Updated: Jan 28, 2021
London-native Kaya Bayley-Hay is an actress and rising model who believes in the pursuit of multiple passions. “Don’t let anyone try to narrow your sights” she says with conviction. With such a strong mindset, the up-and-coming model dreams of working with fashion powerhouses such as Dior, Prada, and Burberry. Kaya talks to us about her perfect day, modelling, and her biggest takeaways from 2020.
Photographed by Edwin S Freyer. Fashion Editor by Alton Hetariki.
MakeUp by Naomi Nakamura. Hair by Davide Barbieri.
Kaya appears courtesy of Hive Management. Words by Sandy Aziz.
Where are you from and where do you consider to be home?
I have quite a diverse heritage. My mom is from New York and my dad is from Jamaica, but I’m a London baby, born and bred! I totally love being submerged in London’s culture and fashion and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
How did you get involved in modelling and how long have you been modelling for?
I was always scouted growing up because I was so tall, but only recently decided to act on it. Since September, it’s been a whirlwind of castings and shoots, and I absolutely adore it!
Tell us what your modelling goals are.
I dream of someday doing a Vogue cover... editorials just seem so glamorous to me. As of now, I aspire to do my first runway show, they look like so much fun.
How would you describe your personal style?
I like to play around with a mix of everything. I think combining distressed streetwear with elegant or fitted pieces can create a really unique look. All in all, I think fashion should first and foremost reflect what you’re feeling in the moment, so don’t take yourself too seriously!
What is your “go-to” model off-duty outfit?
I would definitely say a wide-legged pair of trousers (flared or straight, depending on how I’m feeling) with a cropped tee and my beloved docs. I have recently made an investment in a pair of pinstripe Maison Margiela trousers that I wear pretty regularly. I have been loving the idea of experimenting with contrasting silhouettes!
More generally, is there a brand or creative in the industry that you really want to work with? If so, who and why?
Since I was a child, I had been waiting to inherit my mother’s Dior saddle bag when I turned sixteen, so that has definitely engrained a dream of working with the House of Dior, as well as Prada, Burberry and Versace - a bunch of my favourite brands. I also would love to work with Edward Enninful and Tyler Mitchell, they are such role models to me!
You are an actress and model – what is your advice to those that are trying to pursue multiple passions?
The most important thing is to never let anyone try to narrow your sights. People will tell you that you can’t do everything and will want to put a definite label on you but keep exploring because it’s totally possible to be successful in whatever you’re passionate about.
Describe your perfect day.
A perfect day definitely includes a late start for me! I’m quite leisurely in the morning, so I would definitely enjoy a good read or making a beloved açai bowl. I really love to get a workout in before I start my day. It’s just so invigorating. I can’t deny that I spend a lot of time on social media or binging a Netflix series. Finally, a day can’t be perfect without a walk or skate through the park listening to my carefully cultivated Spotify playlists.
When you aren’t modelling, what can we find you doing?
Unfortunately revising, as I have GCSEs coming up, but there’s no better time than quarantine to crack down on some work. Skateboarding is also something I have recently gotten into. I find it so liberating and Regent’s Park is my go-to skate destination. Perfect hills!
What is your biggest takeaway message from 2020?
2020 was such a rollercoaster of a year, and I feel like I learnt so much, but I think the biggest lesson learnt was to be able to spend time alone and to love it. With the multiple lockdowns, I learned to prioritise myself and find things that I truly enjoy doing. It’s so freeing when you achieve things on your own. I spent my time reading, exploring and learning new skills. I think it’s so important to want to better yourself.