For this week’s style stories I got the chance to interview Cayla Kluver, an extraordinary individual that published her first book at 15 and went on to write an entire series called the Legacy Trilogy. In addition to being an author, Cayla is also a fashion enthusiast! Fashion is second nature to her as she attends high –profile conferences, book signings, and so much more. She describes her style as chic with a bit of retro flare, but I’m sure she’ll tell me much more!
Story Leather: Chic with a retro flare, I’ve never hear of two being combined. Could you tell me how you arrived to that combination?
Cayla: There are some things that never go out of style. I think of women like Audrey Hepburn, Betty White, Jackie Kennedy, and Princess Diana – together they embody almost a century of fashion, yet they’re still cited as icons of class and taste. It’s no coincidence that these women are also known for their intellect and activism in various respects – that’s a huge part of what draws people to them, myself included, and just as much as I want to model my life after their examples from an altruistic perspective, it’s equally worth examining and appreciating how they presented themselves to the world through style. They were professionals, businesswomen, beautiful, glamorous, practical, and cutting edge all at once. Fashion always has and always will change by the decade, so in that sense I have an interest in remaining chic and following trends; but the things that have distinguished style icons over the years are timeless, and I enjoy a good Marilyn Monroe or Bettie Page throwback as a nod to that tradition.
Story Leather: You've mentioned that you've always had an interest in fashion, did that develop before or after you started writing and was your style any different prior to your writing career?
Cayla: I've always wanted to stand out. I’m an introvert so it wasn't going to happen by going to parties, having the most friends, or any of the other adolescent go-to’s. I floundered along in middle and high school trying to make a statement with my clothing and my hair. There was the first at-home dye that turned orange; the fuchsia Beatles mop; the “I’ll-wear-the-most-bizarre-garments-I-can-find” phase; the skull-and-crossbones tights; and the unforgettable braces-with-Double-Bubble-over-the-brackets phase (that was more out of necessity to protect my mouth than a real fashion choice). When I turned fifteen and my first book was released, I had to figure things out in a hurry – suddenly I was speaking to classes full of students and their parents, doing book signings, interviewing, and networking. My mom helped me dress professionally at first, then I realized that, as I developed the skills and persona of a young businesswoman, my style evolved along the same lines.
Story Leather: As an author you must have a million events you go to. Are there certain styles that fit each occasion or are there one you always gravitate towards to?
Cayla: For signings, book fairs, conferences and the like, I gravitate toward snappy, current, very professional styles. I love pencil skirts and blazers, though I usually mix and match them rather than wearing a full, traditional suit. I think shoes are the best way to add a unique flare to what might otherwise be a conventional outfit – a pair of striped or buckled heels can infuse personality and modernity into a look – so I always try to offset conservative styles with funky footwear. When I’m visiting and talking to middle and high schoolers, I toe the line between wanting to appear professional and command attention, and being approachable and unintimidating. A nice pair of dark wash jeans and boots never go wrong. I almost always wear blazers in either circumstance, preferably with unusual cuts.
Story Leather: An essential item(s), every person has a few and will find a way to include in whatever they’re wearing, what are your 3 essential items?
Cayla: Blazers and jackets, definitely. They’re an expensive habit, but they’re an easy way to dress up even the most casual looks, and there’s so much variation in styles. They let me get creative. I’m also a huge fan of chunky, statement necklaces. Assertive jewelry is an amazing resource for showcasing confidence. The last item I almost always wear is a ring I received as part of becoming a Mary Kay beauty consultant, which I am on the side. It’s called the Decisive Woman’s Ring, and I got it because I signed up as a consultant within 24 hours of hearing about the opportunity. It has a pink stone and a silver band, and I’m really proud to wear it.
Story Leather: Lastly I wanted to ask about your phone. Everyone has one and for some it’s a tool while for others it’s a fashion accessory, what you would consider your phone as?
Cayla: With as much as cell phones have become essential to our culture, I think it’s impossible for a phone not to say something about its owner. There are so many different types of phones, different cases, different ringtones, different screensavers, the list goes on. My phone is a Samsung Galaxy with a purple case, my ringtone is “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, and my screensaver is a close-up of some leaves. Even though my phone spends most of its time buried in my purse, the little details definitely say something about me.
Story Leather: Are there any upcoming events or announcements you’d like to share?
Cayla: My latest book, The Queen’s Choice, is out now! Its sequel, The Empty Throne, is coming out spring 2015, and I’ll be spending the school year touring and talking to classes and book clubs. If you’re interested in having me for a visit, check out the Contact page on my website, www.caylakluver.com.
I wanted to thank Cayla for finding time in her busy schedule to tell us a bit more about her love of fashion and writing! Be sure to visit her website for all the latest updates for her tour and releases and don't forget to follow her on Facebook and Twitter. If you're wondering about the pictures they were taken by Beyond Photography, check them out as well!
Don't forget to check out our recent works section to see past creations, link right HERE to take a look at all the custom designs that others have made. Who knows, maybe there's a design that speaks to you.
Find Jonathan on Google+