kai avent-deleon style story sincerely tommy garance dore photos

8 years ago by

When you first meet Kai, you’re instantly swept up in the wave of her natural joie de vivre – and awed by her truly unique style. Aside from having one of the biggest smiles in New York, she also has a talent for pulling together outfits in inspiring ways! She creates looks that are always surprising and decidedly cool.

So after meeting her last winter and completely falling for her style, we visited her concept store Sincerely, Tommy in Brooklyn. It’s an exciting hub of emerging women’s fashion, with everything curated by Kai herself. I find it so interesting that some of the most fascinating stores are now in Brooklyn – it makes shopping in NYC a whole new experience.

For today, she showed us how she styles some of the designers along with pieces from her personal wardrobe…

kai avent-deleon style story sincerely tommy garance dore photos

Describe your style in three words.
Comfortable, classic, chic.

What would you say is your ultimate summer look?
A pair of high waited Levi’s shorts with a cotton or silk white button up tucked in, and a pair of Birks or flats. I always have to have my gold Longines watch and some simple gold accessories. My mom just got me this Sophie Bille Brahe earring that goes along the ear — it’s perfect for everyday.

And the most important accessory for summer?
My bike — I love wearing a cute outfit and being able to ride my bike with it. Something about it feels very liberating, like I’m not restricted to only wear casual wear while riding. I love seeing stylish women on bikes.

You’ve worked in fashion and retail for a long time. How has that influenced your personal style?
Well, retail consists of being on your feet a lot so I am always wearing a cute pair flats. I interact with people all day, whether it’s a customer or a sales rep so I always wear something that translates my personal style as well presenting a good representation of the brand I am building — Sincerely, Tommy.  I love to stand out — I think people, customers, trust you more when they see that you’re not scared to take risks with your personal style. Overall, I dress for myself. I feel sexiest when I am wearing something loose-fitting and it always boosts my confidence for the day.

kai avent-deleon style story sincerely tommy garance dore photos

Your store Sincerely, Tommy opened last year in Brooklyn! Congratulations!! Do you feel like your style has evolved significantly since you took on this new role?
Thank you, and absolutely. I feel like I have more fun in my wardrobe choices. I carry all of these amazing new designers who inspire me to wear things that I might not have before. I love to play around with prints and textures. It’s funny because the store is in an area where people aren’t used to seeing “fashion,” so I will walk down the street, going to the store, and the neighbors will make all kinds of comments like, “Ooh! That’s really different”. I always have to laugh. I’ve always been into clothes, but now I am around clothing that is literally like art. Every day is a new opportunity to top the last outfit.

What personal styling advice do you give to your customers?
Have fun! We attract a very special kind of woman. One who knows what she likes and how she likes to dress. We always encourage our customers to take risks and more so to look at their Sincerely, Tommy buys as investment pieces.These are timeless pieces and can easily be added to any wardrobe.

You stock many emerging, local designers. Who are some of your favorites?
That’s hard because I feel like I’ve created a special bond with them all. I would say Cistanthe is one of my favorites. She travels around the world to create her pieces and everything is almost always handmade making it that much more special. She combines inspiration from traditional garb from different cultures and creates her own version of it. There’s nothing else like it from what I’ve seen.

I really love Georgia Alice as well — a new line from Australia. Her collections are always really chic with an affordable price point. She makes clothing that makes you feel sexy without having to show a lot of skin. We just picked up some really wonderful lines from Côte d’Ivoire, Loza Maleombho, London-based womenswear line Roshi Porkar, and Arthur Arbesser, who is getting a lot of praise right now. I am excited for Fashion Week because we picked up about 4 new lines — they’re so different to what we have now.

kai avent-deleon style story sincerely tommy garance dore photos

kai avent-deleon style story sincerely tommy garance dore photos

You keep your hair natural (so beautiful!). Do you find this influences the way you dress, or how you put a look together?
Yes, tremendously. I have a lot of hair and it’s big! I feel like my hair is my biggest asset as in, that’s what everyone notices first when they see me. Sometimes I feel like I have to tone it down because of my hair or else I get too much attention. I am really picky about what silhouettes I wear when my hair is out because I like to feel proportioned, if that makes any sense. I enjoy having a hairstyle that isn’t extremely popular, but I don’t want it to identify me. I’d much rather have fun with my wardrobe and use that to express my style and personality, rather than my hair.

