Our interview of Kaila Methven for “The Creative Influencer” podcast is available today for download on iTunes.
Kaila shared the following takeaways:
Jon: I want to transition to heiress … Your family owned the company that one time supplied 90% of the chicken to KFC.
Kaila: Yeah, Rainbow Chicken Unlimited.
Jon: Why, didn’t you just live off that? Why start your own business?
Kaila: Why am I not a kid who runs around in jets and Lamborghinis is because I made a promise to my mother before she died. She died of suicide, by the way, and I made a promise to her that I would leave my hand mark on this wall no matter what, and my mom was given that money as well. She was given a heritage, and she didn’t do anything with it, and I saw what it did for her, and I didn’t want the same long term for me, and I knew I was gifted with so much—and so was my mother but she didn’t know how to use it—and I made that promise, and I promised it to myself mostly, and to God that I said, “I’m gonna go so far no matter what, whatever it takes, you know, I’m just going to ride it.”
Jon: And you started your own company.
Kaila: My dream was to be a simple little seamstress designer for a fashion house, I never thought this was gonna become this big. But you know what, I got up every day, and I just believed in, I believed in it, and I believed in my mother, I never thought she left me, I always kept her by my side, I kept praying, I’m a big Christian of faith, I’m an Episcopalian Christian, I go to church every Sunday, and every Sunday, I don’t ask God for anything, but what I do ask for God I said, “Make me a better person than I was the day before,” and I say , “Please bless all those around me and make me the better businesswoman that I can be and the better person that I can be.”
Jon: And the name of your company is?
Kaila: Madame Methven.
A transcript of the full interview follows:
Jon: I am joined today by Kaila Methven. Welcome to the podcast.
Kaila: Thank you, Jon. Thank you so much for having me.
Jon: You are many things, but I want to talk about five of them.
Kaila: Ooo, okay.
Jon: You are a fashion designer.
Jon: You are a dominatrix.
Jon: You are an heiress.
Jon: You’re the CEO of your own business.
Jon: And, you’re an influencer.
Jon: You have over a million Instagram followers.
Jon: Okay. So in order to—
Kaila: —oh wait you forgot the most important thing—
Jon: —which is?
Kaila: I’m also remarkable.
Jon: And remarkable, where’s my pen?
Jon: Okay well let’s talk about remarkable first, which actually let’s talk about the fashion designer. When you were 16, you moved to France.
Jon: And I’ve heard the story of you went—
Jon: And I heard the story of you went to see a fashion show.
Kaila: I did.
Jon: Can you tell us that story?
Kaila: I will. So it all started basically, you know sadly, when I was 14 my mother was very ill, and she passed away, and I never met my dad before. So, I ended up taking the plane—I had two choices: it was either foster care or it was either go meet your dad. So I was like, “Okay, what are we gonna do here.”
Jon: And where was your dad living?
Kaila: In Paris. So of course the obvious decision was go meet your father. So I end up going to France, and I attend the international high school academy where a lot of you know like ambassadors and kids go etc. etc.
Jon: And did you speak French?
Kaila: I did not speak French, so I was lost. I was in the middle of winter, I was in flip flops, Abercrombie ripped jeans back in you know the days, and a t-shirt that said, “I love whatever,” you know? I was typically your non-French person. I was very lost in the city, I had no friends, I had just lost my mother, I was very uncreative at that moment, I was very desperate, and I had—I was in a family with four brothers and sisters and a stepmother that I didn’t know and I couldn’t communicate with. So I was going through a lot of depression, I was going through a lot of sadness and grief at that moment, you know? And originally I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer, you know. Um and I knew that that was no longer gonna be possible after the death of my mother. And you know, my father does speak English so we did have some type of communication, but he is a Muslim, you know and he does practice a certain way of living and we come from different culture of differences. You know, different backgrounds. So it all started—
Jon: So you had the double whammy of coming from the United States and—
Kaila: —Beverly Hills mansion all the way to the suburbs in a one bedroom apartment with seven people living in it. I slept on the kitchen floor for two years. I worked three jobs, so it was I call it Cinderella upside down. But you know what it taught me? It taught me how to be human and the value of money and how to love people no matter what.
So, going back to the fashion. I was very unhappy and so you know what I decided to do one summer? I said you know what, two years have gone by, I’m going to—it was like a year and a half that had gone by, and I was like, “You know, I’m gonna enter in this three-month makeup course, why not?” You know, make some friends and you know I spoke a little broken French, we shall say, and I went there, and I had a remarkable time. I met friends today who now have babies, who are now married, and have great lives in France. And, I remember going to this fashion show, and it was Dior’s fashion show, and it was at Trocadéro, and it was in the aquarium underneath the Eiffel Tower, and I remember that when I was interning as a makeup artist, and I was holding brushes and you know like tissue paper and just being the girl on the side, in the corner, in the dark.
Jon: The makeup girl.
Kaila: Yeah, and you know also all my life I’ve always felt like the girl in the dark. I never felt like I was the girl in the light.
Jon: But you’re the girl in the light now.
