I found a pretty good balance so far. So I’ll come here and her dad [the musician Bryson Tiller] will watch her and get a whole bunch of time with her, and then we’ll basically tag-team it really and it will be like “you’re in, I’m going to go work”, and then he’ll work and we’ll kind of balance it and make sure we’re both getting what we need out of our working schedules and what she needs with both parents. So, it’s a good balance, I think.
That sounds fantastic.
It’s pretty good with or without either parent, it’s ridiculous! I’ll be like “she’s going to cry when I leave” and she’ll be like “see ya, see you soon I guess”. Either way, she’s a pretty tough little Capricorn.
Are you into astrology?
A bit, yeah! Her dad is a Capricorn and I’m a Libra, so I’m the balanced one in the house.
Libra, so that’s October, right?
Yes, October 13th. Easy to remember I think, cause I think Friday 13th and then Halloween’s in October. I’m kind of a Halloween junkie and an astrology junkie so I was born in the perfect month. I love Halloween.
Would you say Halloween is your favourite holiday?
I think it is, yeah; I love it! I think I’m finding out that out here nobody really cares about Halloween. I love Halloween, in America, it’s the second biggest holiday next to Christmas, we go crazy for Halloween. Everybody is so ready with their costumes; you’ll see all the celebrities have like four different costume changes for a span of two days and everyone’s ready to do the next one just decked out. Heidi Klum is insane at Halloween, she’s the queen of Halloween.
You guys do such an amazing job at Halloween over in America! I’d love to go there for one Halloween just to see how big you guys do it, cause we don’t really go that hard for Halloween over here!
You have to! Growing up, my parents would always do decorations on the outside. So we had a projector and one of the major windows of the house that made it look like there were zombies clawing at the window and that was crazy. There were fog machines and figurines out that talk and we’ll even have mini haunted houses through people’s garage doors; it’s incredible. It’s so fun, and seeing little kids trick or treat in little outfits is the sweetest thing in the world cause they’re so excited to do it and just be their favourite cartoon characters’ costume; it’s so cute. I’m already prepping costumes now in my head, I’m ready!
Do you have any ideas for your costume or if you’re going to do a matching mommy and daughter costume for this year?
Yes, yes, I already have ours in mind. I’m not going to say anything yet just so it’s a surprise because I’m excited about it. I have a few costumes in mind that I hope I can get out but we might just settle for one this year.
And you were saying earlier how your management – Storm management – is out here in London too. How have you found signing to Storm? They’re such a cool agency with some amazing talent on their books.
Oh they have great talent. I love the team; they’re so nice, they’re so helpful and they’re very attentive to everything that I’m asking for or if I say I want to go a certain direction with somebody, they’re very on top of it and they listen to me. They’re always open to hearing my ideas and the direction I’m willing to go or what I want to do. I love Storm, I think they’re great and I’m really appreciative to be signed to such a well-known agency. It’s kind of a blessing. I’m super excited about it and I can’t wait for more to come cause I know they’re going to push me in the right direction.
- Overtop stylist's own
- Turtleneck Top & Leggings Marine Serre
- Shoes Off White x Nike
Yeah absolutely! And you’ve already been doing so many incredible things like becoming a Dior ambassador which is amazing.
I love Dior, I’ve loved Dior since I was a little girl so it was a big dream come true and I love their team as well, it’s so amazing.
Dior is such a fantastic and bold brand. Are there any other brands you would love to work with, either fashion or beauty-wise?
Hmm… I’d have to think. That one’s difficult because I have an entire mood board in my phone. I have hundreds of mood boards for brands but I really don’t think I could narrow it down to ones I specifically want to work with at the moment. But definitely Dior, I love all of their vintage archives of course, they’re amazing. And then I like some new ones out here and I want to work with some UK brands; like I love Charlotte Knowles, David Koma’s really cool and 16 Arlington – they’re amazing. Burberry’s beautiful, and I would like to team up with some of the main UK brands I’m falling in love with out here and work with some English brands.
Yeah for sure. Do you have any particular brand(s) who you would say have massively influenced your style?
That’s difficult. No, but I feel like I have specific people whose style has influenced me. I don’t have a specific style I wouldn’t say, like one person influencing me, but I love every era; I love a little bit of something from everywhere. I love Cher – she’s incredible, I love Aaliyah – so it’s a little bit of the US ‘90s, little bit of the ‘70s. I love a little bit of everything. And then also I’m just kind of a sweatpants kind of girl. And another brand I worked with out here was Places And Faces; oh my gosh, love them. Their team is so sweet and Ciesay the photographer, the owner – great guy! They’re so nice and they have great taste and great style and great creative direction and it’s kind of cool to be a part of their ideas and their brand as well because I’ve seen them for a long time and I’ve seen their work and everyone has worn them, and all the photo’s he’s taken. I saw a really cool photo album of all these cool celebrities and cool artists he’s worked with and taken photos of and it’s crazy impressive. So I love working with them too.
Amazing! And you were saying you love a good sweatpants outfit; what would you say would be your go-to outfit for both a relaxed, chilled day at home and a high fashion event?
Let’s see, for chilling at home that one’s easy; I’m going to throw on some black sweatpants. I love Lulu Lemon; they’re just, you know, Lulu Lemon. But I like Champion, I’ll throw on a Champion sweatsuit – sweatshirt, pants – and then go for some sneakers, some Jordan’s or Nike’s and keep pushing that way. I love to just go to the stores hidden basically. But for an event; I love gowns, I love dresses, I love sheer. Zendaya is always dressed beautifully, her stylist Law, he’s insane; everything is perfectly done every time, he doesn’t fail. I would probably go for something like Roberto Cavalli, his gowns are really beautiful and always very beautifully put together. His collections from ’93 – beautiful. Who else would I wear… anything vintage Dior, obviously. The Robert Cavalli dress that Aaliyah wore to her MTV awards where she won and she had that tiger print dress with the feathers around the bottom of it – that was iconic, I would wear it to sleep if I could. But yeah, I’m a gown kind of girl.
