Makaira Lee

Millennial #girlboss Makaira Lee on her evolution as a style influencer

1 March 2017

Forever Chuck

To celebrate the iconic Converse Chuck Taylor All Star turning 100 years old this year, Miss FQ‘s Skye Ross sought a Kiwi fashion figure who’s just as obsessed with the symbolic sneaker as we are.

So, we caught up with total #girlboss, ultimate slashie, fashion influencer, illustrator and stylist Makaira Lee (@makairalee).

She’s a spirited and stylish millennial who, like many other girls her age, realised that Chucks have continually played a part in her fashion journey – even from the very beginning.

As someone whose super cool style MO is to wear a mix of high and low fashion, we wanted to find out more about key moments in her fashion journey and photograph her wearing four styles of the eternally-cool Chuck Taylor.

This is Makaira Lee’s style story…

The Beginning


Where did your love of fashion begin?

“My mother is a fashion designer by profession and this has had a massive influence on me. I used to sit beside my mum and dress my Bratz Dolls with her fabric scraps as she would whip up an overnight creation. She has made my clothes for as long as I can remember, I started designing my own clothes at 14 years old and she continues to make my designers for me ’til this day.”

The Throwback

What is the story behind your favourite personal fashion throwback moment?

“I’m staring at a photo as we speak of myself in 2011 wearing a tee with an open Swanndri shirt, a denim jacket AND an oversized fur vest with jeans and Chucks. I’m not sure how I didn’t over heat but I was the queen of layering. Jesse Jo Stark and Atlanta De Cadenet were my muses and style icons at this time and helped me channel my vintage/grunge vibes. This was an epic look, I’m all for this comeback.”

The Sequel

The Tell me about the defining moment that changed your style…

“I can’t pinpoint a defining moment where my style dramatically changed; it’s been a bit of an evolution. When I was younger, I really didn’t care what people thought – this was evident in my bold, confident, sometimes questionable outfit choices. Looking back at photos of myself (in socks and heels, snake skin shorts that were pretty much undies, and fully hand sequined tops) I cringe, but despite my style being a little all over the show, I’ve always known what I’ve liked and stayed true to that. I think the reason my style has changed is due to developing social awareness and having my body change. These changes have allowed me to tone down and refine what it was that I was always trying to achieve. In saying that, Chucks with dresses has been a key look of mine for the past 10 years and will continue to be for the next 10 to come, somethings never change. Long live Converse.”

The Evolution

What does the future hold for you in terms of fashion?

“I just want to keep evolving and creating a look that is truly an expression of myself rather than a nod to a particular decade or style icon. For me that’s finding the perfect balance between grunge, borrowed-from-the boys and couture.”

Shop the entire Converse Chuck Taylor All Star collection here.

Follow Makaira Lee on Instagram @makairalee
Photography: Apela Bell | @apelabell
Interview and Art Direction: Skye Ross | @skye_ross_

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