Kaila: I’m the girl in the light now but then I wasn’t, and I just remember the crowd when these models walked—everyone stopped talking, people were like “oohed and ahhed.” I saw that their eyes were captured, their souls were taken, I could see how they appreciated the clothing, I could see how they appreciate the theater of it, I could see how they appreciated every single second of work that went into making this collection. It was telling a story in fifteen minutes and taking the souls of every one, of 200 people, and making them believe in a story of Dior.
Jon: Now, I’ve heard you say that before. The story—the fifteen-minute story.
Kaila: I’ll explain it.
Jon: How do you tell a story like that?
Kaila: So basically, let’s take a movie. Let’s take Jurassic Park. That’s really out at the moment. It’s hit the box office, it’s going crazy. So there’s always an A, B, to Z. There’s a beginning, middle, and an end. Well in fashion, you have fifteen minutes basically to do an A to a Z. And how you do that is, is you do it by color palettes, and you do it by certain cuts, and you do it by certain accessories, and what story are you telling? What is your inspiration? Is it the Roman Empire, is it Greek, is it theatrical, is it lingerie, is it wedding? So what feeling are you giving off to your clientele and to your target audience. What are you trying to tell the audience? Is your collection—is your collection for example if you have all this theatrical music that’s from like Marc Jacobs—he always puts on opera for some reason you know, and he always wants his models to walk very slow.
Jon: --because it creates a certain ambience.
Kaila: So his story is: really pay attention to the details and really look because this is very couture.
Jon: Now your fashion shows that you put on, jumping ahead a little bit, do you tell a different story at each show?
Kaila: No, I tell the same story cause each brand you have to stick to your brand identity. You can’t go in and you can’t all of a sudden—it’s like changing your name. You can’t just go in and change the name.
Jon: So you were at this fashion show, when did you decide that that’s what you wanted to do?
Kaila: When I heard a man say that dress looks remarkable on this woman, and I said you know what? I can do a better job. This is meant for me. I know I can do this show ten times better, and I said I’m gonna steal the hearts and souls of everyone, and I’m gonna bring smiles to everyone’s face.
Jon: And when did you start?
Kaila: I started—I entered ESMOD, I was 17. So they take 3000 interviews and only 40 enter.
Jon: How long a program is that?
Kaila: Oh my god, it was three years bachelors. I did a one years masters and a one year MBA. Yeah, so I did a lot of studies
Jon: Did you stay in Paris after that for a period of time before you moved back to the United States or did you move back immediately? So after you got out of school what did you do?
Kaila: Oh no, it’s cause I traveled in school as well so that’s why I got confused. In school I traveled to China, Shanghai, London, and New York. So that’s why I was a little confused, but after my studies, I went to go live in New York to try and pursue because I already interned for Vogue. So I went to go try and pursue living there, but since you know the city was so crazy, I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t have any ground roots, I didn’t grow up there, I didn’t have any friends, and then on top of it I was stuck on Hurricane Sandy, so then you know the lights were turned off and for three days I was basically stuck in a room with no water, no electricity, cold out of my mind with no heater in the middle of winter. And it was so funny, so as soon as the electricity turned on, the movie um with the guy from, what’s his name?
Jon: Richard Gere.
Kaila: and what’s that—Gigolo turned on, and he’s standing there on Mulholland Drive with his shirt unbuttoned and I’m like you know what? Screw it. I’m gonna book my—right then and there on my phone, I booked my ticket, I packed my bag, and I was at JFK within two hours. I left all my stuff behind. I called my housekeeper the next day and said, “I’m no longer living in New York, pack my stuff, I’m moving to LA.” So I took a little um here down in Venice to Casa Venice Suites, a little cute uh it’s like a hotel apartment thing, I stayed there for three weeks, and the day I arrived, I opened the curtains, and I see this woman with a jukebox roller skating on Venice Boulevard, I see the sun, I see the beach, and after you have to think of it. After the desperation of being 14 years old and then you’re coming back at the age of 22, you haven’t seen the ocean in that type of way, you haven’t been back to your roots, you haven’t been back since your mom passed away, you haven’t—you haven’t you know relived this, so you’re back here with a joy of Sunny California. The land of dreams, the land of angels, you know? And I said you know what, that’s it, I’m staying here, that’s it, that’s my decision, I’m living here, and three weeks later I got an apartment.
Jon: When did you start designing lingerie?
Kaila: Oh, it was in my second year when I was in my bachelors program.
Jon: How did you pick lingerie?
Kaila: Well, I fell in love at a very early age with a French man, and I actually had my eye on him ever since I was 14 and met him in high school, and he looked like Lenny Kravitz. He would wear big fur and jewelry, and he would smoke a cigarette like a French man and drink coffee with his pinky you know, sticking out, and I was looking at him and you know what? It was funny. It was my first day of school, it was love at first sight. Well I think I loved him at first sight, I don’t think he loved me, and he was a senior and I was a—what do you call ninth grade? Sophomore?
