Shaina has the looks of a supermodel and the personality of a star. Her style is effortless yet chic. In a world where tight, short and revealing reigns, Shaina definitely breaks the mold. Instead she prefers maxi skirts and oversized EVERYTHING!
I happen to have a lot of pots on the fire right now: I’m working on my master’s degree in sports business at NYU. I also have a part-time internship with the Brooklyn Nets, as well as an administrator role at a brand strategy consulting firm.
GSL: Describe your personal style?
I'm a feminine tomboy.
I'm low-maintenance, keep a short haircut, and wear my clothes a bit oversized.
I really dislike tight clothing. I try to balance my boyish tendencies with feminine makeup and a fierce shoe.
GSL: What are your top two style influences?
Definitely NYC. It’s an awesome, fashion-forward city that you can’t help but to be inspired by. Social media, too.
I follow blogs and subscribe to YouTube channels to stay current with the latest trends and more importantly, be inspired.
GSL: You and Soho seem to have a "thing" during your shoot. Why do you love Soho so much?
I do have a slight obsession with SoHo! I feel like my cool levels instantly increase the moment I set foot there. I would say it's because the area best represents my personality and style. There’s more to the neighborhood than shopping. It’s a historic district with stunning architecture, beautiful cobblestone lined streets, amazing cuisine, and diverse artistic influences. There’s a simplicity and charm about it. It’s also a bit more relaxed and slow-paced than other NYC neighborhoods.
GSL: Who are your style icons?
Solange. Solange is fearless and I follow her style religiously. She’s teaching me how to mix prints and textures without looking like "who shot John." King Beyoncé. Beyoncé epitomizes class and inspires me to be a better woman. If Beyoncé can perform a show for three hours in heels, then she deserves to be called a king! The Olsen Twins. They effortlessly master the art of wearing oversized clothing while maintaining their femininity.
GSL: What are your keys to great personal style?>
My style is an extension of my personality and individuality so I always remember to be myself.
I choose items that best represent me, suit my body type, and make me feel good, comfortable. I also don’t spend beyond my means.
Style isn't about wearing the most expensive labels; rather, it’s simply how you choose to express yourself.
Self-expression doesn't require a ton of money in the bank.
GSL: When did you discover style?
I credit the discovery of my style to two significant changes in my life: first, losing over 100lbs. during undergrad.
My new size no longer limited me to certain stores and clothing; it gave me the freedom to experiment.
The second, I credit to NYC. I moved here from Boston in 2008 and immediately felt compelled to be fly in a chic city.
GSL: How has your style evolved?
I struggled with femininity all throughout my teens, because I wasn't fully comfortable in my own skin.
But after becoming a woman, losing weight, and learning to love me for me, my style naturally evolved.
I swapped out sneakers for heels, and traded sloppy, ill-fitting jeans for free-flowing dresses. The tomboy is certainly still there, but not as obvious now.
GSL: What are pieces in your closet you just can't live without?
I have a pair of Aldo black wedge lace-up booties that I have been in love with for some time now. I wear them just about every day. My black fedora which I've developed such an affinity for that I call it "LL Cool J Syndrome." I never want to take it off! I even wear it around the house sometimes.
My dresses. I am a tomboy, but I love, love, love wearing dresses.
And all of my leopard print clothing. I want to die and come back as a leopard in a second life just so I can wear my own print! I'm going to be that crazy old woman who walks around in leopard bodysuits and has a home covered in wall-to-wall leopard. I. Can. Not. Wait.
GSL: Where do you shop? What are your favorite brands?
I’m a baller on a budget so I try to be cost-effective when I shop: Asos, Zara, H&M, Etsy, Forever 21, Necessary Clothing, The Goodwill Store, The Salvation Army, Housing Works, and a ton of others. I would say Asos and Forever 21 are my favorite brands.
GSL: Shooting with you was a ton of fun, have you modeled before? Is it something you'd ever consider?
Thanks, I had an amazing time! The GlamSavvy team made me feel comfortable right from the start! I've never modeled before, but people often tell me I'm photogenic and should pursue it.
To be honest, I'm pretty camera shy so modeling isn't something I'd ever really consider.
GS: How do you decide on a look? Do you have a routine?
I always try to mix and layer different colors, prints and textures.
Leather and floral print, for example. I also play up on the feminine tomboy theme. A masculine oversized sweatshirt and snapback cap, for example, would be paired with a maxi skirt and sky-high wedges to help maintain femininity.
GS: What's your best advice for developing personal style?
Fashion is one thing because trends come and go, but style is another.
Style is enduring.
And it’s having an ego big enough to make bold style choices. Just be yourself. There are no limits to how you can express yourself. Your closet allows you to be anything you want to be. That’s pretty dope.
Photos by Amy Hendy