Those are some really cool choices. Are there any bold fashion trends that you would love to experiment with that you haven’t done so yet?
I am very into muted colours I feel, so I would really like to expand and do more colourful things; just bright pinks, bright greens, bright blues, bright yellows, and try to bring more colour to my portfolio and photos that I take, just because I feel I do gravitate towards more black and more bold and darker looks. So I think I probably want to keep going with the photos with Clara and Emily, they pick some pretty bold colours for me and I think I would like to just keep going on that path and go for brighter colours.
Would you ever want to do something like set up your own clothing range or brand?
Yes, I would love to. When I was younger I liked to go buy fabrics with whatever money I had, or go thrifting and buy little pieces here and there, or pieces of fabric, and sew them together and make jackets, or cut things up and make them into my own style, since I was from humble beginning so it’s not like I could buy Dior when I was fifteen or thirteen. I would piece together my own stuff, thrift it, and style it; so I would like to take the things that I like and make them into my own brand for girls that were like me when I was younger and also put a little pinch of my high-end fashion thing in there as well and just make it my own for other people. But yeah, I’m into it. I’m thinking about dabbling in that soon and hopefully having a cool brand to put together and bring to the world.
That would be incredible! And talking about thrifting and whatnot, is the whole sustainable fashion element something that would be important to you for a future brand?
Oh absolutely. Very big on sustainability. I’m very big on the environment so I want to make sure I do my best with whatever collection I decide to put out someday, or if I team up with brands someday, that we focus on sustainability and keeping everything green; as green as possible. Very big on that.
- Dress david koma
- Gloves Pritch
- Hair Clip stylist's own
Are there any other things that are particularly important to you when it comes to the fashion industry and modelling?
Inclusivity, very important. All cultural backgrounds, all sizes and ranges, and everything. Everything that has to do with that I want to make sure I include really just everybody. A brand that I look up to that is super inclusive is Fenty. Savage Fenty includes everybody; every race, every background, everything. And that is beautiful and what I would like to do for my brand as well. I want to make sure everyone feels good in something that I create and they feel the best version of themselves in it.
Rihanna is just slaying the game with Fenty, she is just taking things to another level!
She’s killing it! And I know everyone feels so good in the things she creates; they look happy, they rave about it. Like her Savage X Fenty, everyone feels good. I have hundreds of friends with stuff from her collections. And the fashion shows she puts on are beautiful, I love them so much! They’re insane, the last one was crazy; loved it!
Talking about Rihanna, who is also a music sensation; is there any music, artists, or TV shows and films, that you’ve been really into lately?
Well, my favourite movies are Colombiana for one and Avatar, so I like old movies like that. But my favourite TV show I’ve been watching lately… have you seen shameless, that one’s a bit wild but Shameless is crazy. Then I’m a cartoon watcher because I’m a mom, so I’m heavy on the Disney plus right now. Disney put’s out everything. I would like to personally get into acting and voice overs and things like that; I love that kind of thing, absolutely love it. I watch a lot of cartoons so I think I have the voice for it at this point. And of course, Colombiana is like a dream film I could be in if I could do a 2.0 version of that, I would definitely love to be a badass that just shoots guns and is a girl. Love Zoë Saldaña, she’s great!
Zoë Saldaña’s fantastic, I could totally see you playing that kind of badass role.
It would be fun!
What kind of acting roles could you most see yourself taking on; would it be more in the realm of film or TV or a bit of both?
I feel like I could do both. I like the role of Rue on Euphoria with Zendaya, I love that kind of thing. I would like to do it seriously of course, in TV and movies. I think I would dabble in both probably, but TV series sounds fun because I love to binge-watch a TV show. I think that would be fun, multiple seasons and I could really get into a character and just dive in and become it. A movie of course you do the same thing, but I think because TV series are so much longer and more prolonged that you can really tweak the character to exactly how you want and make it come off more naturally.
For sure, and there’s nothing better than binge-watching a TV show.
I’m going to start Peaky Blinders here in a bit, I’m ready to start that one!
Everyone seems to rave about Peaky Blinders and says it’s fantastic.
I did a poll yesterday on my Instagram and everyone says it’s the best show they’ve ever watched, they say it’s incredible. I heard it’s short, only five episodes a season, but that’s fine, I can do that. I heard it’s really good. What other major TV shows are in the UK, ones everybody watches here?
- Romper miu miu
- Shoes jimmy choo
Bridgerton’s one! Everyone seemed to get massively into Bridgerton.
I love Bridgerton, that one’s good!
It would be so cool to be seeing you in some acting roles as well!
That would be cool. I hope so, so fingers crossed. Hopefully, I’m going in the right direction on that one and I can do that as well; baby steps.
Do you have any other plans for things like that, and any other creative pursuits outside of fashion and modelling, that you would love to get your feet into?
I think so far just probably doing a clothing line or clothing collection, or collabing with that. Acting and doing my modelling and creative directing some of my own shoots as well; I think those are the things I’m going to dabble in for now and then I’ll probably expand later. I’m not sure where life’s going to take me but, just go with the flow and have fun with it and see where I go.