Kaila: Freshman. I was a freshman, finishing up my freshman year, and I was just so attracted to him because he seemed so sophisticated—
Jon: Of course, he was a senior. (laughter)
Kaila: And he spoke French and Greek and Spanish and had all this jewelry on with no shirt underneath, and it was snowing, with this big fur jacket, and he had hair like Lenny Kravitz, and he was wearing all these rings, and I was just like—I was like, wow, that’s really intimidating and sexy, you know. Anyways, he looked at me while I walked up the staircase, the first day of school, cause my teacher took me out for lunch to welcome me to the school, and while I was walking up the stairs to the café where you sit and eat, because in France you have an hour and a half of lunch break, it’s not like you’re in America where you take your lunch break whenever, or it’s 30 minutes, or eat at your desk, or you know we’re workaholics in America, as in Paris, they take the time to live. Anyways, I remember walking up the staircase, and he looked at me, and I said, “I want him. I’m gonna have him. He’s gonna fall in love with me whether he likes it or not.” And I got what I wanted.
Jon: Did he?
Kaila: Oh, he did. Oh boy he did. So, we didn’t officially start dating until I was 16 because you know, there was an age difference, there was also the fact that you know, I was still adapting to the living circumstances with my father. I hadn’t gotten a job yet, you know I hadn’t circulated any money profit yet, and you know I would go to the uh little uh parties that they would have at the high school, but I—you know I was shy. I would always say like, “Hi, Bonjour, ça va.” You know, but I was also very shy and you know, I was not your typical girl. I tried to be, and I became one at the end, but you know as a kid I was not your fanciest one we would say. I mean let’s say it how it is. I had pimples, I had buck teeth, I was overweight, I was chunky, and I was wearing flip flops when it was snowing, I had no sense of what I was doing. I mean you would never have seen me as a fashion designer as now.
Jon: So you went from no style to—
Kaila: —to everything. And do you know what that was? When my mother died, it was the grief and the creativity that made me happy again. That’s what brought it out. That’s why I went to the makeup school, and then I noticed my creativity was so good, and that I had the gift of painting. I had no idea that I could draw, I had no idea that I could paint, I had no idea. So that’s when I discovered—I was like oh my god, you’re good at this. Take it further Kaila. Go further. So I said alright, let’s get into design. Then my sketches were brilliant. Alright let’s get into draping. Then my draping was brilliant. And I just found out that my hands could do so much in both ways.
Jon: So you’re dating Lenny Kravitz.
Kaila: So I’m dating Lenny Kravitz, and why I got into lingerie is because I used the persuasion of lingerie to make him fall in love with me. You know, I felt that I wasn’t the it girl. I didn’t feel like I was that French typical rich bourgeoisie that he would want and uh so I worked three jobs, and every weekend I would either go to Fifi Chachnil or Coco Chanel you know, and I would buy the most expensive lingerie, I would arrive at his door, give him a little striptease, and uh get it on.And we did this on a weekend basis. For a couple of years and um, it ended up you know, we started doing trips together, and then emotions came into it, and we started traveling Europe together, and you know in the end we ended up together.
Jon: And then when did you start designing your own lingerie? You were buying it. When did you start designing it?
Kaila: My second year of my bachelors program because the first year they teach you the techniques basically of the woman and the woman’s body of how you can drape, how basically you can pattern draft, but in the second year you can major in what you want.
Jon: And how long did it take you to develop the style that you have today? You’re designing style.
Kaila: I would say that my designing style probably came in—I would probably have to say in my master’s program in art because I did masters in art theatre, so I mixed the theatrical with that. Um, so yes, I mixed the theatrical with that and basically I took lingerie, and I took theatre, and I mixed it. And there was one inspiration of mine that I did for my third year of my bachelors program, cause you get to put on your first fashion show, and did I did it at Vivienne Westwood’s house.
Jon: And do you still have any of the garments from your first show?
Kaila: I do and they’re on my Instagram. You can actually see it. It’s the one with the woman walking and the feathers in the back. I have a few of those photos, I need to post those, but I will definitely send those over to you. And that was my first real fashion show so by—that’s how you pass, that’s your final test. Your final test is you have to put on a fashion show and if the judges apply—these are real judges, real designers, Vivienne Westwood was there, Jean Charles de Castelbajac. These are real designers judging you, are you good enough to go inside their houses? Do you get to go to the next level?
Jon: And you passed.
Kaila: Out of 40 kids, out of three years, only 20 get through, and if you miss more than three days of school, you’re out, and if you arrive late on time the door is locked, and you get an ‘X’ mark. It’s as if you missed a day of school. Very strict, it’s one of the top schools, John Galliano went there, Emillio Pucci, so many people, Comme des Garçons went there. They actually fell in love there. They met there and fell in love and made their own brand. There’s so many legends come from Esmod, and it’s such a brilliant school.
Anyways, back to what I was saying is my brilliance of the whole mixing the theatrical with the lingerie came from the masquerade ball. And the masquerade ball actually what people don’t know is, is that it was made in the 13thcentury, and back then they would import and export silk from China you know, and they would do trade and in Venice, what they would do is when they would receive the silk, they would tell by the time of the year, cause it was 13thcentury, through the astrology and the stars and through the time well because you know they didn’t have clocks. So, August 11thwas the first masquerade ball and they would spend the entire year making their costumes, and the more theatrical the costume the better, but you couldn’t—it’s kind of like that movie with Nicole Kidman, what’s that movie called?