What is the one item in your wardrobe that you love the most?
These forest green high waist leather shorts that I got in Paris a few years ago. They’ve never gone out of style and they’re so comfortable. I literally wear them with everything.

When it comes to style, what’s most important: comfort, beauty or innovation?
Comfort, definitely comfort. Beauty is what you make it and, to me, I feel most beautiful when I feel comfortable; in my skin, clothes, etc.

Who is your fashion icon?
I don’t really have an icon vs women who inspire me. I have always admired Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Bianca Jagger, Rei Kawakubo, Angela Davis, Ashata Shakur, my mother and grandmother, and so many more. I love women who carry themselves with ease and confidence, who know who they are, embrace the journey of life and seek experience outside of their environment.

kai avent-deleon style story sincerely tommy garance dore photos

kai avent-deleon style story sincerely tommy garance dore photos

For more style stories, click here!

Look 1 / Striped shirt and pants: Sincerely, Tommy. Look 2 / White shirt: Acne; Jeans: Vintage Levi’s; Sneakers: Isabel Marant. Look 3 / Off-shoulder top: Georgia Alice; Black pants: Not Aligne; Shoes: H&M Moroccan Slides. Look 4 / Dress: Georgia Alice Dress; Tee: Unfortunate Portrait; Heels: Dries Van Noten; Clutch: Larissa Hadijo; Watch: Longine; Ring: ByDori; Necklace from Maryam Nassir Zadeh store.


Add yours
  • What a great style! I can’t love more her shoes, they are so beautiful!

  • Have a crush on the shoes too. <3 Not to mention that Kai seems to be the most adorable. Love this sneak peak of her personality and beauty.



  • wow, great style!
    Passa a trovarmi VeryFP

  • A part la dernière tenue, je ne me vois pas faire du vélo avec ce qui est présenté par Kai…D’ailleurs, un post sur les tenues pour faire du vélo serait top!

  • Kai has a great sense of what her style is and what works on her. Not everything here would work well on a lot of people, but they all look amazing on her. I would call it eclectic chic — some of it is classic and some is avant-garde. It’s interesting that Rei Kawakubo is an inspiration because that’s how I would describe Kawakubo’s design esthetic.

  • La photo de la robe fendue sur le cote laissant entrevoir de belles jambes ainsi que celle avec la chemise/jean/basket sont mes preferees.

  • Waouh Superbe femme ! et quel style !

  • Awesome style, lots of cool idea here. But Georgia Alice is a New Zealand designer… Neada you’re being a classic Aussie stealing here from us… :P

  • Kai has an absolutely flawless style !

  • Ghislaine July, 21 2015, 11:18 / Reply

    Oooh très jolie fille!

  • Alexandra July, 21 2015, 11:38 / Reply

    She’s adorable!

  • Waouw! J’adore son style et c’est vrai que sa bonne humeur se transmettrait presque par les photos! Merci pour le partage et la découverte de Kai!


  • Clotilde July, 21 2015, 12:02 / Reply

    Mon com sur Karlie n’est pas passé hier (alors qu’il n’avait pas été écrit pour être méchant), mais je prends ce post d’aujourd’hui sur Kai comme une réponse positive. Cette fille est géniale, les fringues qu’elle vent sont exceptionnellement belles et originales, et son site web est très riche, surtout la partie Journal et Lifestyle, avec de l’art, de la culture, de la sociologie même, plein de choses intéressantes. Donc merci.

