Not sure if its the way that she swings her hips or that super exotic fire she has in her eyes, or maybe both, but we love some Leila Thomas. We couldn’t get enough since we last shot for our LA BOHEME collection, so we had to bring her again and grace our VINTAGE ALOHA collection with everything that makes her beautiful self. After a wild week for Swim Miami, we spent our last day exploring around the beaches of south Miami as we channel our island roots in this palm paradise.
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You’re originally an island gal from the North Shore of Oahu. How do you stay grounded and remember the Aloha way of living while traveling around the world?
Leila: I think the Aloha way of living is a certain mindset. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the islands or on the road, you can choose to see the world with Aloha no matter where you are.
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You rarely wear makeup in your photos, but who needs it when your skin is as flawless as yours. What are your best skin secrets?
Leila: Haha! I just literally laughed out loud because I have zit cream on now. You’re right, I don’t like wearing makeup. My makeup philosophy is; if I wouldn’t eat it, I don’t want it. Your skin absorbs everything. I breakout from makeup so when I’m not working I try to use nothing but coconut oil on my body and jojoba oil on my face. And when I’m breaking out (like right now) I eat extra-clean and use Bario Badescu drying lotion.
During Miami Fashion Week you shot with Derren Versoza for VINTAGE ALOHA. What was your favorite part about shooting in Miami? And what is your favorite thing about wearing the VINTAGE ALOHA Collection?
Leila: Derren Versoza is wonderful. I could be shooting with him in a airport restroom and can guarantee we would still have a great time. He makes you feel comfortable and lets you let loose, which is when you get gold. Miami is hot and sticky especially in July, so my favorite part is always when it’s time for the water shots. The collection itself brings me back to home. The prints and colors totally remind me of that old time surf chick Gidget.
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Your style is the perfect blend of island girl meets LA, where do you get your inspiration from?
I pull inspiration from every where. My photo library is all screen shots of cool images. But it’s easy to get pulled into what everyone else is wearing. Best thing is to just see something that catches your eye and ask yourself, do I like this? So many times I’ve caught myself trying to dress to impress and that’s the silliest thing you can do. Sexy is comfort and confidence.
We love your energy, every time we see you you’re always glowing. What’s a daily mantra that helps keep you positive and happy?
Leila: There’s no time to waste being unhappy. Even the most impossibly hard moments this world and life is still so mind-bogglingly beautiful. I don’t have a daily mantra but I think it’s important to constantly evaluate yourself and question if you are happy with yourself and what you’re doing. If the answer is No, then something needs changing. Hopefully it’s Yes that means you’re probably “glowing” too.
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Our first shoot with you, you shot for our LA BOHEME collection last year, remember? Now that you’ve shot in LA BOHEME and VINTAGE ALOHA, we have to ask, which collection is your favorite and why?
Leila: Dang, both are killer. Honestly every girl needs a little bit of both. Everyone has that La Boheme travel gypsy in her as well as that Aloha love. I’ll pack La Boheme in my travel bag and keep the Vintage Aloha for when I’m romping around the island. Which will be next week… I’m coming home!!!! X
Photography by the one and only Derren Versoza