With an Instagram feed (@illyanadira) filled with stylish looks, Illya Nadira describes her style as “experimental” – think bold earrings, statement trousers, and comfy sneakers. The 30-year old says she looks for inspiration everywhere: “I usually go on Instagram and Pinterest, but I get inspired by everyday people too. When I see someone on the train wearing something super cool and chic, I’ll try to recreate it in my own way.”
As regional head of social for local retailer Zalora, she’s also responsible for the e-commerce site’s rising presence on Tiktok, uploading daily content of herself doing fun dance covers and fashion challenges featuring Singapore influencers like Camira Asrori and Samantha Goh.
Working in a fashion company definitely has its perks. “No one bats an eyelid even if you throw on an outrageous outfit; the office corridors are your runway,” says the business grad, who graduated from University of London in 2013.
“It allows me try out interesting new trends (like wearing a silk scarf as a top, or biker shorts) to work without feeling like everyone is staring at you weirdly, except maybe on the train.”
So how does she stay true to her personal style while trying out new trends? “I mix it up with my own signature pieces such as white sneakers and statement earrings,” she says. Another pro tip: a good blazer. “You can easily look professional with a blazer on, regardless of what you’re wearing underneath.”
Despite her cool image, she admits to feeling insecure at times when getting camera-ready to shoot Tiktok videos for Zalora’s account. “I tend to second guess myself before stepping in front of the camera,” she says. “But after dolling and dressing up, I feel more confident and at ease. Like they always say ‘when you dress good, you feel good’.”
Below, five wardrobe essentials that Nadira swears by.
“Every woman needs a pair of jeans, be it skinnies, flare or even straight-cut because they don’t go out of style, ever! I’m currently obsessed with these baggy oversized jeans with torn hems from Zara – they’re super comfortable, while giving off a cool vibe.”
“This is everything to me! I must have a white vest/tank with me, even when I travel. It’s the easiest, most versatile piece to pair with everything else. I usually head to Uniqlo to get mine.”
“You will never catch me out of the house without earrings or studs. I feel naked when I miss out that important step of accessorising because it really completes the whole look.”
“You can wear a white shirt anywhere and everywhere – to the office, lunch dates with your girlfriends, as outerwear at the beach, and even to bed! Though I’ve never bought one before because I can find tons in my late dad’s wardrobe.”
“I love a good set of co-ords. My friend Cheryl Teo designed this geometric-print set for her final-year project at Lasalle College of the Arts and she sewed one for me as I couldn’t stop raving about it. She eventually started her own line called Aryl Ctto for a while. The best part is I can wear either the top or the pants on separate occasions.”
This story was first published in Her World’s August 2020 issue.