Jon: I know which one you’re talking about. It’s basically a long masquerade ball.
Kaila: Basically. And basically kings and princesses can come from all over Spain, France, I mean you could be a baker, you could be a hands maid, you could be anyone you wanted that night. The only thing you had to do was wear a costume.
And so, it started off as a ball, dancing, it was a feast, and then it turned into an orgy. So that’s how originally originated orgy the Greek word. And they kept having that ball every single time. So that’s where my dominatrix twist turned into my fashion collection.
Jon: Perfect segue into dominatrix. What is your definition of dominatrix?
Kaila: Oh my god, I feel like for every woman it’s different because you know, you can either be a submissive, you can either be—it depends on the situation. You know, for example, if a client comes to me and she’s like okay me and my husband are thinking about getting divorced, or we’re thinking about you know—things aren’t working out right. And I’m like, “Just choke and smack him,” and she’s like, “Why?” and I’m like, “Well basically what you’re doing is the behavioral science behind it is if you take away his power, he feels like there’s more power to give to you, so that’s why I use different types of whips, different types of feathers, chains, ropes, and techniques on you know, my boyfriend for example, for different reasons. So for me, a dominatrix is really—you could look at it as many ways. You could look at it as a woman who’s a doctor, who is helping men receive pleasure because they can’t. You could look at the dominatrix as a woman who affiliates herself with sex toys. You could look at a dominatrix as somebody who is into the submissive world, you know?
I’m the dominatrix about falling in love again. Here’s the difference between therapy and being a dominatrix psychologist, in a way, even though that doesn’t exist in a degree, but it does exist in a way. A therapist is gonna sit down, and she’s going to hear your problems out loud. And she’s going to give you certain advice on how to fix your relationship.
Now, the base of a real relationship starts off with three things. It starts off with first thing is sexually. Are you sexually attracted to this person? That is the first thing anyone who has been married or in a couple sees with an eye. It’s visual. Am I sexually attracted to you? Second is communication, laughter, can this person entertain me? And the third is of course finance, living and can we be comfortable together? That’s what makes love intertwine. But that’s the most important. But the first one is visualization. Hearing and then everything else that are other components, yes.
So, what’s different with a therapist is, she’s not gonna say go initiate. But with the dominatrix, I’m gonna say go initiate.
Jon: And how do your designs factor into that?
Kaila: So actually, I know a lot of dominatrixes. I know a lot of dungeons in LA. They’ll come to me and ask me, “Can I borrow this for a cover, can I borrow this for a shoot?” A lot of them you know, use my stuff for online, for the web, for everything, and um they’re actually the sweetest people in real life you would never guess when you see them in the street. I’m sorry what was—
Jon: How the concept of the dominatrix factors into your designs.
Kaila: Right, so basically you know I’ve made it so that you know, I know that everything is—well I think what I need to do is start off with how did I become one.
Jon: Yes, how did you become one?
Kaila: So when I was in Florence, Italy doing my MBA program at Versace Polimoda, I basically was in a café drinking my Brunello red wine and having Morbier cheese, like everyday after school. That was my café, I had to sit there for four months and you know, while I was doing my credits there. And one day, this Asian woman walks in and she’s American and she starts talking to me. And I’m like, “Oh, that’s cool what do you do?” and she’s like, “I’m a dominatrix.”
Jon: How old was she?
Kaila: I think 30s. And she goes, “Yeah, my dungeon’s just down the street, you wanna check it out?” And it was a small dungeon, very small, and I said, “How long have you been here?” Well she’s like, “I’m based in Rome,” but she’s like, “I have clients in Florence, Milan and Venice.” So I’m like, “Oh, okay so you travel so you’re a pretty big dominatrix, like you’re pretty well known to afford all these apartments and everything to pay the rent. It’s expensive like in Italy, I mean come on. And it was really elegant, it was really beautiful, it looked like—it was very renaissance. It looked like a hotel lobby of The Peninsula but with chains everywhere. That’s how she decorated it, it was gorgeous. She had like Michelangelo angels on top on the roof. The ceiling was painted and then you would have like all the whips and everything laid out, and it was really beautiful. She didn’t lay it out in a scary red room way, you know? And I think that’s where I also opened up my softness and fantasy and dreams in it. So I said, “Teach me, I want to know. I want to know why you do this, what’s in this for you?”
Jon: Did she have any hesitance in teaching you?
Kaila: No. No, not at all cause we got very drunk that night and we were very eager—she showed me that night. And the next day after school, bam, I ran there. I was so eager. She’s like, “Okay, well this is for this, this is for that, this is what I do for here, blah blah blah.” And then you know, I was like, “What is this cage for?” She’s like, “Oh, you just stick them in the cage and you just sit on top of it.” and I’m like, “They’re paying you to do this?” She’s like, “Yeah, I’ll stick them in the cage for one day and just feed them cookies.” And I’m like, “Wow.” I’m like, “Does that work?” She’s like, “Top CEOs, executives, everyone, they feel like they have so much power. They need to be de-powered sometimes.”
Jon: So it was all about the shift of power.