  • Kai is intriguing and beautiful! I’m infatuated with her unique look and her love for new upcoming designers! Yeah for Brooklyn, the new fashion epicenter!!!! xo

    adorn la femme

  • I love her! This is the first I have learned of her or her store, but I complete relate to 100% of her thoughts and philosophy. I can just feel that she is down to earth, there is a kindness and honesty that comes through in her responses.

    Somehow, the way she speaks about style grounds it… the emphasis on comfort, and the idea that buying amazing/inspiring pieces is a strategy for building lots of outfits. My husband mocks me when I refer to purchases as “investments”, it’s pretty funny actually. I am definitely putting her store on my list the next time I visit New York. (That ACNE shirt is insane! I want it!)

  • Liahliah July, 21 2015, 6:33 / Reply

    Superbe travail. Une personnalité riche et spontanée. Je retiens l’adresse!

  • mareme July, 21 2015, 7:07 / Reply

    Monumental coup de cœur (et c’est peu dire …je pense qu’il va me hanter pas mal de temps…) pour l’ensemble LOZA MALEOMBHO vendu sur son site. http://sincerelytommy.com/collections/clothing/products/loza-maleombho-golf-pants
    Et en effet Cistanthe mérite d’être plus connue…j’aime beaucoup l’intemporalité qui émane de chaque pièce qu’elle a choisit. On est dans l’antre d’une femme de goût, si on cherche Le style, c’est assurément dans ce genre de boutiques qu’il faut se rendre…Si je le pouvais , je m’offrirais l’ensemble cité plus haut et ces boucles d’oreilles
    sur le champ…

  • Love to read stories about stylish brave woman. I just would give everything to have my store in Brooklyn & someone asking me the following:

    1.What is the one item in your wardrobe that you love the most?
    2.Who is your fashion icon?

    Super bien Kai!

  • she has such beautiful style


  • Jessica July, 21 2015, 10:38 / Reply

    Sincerely, Tommy is in my hood! If I have a day off I like to walk over and sit at the counter with a cup of coffee (yes, there is a cafe inside the store). Like she mentioned, the store is in an area where people don’t expect to see “fashion”. It could be so out of place but it fits perfectly in Bed-Stuy, probably because from what I hear she was born and raised here.

    Garance and Team, please continue to show a diverse array of personalities and styles on the blog! It adds a certain richness to your work!

  • So beautiful and inspirational!

  • Love her style! -I have to point out though that she is wrong about Georgia Alice being Australian. It’s from New Zealand!! (which is like, a whole different country) :)

  • J’adore la confiance en elle qui ressort de l’interview, et je trouve ses propos sur ses clientes et sa boutique passionnants! J’aime les gens qui sont passionnés par ce qu’il font!

  • Like the shoes ;)


  • Francesca July, 22 2015, 7:16 / Reply

    Loved reading the interview! Her style inspires me on a daily basis!

  • Love her style! Can’t wait to check out her store next time I am in NY


  • Braaun July, 23 2015, 5:20 / Reply

    I love that you featured Kai here for the second time. Her style is daring & original and on top of that, she looks like a sweetheart so what’s not to love?! Kudos to you guys for featuring women who aren’t often celebrated in mainstream media, it reminds us that we are not invisible. XO.

  • Martine July, 27 2015, 4:51

    Seems to me that girls with afros exactly like hers are half of every fashion magazine. She is exactly what people are supposed to admire today. I would love to have hair like that! It would make me instantly popular.

  • Martine July, 27 2015, 4:53 / Reply

    She has amazing style. The hair and the shoes, and the bright smile are all perfect.

  • Great interview! She’s such a beauty not only externally and her smile conveys such joy!

  • I’ve heard of this store last year, but after this story, I have to go check it out. Beautiful girl, beautiful clothing, cool story.

  • Hi, I absolutely love the shoes (black ones with flowers detail on heels) on this blog post! Please let me know where they can be bought ???

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