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NYC Style: Kai Altair Modern Day Mermaid

Photo credit: Zina Brown, Skirt by: Martina Melendez

By Kimberly Rae Miller

Name: Kai Altair
Borough/Neighborhood: Brooklyn/Sunset Park
Profession: Singer/songwriter, dancer, performance artist

Since launching her solo career last year, Kai Altair has already become one of New York City's most sought after performers. Bursting onto the Brooklyn music scene with the release of her debut EP Star of The Sea, the one time opera student turned New York City stage-siren has electrified audiences with a packed performance schedule in 2010.  Often seen belly-dancing barefoot on stage, Kai's music is a timeless tale of primordial magic. Her heartfelt songs lead us happily into temptation, while exuding the strength of femininity. With her siren's song and hypnotic videos already spanning the 7 seas, Kai's ethereal, spellbinding voice and mystical lyrics are building a devoted international fan base. From Norway to Egypt, Oklahoma to the UK, Kai is weaving a spell that few can resist.

How would you define your personal style?


How would you say your style differs between your personal life and professional persona?

Day to day I tone down my over all stage-wild style.  When I am performing I wear fake eye lashes, hair extensions (because all mermaid-faerie queens have VERY long hair), lots of shells and bangles, leather halter tops, feathers, and as many layers of glitter as I can coat myself with.  Day to day I still hold onto a lot of that whimsical feeling, but scale it back a little.  I wear lots of long colorful gypsy skirts, billowy scarves, chunky jewelry, and iridescent makeup around my eyes.  On stage or off I like to feel like a storybook character to keep my creativity flowing...

Favorite item in you closet?

A custom made red velvet gypsy skirt with layers of sari fabric & red & white striped lining.   It is HUGE.  Yards and yards of twirly fabric.

Are there any trends that you wish would just go away already?

Suits, ties, and "power suits." Please bring the individual back.

Favorite Five in the Five Boroughs:
ENZ's on Second Avenue in the East Village. I have always shopped at this store when I am in the market for an awesome dress that no one else will have.  The style is vintage, pin-up, old Hollywood, rockabilly awesomeness & they have lots of exclusive designs made by locals.  They always take very good care of me as soon as I walk in the door.  LOVE the owner.

Beacon's Closet: well, this one's probably obvious.  Great clothes, great prices.  I can always find weird stuff there thanks to all the other crazy New Yorkers that take their clothes in.

M&J Trimmings (in the garment distict) + Make Fun @ The House of Yes: This is kind of 2 in one, because they both need each other.  I love to make my own clothes (or have my friends at Make Fun make them for me,) so I go to the garment district to pick out my dream fabrics, sparkles, and trims, and then head over the Make Fun.  There are rows of sewing machines, supplies, and very helpful & skilled designers there who help me turn my imaginings into reality!

Ricky's NYC: Can't live without Ricky's of course.  Glitter, hair dye, eye lashes, cheap jewelry, bindis, body paint, and costume pieces year round.  Yes please.

Jurlique in Soho: I try to use all natural and organic skin and hair care.  Jurlique is the best of the best when it comes to this.  All of their products come from organic wild crafted fields in Australia, and they smell and feel soooooooo good on my skin.


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