Kaila: The shift of power, but I used it as a shift of power in relationships, and I said how can I fix relationships because the divorce rate in the US is 80%, which is so sad. Back in the day, our parents would never get divorced nor my grandparents, you know? When I plan on getting married, I wanna get married once and then that’s it, death do us apart.
But uh, we’ll see I mean it’s LA, probably get married five times, who knows. But um, moving forward from there, she was a lovely lady, I’m still in contact with her today, and uh—
Jon: Does she still live in Italy?
Kaila: Yeah, she still lives in Italy right now. Uh, but she does come to the US and New York, so hopefully I’ll see her during New York Fashion Week. We were talking actually the other day on Facebook, so she’s doing good. She’s getting older now so it’s getting time to retire for her, but she was very into the whole latex leather component and you know, she was very into my designs. So, it was kind of—we really didn’t have a big age difference. She was young, she was only in her late 20s, and I was in my early 20s, so it was really cool to kind of connect with somebody where I’m like, “Okay, I’m a lingerie designer, and I’m here to study the whole marketing and advertising techniques of it, and you’re a dominatrix, and you’re here basically to submit to all these men and all your clients.” And you know, I would share to her everything I learned, and my designs, and everything, and she would just—it was just a friendship that grew. She didn’t charge me anything. It was really just an easy, fun thing and you know we’d go out to lunch, we’d go out for drinks. Florence is small, you could walk Florence in three days. So, we would hang out.
Jon: And, I want to transition to heiress because it’ll make sense in a second why I want to go there. Your family owned the company that one time supplied 90% of the chicken to KFC.
Kaila: Yeah, Rainbow Chicken Unlimited.
Jon: Why, didn’t you just live off that? Why start your own business?
Kaila: Very good question. Well, I would have to first start off with that you know, my grandfather, he started this company you know, it taught me a lot about success, and it taught me a lot about how he put in all his heart and effort and, even when he had the money he kept going. When he had 12 million factories full of 2 million chickens per day he was killing, he would still go and sweep out the dead chickens, even though he didn’t have to do it cause he was a dedicated man. He was a real business man, and it was in his heart at the end of the day, and he came from nothing.
Why am I not a kid who runs around in jets and Lamborghinis is because I made a promise to my mother before she died. She died of suicide, by the way, and I made a promise to her that I would leave my hand mark on this wall no matter what, and my mom was given that money as well. She was given a heritage, and she didn’t do anything with it, and I saw what it did for her, and I didn’t want the same long term for me, and I knew I was gifted with so much—and so was my mother but she didn’t know how to use it—and I made that promise, and I promised it to myself mostly, and to God that I said, “I’m gonna go so far no matter what, whatever it takes, you know, I’m just going to ride it.”
Jon: And you started your own company.
Kaila: And I started my own company, and it hurts sometimes, it really does, you know, I couldn’t see this honestly ten years ago. If you told me, “You would be doing this, you would be the cover this, you would do this, you would be the cover of Maxim, you would be on like television networks, you would meet all these famous people, dress celebrities, you’d be in over a hundred magazines, if you Googled you, you’d have like 50,000 searches,” I’d be like, “What, that’s no way.” My dream was to be a simple little seamstress designer for a fashion house, I never thought this was gonna become this big. But you know what, I got up every day, and I just believed in, I believed in it, and I believed in my mother, I never thought she left me, I always kept her by my side, I kept praying, I’m a big Christian of faith, I’m an Episcopalian Christian, I go to church every Sunday, and every Sunday, I don’t ask God for anything, but what I do ask for God I said, “Make me a better person than I was the day before,” and I say , “Please bless all those around me and make me the better businesswoman that I can be and the better person that I can be.”
Jon: And the name of your company is?
Kaila: Madame Methven.
Jon: Of course.
Kaila: And I want to change my name actually to Madame Kaila Methven, so I’m thinking about it cause right now I’m Kaila Fazai Methven, and I haven’t really used it at all so I’m kind of thinking of it and I feel like im ready to take that next step because I feel like I’m a new person, and I’ve definitely, you know, I feel like my fairytale’s happening, a lot of great things are in the works I mean, and I feel like you know, someone told me I should write a book before I’m 30,and I really feel like I need that name change. So it can be Madame Methven before she’s 30.
Jon: You have the title of your book right there.
Kaila: Right there, and I feel there—I have so many inspirations that I want to write in this book. You know this person told me to write this book and there's so much I wanna to say to all these girls and all these young boys who are scared you know during the LGBT, the #metoo movement, there are lot of things—to embrace success, love yourself and just move forward no matter what and every life lesson learned, you know and to never give up and have courage.
Jon: As a young entrepreneur, what has been your biggest challenge?
Kaila: Courage. Courage definitely.
Jon: What has been some of the common myths that you’ve had to fight.
Kaila: Oh I’ve had to fight everything. I've had to fight off an army. You know I mean and here I’m CEO, heiress, model, influencer. You’re gonna come and have a million people attacking you daily, I mean that's ridiculous. I mean I have to turn off my Instagram comments because of death threats, I have to have to be careful, I can't you know, if I’m ever to go on a date or anything you know, I'm in a relationship right now, but if I was to ever go on a date or anything I can never ever show where I live. People always try to latch on to me, saying I could do better, I can do this for your company, lawsuits people will try and go for you for whatever reason you know, even if you just look at them the wrong way. You know it's crazy.
