Photographed by Alexis Badiyi

Styled by Kai Avent-deLeon, Gemsun and Alexis Badiyi

A community building, uplifting spirit and creative soul - our first fall MEGA GEM KAI.In our conversation with her, Kai reflects on the meaning of friendship, her favorite fall colors and styles as well as what she’s most excited about during this transitional season. Read about her beautiful view on life, her thoughts and her favorite GEMSUN pieces below.

What is your favorite fall tree leaf color?

"My favorite fall color is orange yellow. Yellow is actually my favorite color in general so I really love the bright yellows and kind of bright orange."

What did you like about styling yourself in Gemsun fall?

"I think I really just liked the overall ethos of the shoot. I align with the Gemsun mission and overall branding and so I felt like I had a lot of freedom in implementing my own style. I just felt really comfortable and that’s something that I always strive for when I’m getting dressed in the morning."

What is your favorite Gemsun piece?

"My favorite GEMSUN piece from this current collection or the one coming out would have to be the blue knit dress. But my overall favorite Gemsun piece is my striped knit hat. I love it and it’s a staple I’ve been wearing it consistently since I bought it about three years ago."

What does friendship mean to you?

"Friendship to me really is family. I’ve always kind of built my family from the friends that I have and so it’s just always kind of represented these very intimate relationships that are also a mirror and a reflection of yourself. I like to think that the friends I attract are mirroring where I am in my own evolution and journey, and holding me accountable, but also creating space for love to grow."

How do you connect with your friends?

"I connect with my friends in different ways and my closest friendships are actually people I don’t speak to very often.  So I feel like when we do connect it’s often over something we both enjoy. Going to the cinema, cooking together, usually dancing to house music somewhere but on a more frequent level, I would say just taking a walk in our neighborhood and talking and feeling really present with each other."

How did you feel being styled by Gemsun and Alexis?

"I enjoyed getting styled by them. Honestly, it felt like things that I would wear on my own, and they were super intuitive in terms of knowing my own style, so I just felt comfortable."

What inspires you lately?

"Lately, my inspiration is coming from, really just being in nature.  The more present, I feel the more I’m able to just happen to myself and hear and listen to the voice inside of me, and it allows me to just create in a way that feels very organic and so I’m definitely inspired by little things I see. Whether it’s someone on Instagram or just maybe someone passing by,  travels I’ve taken but lately it’s really just been nature and being at one with her."

What do you love most about dressing yourself in fall?

"Honestly, I’ve always been more of the summer girl, but I know that dressing in the fall is definitely a thing and as I’ve gotten older, I appreciate it more because it’s like where you really get to show off your sense of style. I love watching other people and how they layer and utilize this season to tease layers in different textures, so yeah I would say that that’s probably my favorite part right now as being able to get cozy and wear cute sweaters and long coats."

Gem or Sun and why?

"Gem or sun is a hard one because I love the sun like I thrive in the sun. I think I already referenced that summer is my favorite season but I also feel like I’m a gem so it’s hard to choose so I’m gonna say sun for now."

What is something exciting that is coming for you this fall?

"I’m excited for fall. I would say again just hibernating, being upstate a lot I’m watching the leaves change. I do enjoy a good fire around this time and also this is when the coyotes start to come out at night and howl. And I  just find it to be something that is so spiritual and hearing them howl at night in unison it’s just really beautiful to me. I also just love this idea that the earth is kind of going into a more restorative state, so I think as humans specifically as women we naturally fall in line with that, and it just gives us a time to rest so I am looking forward to being in a more restful state, eating more nourishing, hearty meals and spending time with family."