Today, Kanye West took over Madison Square Garden with the debut of his seventh studio album, The Life of Pablo, and Yeezy Season three – or as it is sometimes referred to in the Remezcla offices, Season Threezy. With everyone’s attention turned to Kanye (and the Pablo he named his album after), we thought it was an especially fitting time to look at Braina Laviena – the face of Kanye West’s first Adidas Originals collection.
Laviena, who is one of the featured models for Yeezy Season three, told Galore Mag that she views all clothes as unisex – often shopping in both the men and women’s section. But it took her some experimenting to nail her personal style. “I just wear what’s comfortable or what I feel comfortable in,” she said. “It definitely did take some years to realize I don’t have to follow trends, and to find the colors and cut of clothes that I prefer. I think it’s less of a development and more of a coming into yourself, accepting and embracing it.”
The Puerto Rican-born model worked in politics and with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico before moving to the United States and getting her big break.
Here are five things you should know about Kanye’s constant collaborator and muse:
She was Kanye's personal assistant.
Now, Braina is repped by M Model Management and is the in-house/fit model for West’s brand, but back in October 2014, she was Kanye’s assistant. She worked for Kanye for three months, according to her very current LinkedIn page.
Right now, Braina rocks a platinum blond buzz cut. She decided to cut her hair on a whim, according to Elle. “I cut it on a whim last summer , and I am probably never going back to long hair again,” she said. “The color was pretty much the same, I bleached it for fun and I loved it and kept doing it. Now I switch from brown and blonde every two weeks or so since it grows so fast.”
She is good with a sewing machine and power tools
Growing up, Braina’s mother owned an arts and crafts store, and she was encouraged to make things. “I remember using her sewing machine, once I ripped apart this pair of jeans and made all these accessories out of them, a purse, a belt, a bracelet, a little crop top, etc,” she told Status Mag Online. “Then, when I was a bit older my dad taught me how to work with power tools, electrical wiring, being able to build anything I wanted.”
When she was a student at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, she was working these skills as a junior designer for MP Jewelry Designs.
On her move from Puerto Rico
Before moving to the U.S., Braina was the community and project manager both for Explorer Media and the Partido Popular Democratico. But even though there’s been a huge shift in her career since moving to the U.S., she said it’s felt mostly the same for her.
“It’s strange because everything is so similar yet so different. Obviously I don’t have my family, I am lucky to say I’ve made some great friends here but all my long-life friends are back home,” she said to Status Mag. “Although I was working in something so different before I moved, I feel like what has remained the same is the passion I put into my work, my drive, which can sometimes falls into stubbornness. The jobs are so different here, but my approach to work in general has remained the same, and I think that’s a good thing.”