You know this world in Hollywood you know it's a beautiful world. I call it the City of Angels but I also call it the city of sin, more than Vegas because people are after you no matter what and all you can do is learn from your mistakes, move forward no matter what, and be all that you can be and get a great entertainment lawyer that’s my that’s, you know—
Jon: --it’s great advice.
Kaila: Great advice, great advice. I have a great one that I’m using momentarily, and he just flocks them all off and sends me a huge bill at the end of the month, and I’m cool with it.
Jon: Yes indeed.
Jon: So let me talk about clothing lines that you currently have, and then we’re going to transition in to the influencer. So, what brands do you have, what lines do you have?
Kaila: Okay, so we have two companies—
Jon: --by the way, I know this but I still want you to tell me.
Kaila: Of course, and I’m happy to explain cause you’re the first straight man that actually wants ot know about all my different lines of lingerie, so it’s refreshing. No straight man ever asks me that.
So you have my brand identity Latrodectus, which is couture sexiness, custom fitted to the client's body.
Jon: And that means what? I know that has meaning—
Kaila: I know, so I’m gonna explain it into a more detailed fashion. Latrodectus my first collection that I made out of my bachelors program, I made in my MBA program. And then I also did fashion week in LA for it. So that one was Latrodectus, which you can YouTube, if you go to New York Fashion Week, it’s also there as well—Latrodectus Kaila Methven. That was my first collection out of school. And that is where everything is custom fitted to your body, hand beaded, beautiful ostrich feathers—I mean literally every detail is put on to her breast cup size, the boning for the corsets.
Jon: Now you have had a bra that sold for 1.3 million dollars. Was that out of that collection?
Kaila: No, that was out of Made-To-Adore. So that bra basically to make it all clear for everyone to know, they pay for the diamonds, I design the bra. So I would just like to make that clear.
Jon: So I interrupted you, you had your first line—
Kaila: --but no I’ll explain Made-To-Adore cause that’s a really cool line, andI'll tell you how that came up. So basically, I came up with you know Latrodectus. You know, that was the first line and then I came up with Mademoiselle. Mademoiselle is more of the boyfriend relaxed tone, still sexy, theatrical, you wear around the house when your boyfriend gets home, or your fiancé or husband, and you know it’s just a little kink here and there, it’s like a teaser robe, it’s comfy, but it’s still alluring to the man. He's definitely gonna want to take you straight to the bedroom when he sees it.
Latrodectus is more for wedding nights, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, his birthday, your birthday—
Jon: --special events.
Kaila: --special events cause I mean it’s gonna cost you—the rate of Latrodectus is five thousand anywhere to forty-five thousand. Mademoiselle is anywhere from a thousand to like three thousand. It’s like a normal range of lingerie like Agent Provocateur and La Perla.
Made to Adore I came up with actually drinking tequila one night with my executive manager Elody and so we came up with this thong that I had to like wear on Maxim’s cover, so we're like okay what is something no one has. What is something amazing that no one has. So, I started this a year ago. So a year ago, I decided so I said--I got my diamond jeweler who’s downtown and he gets his diamonds from South Africa, and they're called fancy colored diamonds. And I said, “Look, I need you to design a gold, a gold triangular piece that goes down my bum basically and makes it look spectacular and I erased that off Instagram everyone because it just—it was too much commotion. But I'm sure you could look at it online somewhere, and that was, that was my first actual piece that I did and it's been brilliant.
And now what clients come in and do for Made-To-Adore, they’ll take Latrodectus for example, but they'll say can you stick a diamond around my nipples, or can you stick of diamond on my bra straps and then that's when I make my money.
Jon: Your brands are widely known to be worn by celebrities.
Kaila: Yes. Katharine McPhee, Ava Capra, Telli Swift, Barbie Blank, uh who else has worn it. Celine Dion, Demi Lovato, one that I can’t say for the 1.5 million.
Jon: So we transition from, your clothing is being worn by celebrities, to now your role as influencer.
Kaila: No no, you forgot my last line LBKM.
Jon: Oh yeah. Oh right.
Kaila: So when I saw what Latrodectus did for other women when they would tell me their stories, and you know they would call me, and they would write me letters, and they were like, “Oh my God, Kaila this is great, you know, you’ve really changed my life around.You know, thanks for that whip and awesome corset with feathers,” I’m like, “No problem, babe.”
So when I saw what it did for my clients, I didn’t wanna deprive other women of this chance. You know, cause I feel that all women deserve, as you know we’re all sexual creatures, we all deserve to be loved and we all deserve to be appreciated. So I made Lady Methven. So Lady Methven is now actually in the works. We’re working with Amazon, which is really cool, we just did production. And, we're gonna be on Amazon Prime now. So we're already on Amazon Worldwide, but we’re gonna be on Amazon Prime which is really cool, and I'm very excited about that, you can buy it right away. And also for 24.99 a month, you can go online to my website and you can subscribe, and what we do for the stars, we now do for you. So you can custom fit your bra to your exact size.
