Meet a Genzier: Braina
If you’re a wellness and sustainability enthusiast you’ve probably already heard of Braina Laviena. The Puerto Rican model and photographer based in LA is a renowned model, style icon, clean beauty expert, sustainability spokesperson and a second hand and vintage enthusiast. Get to know more about this Genzier!
1. What’s vintage to you?
To me, vintage is pre-loved. The perfect example that things don't have to be brand new and shiny to be good and bring you joy. Just like the joy of reading an used book and finding annotations amongst the margins, I love imagining who wore pieces before me, what life they had, what adventures have my clothes already been on.
2. What does Genzier mean to you?
Genzier means the future! A generation and a movement, that is far more educated and determined to take into their hands the responsibility of moving our world forward in a positive way for everyone.
3. What’s "style" to you?
Style to me is just a feeling, I am not really a person that has a particular style or follows specific trends. I think your style should always be to wear what makes you feel best on the day you’re getting dressed. I like that clothes give you the opportunity to present yourself with different ideations, on different occasions for the world to see, and allows people to see into your mind and soul a little bit.
4. What’s sustainability to you?
The only way to move forward. It’s essential for everyone to take part of it. For me it can be the smallest things like not using as much plastic, to the bigger things like slowly evolving your wardrobe to reflect your personal values, while evaluating the life cycle of everything you consume or own.
5. What's your favorite vintage piece that you own?
I feel most like myself in a suit, so it has to be this brown wool suit set that I think is from the 70's. I feel so comfortable in it and can dress it up as a set to go out or, wear just the trousers, t-shirt or hoodie and sneakers for a casual look. I also have a vintage Esprit sweatshirt that brings me a lot of joy, it belonged to my boyfriend's grandmother, she had the best style, I love being able to carry a part of her, and think of her every time I wear it.
6. Tell us your morning or nighttime routine, or any type of routine that brings you joy.
In the mornings as soon as I wake up, I drink a tall glass of water to get me going. Then I like to make coffee or tea and lounge around, greet good morning to the cats and maybe read a book for about an hour. I like to start slow so I can carry that calm throughout the day.
7. What's does your perfect day look like?
Waking up easy, having a nice breakfast and spending the day out in the sun with friends.
8. Thoughts on _____ (fast fashion – greenwashing.
Fast fashion has to end, it's up to us as consumers and people in communities to learn, take action, and educate those around us. It’s a problem much bigger than ourselves, our pride or our sense of fashion. We have to demand better practices, and do without using new resources whenever possible.
9. Share a tip for finding quality vintage pieces.
I think the most important thing is trying out and measuring and pieces so you know they will fit you well. For me, a designer or label is not as important. If it looks cool and I want to wear it, then I will, it doesn't have to be this really important or expensive piece, I've found some of my favorite shoes for $3 at Goodwill. If you love it and you will honor its life cycle, that's what matters!
All images by Braina Laviena