Jon: And what is your website?
Kaila: Oh it’s www.madame(M-A-D-A-M-E-M-E-T-H-V-E-N).com. madamemethven.com. And you can also follow me @madamemethven and also in one week my Instagram shop will be up so you can also follow me and also my Facebook my shop is up.
Jon: Which, let’s talk Instagram.
Kaila: Okay, Instagram! Hold on, I didn’t finish my Lady Methven. So for all the women out there, if you're looking for customized bras and underwear fit to your size, please log on to my website, subscribe, it’s only 24.99 a month and you get a twelve-piece collection for the entire year and you get to choose your color, you get to choose your bra size, you get to choose everything. So it's basically you have a live dummy basically, and we’re literally putting in your size points, so this is really custom fitted to you so. Anyways, moving on to the influencers.
Kaila: Yes, how did I get a million?
Jon: Well, wait for that one. First, do you consider yourself to be an influencer?
Kaila: Well, people are reaching out to me now. I just got approached by a Czech company to be the brand ambassador. Clos du Boischampagne has just reached out to me as well, so if I am gonna be an influencer, obviously I’m not going to go with retail or clothing.I would only do luxury: champagnes, jets, yachts—
Jon: --things consistent with—
Kaila: --with lingerie. So maybe cigars—that’s sexy. But I would you know, I really think that my Instagram is something women and men follow. One because it’s sexy, two because it tells a story, and three because it’s not, it’s not like—it’s not b******tin the way of look at me look at me I'm naked. In that we have a lot influencers today that are naked and put a piece of pizza in front of their private parts you know or, or they just slightly cover their nipples, and I'm like how are you an influencer? How does this influence the world? If I’m an influencer—you know who a real influencer is? Someone who went to the army, or someone who saved people from you know, a house on fire. You know people who actually have done things with their lives. Those are influencers but sadly, they don't get as many followers. It's only the girls that are naked. They get all these out.
Jon: So how did you get your followers? The question I cut you off on.
Kaila: Through the persuasion of lingerie and through my art.
Jon: When you first started posting, there were runway models, magazine covers, red carpets, some products. But about a year ago, a year and half ago, you started featuring yourself more.
Jon: Conscious decision?
Kaila: No actually it's you know my publicist was like you know, she was like, “We need to push you more out there,” and people just—it started out basically with modeling. They were like, “Hey you, go model.” And I was like, “I'm not a model, like what are you talking about like get out of here.” And I had my first cover on Fem Rebel in London, and they asked me to model and I was like okay let's do it. Tash uh my publicist, gave me the call and she was like, “Go.” I was like, “What are you talking about?” She was like, “Go, you have to go model.” So overall I think I did okay for my first go, but now it's like easy peasy I can do to in my sleep. I think I've modeled—I've been the cover of over 30 magazines now.
Jon: And most of the you have put on Instagram, correct?
Kaila: Yes I put them on Instagram. Some are off some are on.
Jon: The latest photos that you have, some of them—some of the captions you have, “Sexy isn’t a shape it’s an attitude,” how much of the caption do you use apart of your vision for your company as well?
Kaila: I think that all women should be accepted no matter what size they are. So everything that I put on Instagram, what I'm feeling that day from the heart, is basically what I let out. Cause for example you know, there are certain lingerie companies that don't do the size XL, and I don't believe in that. You know you don't know what's wrong with the woman, you don't know if this woman is ill. You don’t know if she has broken ankle or whatever and she can’t exercise. Why doesn’t she deserve to have nice lingerie?
Jon: And your company does do XL?
Kaila: We do XXS to XXL. We believe that all women are beautiful in every shape and size.
Jon: So when you’re doing a particular photo, how far in advance do you plan this or is it how you feel in the moment?
Kaila: Well, it really depends on the—on what cover I’m doing. So it really started off with Fam Rebel and then Elements picked me up, and then SVM picked me up, and then other people started picking me up. And so whatever the editor in chief—depending on the season, depending on what they’re looking for. I’ll tell you what’s coming up next for me, if you want.
Jon: Yes please.
Kaila: But what they’re looking for and the season, it could be fall winter spring. They’re gonna say, “This is how I need you to pose.” They’ll send you a mood board, and then I’ll have a glam squad, I use my lingerie, or I’ll make it even for the cover, and then boom I go in and I shoot.
Jon: How many of those—well first the photos are non-cover photos. Who takes those?
Kaila: Oh I've worked with so many photographers beautiful ones: Ryan Dwyer, Devin, Devin just shot me as his thing, Instagram. Who else. Victoria, she owns BASIC Magazine, I’ve worked with a ton of photographers.
Jon: How long does it take to set up one of your shoots?
Kaila: A day.
Jon: Whole day?
Kaila: Yeah, not a whole day even. Like an hour the call sheet. Basically like—I would say two hours to get the location, we already know what clothes are going, we have the staff on call always, you know, and yeah. We just get the inspiration, the mood board, we get ready, I get up very early in the morning, and I also starve myself a week before, hit the gym, you know a week before basically, I call it the very fast diet, and then I go to In-N-Out—I’m actually on that diet right now, but yeah so it it’s—no yeah Elody puts—Elody’s the one who really puts it together for me. So she usually takes a day. And then to get the images, photoshopped and out in the magazine takes a couple months obviously, because it has to get to print, it has to go through this, so but yeah.
Jon: Where do you see this going for you. The whole influencer, the Instagram, the—
Kaila: I’m changing it now. I decided to change it now. I want my brand to be viewed a little differently. I’m still gonna model lingerie, but I'm being a little bit more cautious in the way I represent myself. I’ve let go of some of my provocative photos lately because I've been trying to move more into the world in entertainment right now, and I don’t want it to affect the way people view me. So I’m keeping it sexy. I’m keeping my brand heritage. I will always be Madame Methven. But I will always keep it—I’m keeping it in a classic Marilyn Monroe way instead of a more pornographic way. So, I started off with very sexual photos, when I did the influencing to build the followers, as any woman would. But now that I have that following, I’m like I have this power, use it to a good cause.
So now I'm going to use it—I’m going to use it more for beneficial reasons and more for entertainment and just more—I'm still gonna—now I’m gonna do more product shots. There are gonna be a lot more product shots and more candid shots of me. So my Instagram is now gonna change. It's gonna be less of me posing and more of me out in the entertainment world.
Jon: You said earlier the you had to turn off your comments.
Kaila: I did, I did have to turn off my comments.
Jon: On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being—
Kaila: Let’s just say I received 12 dozen roses in my apartment one day. Is that enough for you? There you go, we turned it off. We turned it off. That’s how bad it got. I mean even Valentine’s Day or like I’ll get weird letters in the mail, I still get it, and I don't know where they get my address from, I don't know how this happens.
Jon: How long ago did you have to turn it off?
Kaila: About six months ago. Yeah that's when it started to get a little hasty. I’ll probably turn it back on I think once the, you know—I think once my photos start clearing and becoming a little bit more sensually seductive and less provocative and more elegant. I think I’m gonna let that turn back on.
Jon: Well it is, it is a problem that a lot of influencers wrestle with.
Kaila: A lot of them do. A lot of them do.
Jon: Cause there’s always the haters—
Kaila: Oh yeah, and a lot of women say you’re anorexic, you’re bulimic, you’re sick, you’re dying, go kill yourself, go commit suicide—
Jon: When you were looking at comments, what percentage were women what percentage were men?
Kaila: Men want sex, women are saying you’re disgusting go kill yourself. More the of the men comment, and the death threats come from the women. And uh, that’s a problem today. It’s a problem with Instagram today. It is—it’s not okay, you know I’ve blocked certain words, I tried that, and it comes in my messages, or they’ll find me on Facebook, or they’ll go through my company’s email, and they’ll email me directly and if I turn off my email on my Instagram, I can’t get my clients that way, or offers, or anything. So, it really is something you know, I think Instagram will crack down on that, but you know what’s great about Instagram what made them so famous was that it was a world of freedom.
Jon: And it’s the beautiful people social channel.
Kaila: Exactly, so I mean it sadly it is what it is, but I will tell you this that I’m going to make mine more into falling in love again, more into the projects that are coming up with Amazon, my entertainment life, and I’m gonna put more of Kaila Methven in it and Madame Methven in it. I’m gonna mix a little bit of me in it.
Jon: Three of you.
Kaila: Yeah, I’m ready for that. I wasn’t ready before, but now I really am ready cause there is two sides to me. There’s Kaila and there’s Madame and Kaila has a story she hasn’t told the world yet you know, so I’m really happy that I was able to share today with you on this podcast and you know, tell you about my father, my past, falling in love, and how it all started, but I’m gonna start posting things that make me happy and other people, you know, and want to make people fall in love with them you know, not just photos of me in a thong. Of course I’ll throw that in there once in awhile.
Jon: We talked about it earlier, but I always end with this. How can people find you?
Kaila: Oh, very easy. You can call me my number is, no I’m just kidding. My phone number is 777 hotline.com Madame Methven. No, it’s just go to my website at www.madamemethven.comor you can add me on Instagram, @madamemethven, or you can Google me Kaila Methven, or you can go on my Facebook and you can also shop there at Kaila Methven and there’s Kaila Methven 2 now cause my Facebook got added up, and you can also reach my executive manager email through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or myself at email@example.com, if you would like to send a straight email, if you have any comments, or you would like to have a consultation, or just wanna talk, I’m always here for you.
Jon: Thank you, this has been a pleasure.
Kaila: Jon, thank you, I had a lovely time.
Jon: We are back, we have an addendum.
Kaila: Yes, and I’m so sorry you can find me at Now PR LA for my brand and my clothing and you can find me ask for Tash and you can ask for Eve at Yes Public Relations. Thank you everyone.
The Creative Influencer is a bi-weekly podcast where we discuss all things creative with an emphasis on Influencers. It is hosted by Jon Pfeiffer, an entertainment attorney in Santa Monica, California. Jon interviews influencers, creatives and the professionals who work with them.