Model, TV presenter, entrepreneur and mother of three, Cara G McIlroy made her name during the hype of Eurasian modelling back in the early 2000. Since then, the fashion and beauty maven has graced the covers of the biggest titles in Hong Kong and abroad. With a professional career cemented in fashion, influencing her personal sense of style and wardrobe choices, we can’t help but wonder what the inside of this supermodel’s closet looks like. Is there an endless rotation of dresses, tops, skirts and pants in a closet styled after Cher’s in Clueless? Are there shelves and shelves of handbags coordinated by colour, size and cross-referenced by brands? How many pairs of power pumps, strappy sandals and sneakers does she own?
Unlike the fantastical imagination of a fashion hoarder’s dream, Cara surprises us with her down-to-earth wardrobe. Her concern for sustainability and the environment has driven her to make smart and conscientious fashion choices. Building an eco-friendly wardrobe over the years, Cara further demonstrates her support for the environment and in celebration of Earth Day (marking its 50th anniversary this year on 22 April), by taking on Vestiaire Collective’s Wardrobe Reality Check Challenge. We speak to Cara find out more about the initiative, how she recycles her children’s clothing, and the way in which she Marie-Kondos her closet.
Tell us about your partnership with Vestiaire Collective. What attributes do you and Vestiaire Collective share?
I am a fan of Vestiaire Collective and have always appreciated companies that care for the environment. We both believe in the idea of a circular lifestyle. I love vintage and Vestiaire Collective is a treasure trove for vintage lovers like myself. I’ve also been a fan of pre-loved fashion for years, so it made a lot of sense for us to collaborate.
Why did you participate in the ‘wardrobe reality check challenge’?
It was the perfect time for me to support a fun challenge like this for two main reasons: first, as I’m in the process of moving house, a good clean out is necessary and overdue; secondly, I like to jump on board and support companies that make efforts in the name of sustainability. I think as an influencer and model, it’s a responsibility I have — given the current position our earth is in. If I can persuade even just one follower to change some small bad habits, that’s worth it for me.
What was the hardest thing in your wardrobe for you to give up?
I think things I don’t wear ever, but for some reason I have a strange attachment to. I did keep a few of these pieces like the tee my Hubby was wearing the first time I met him and our first Genie staff tee, but the rest I let go of.
What is something in your closet you could never give up?
My Burberry trench and Gucci woolen trench. They are timeless capsule pieces I want to hand to my girls one day.
What are the main things you consider when purchasing fashion?
Will I wear it and will it last a few years down the line.
Now that you have three children, how has that affected your buying for the kids?
I seldom buy clothes for them. I do a lot of jobs for children’s brands so we get given so much. The rest I swap with a little tribe of mommy friends. It’s so perfect and it’s so beautiful when you see your best friends’ kids in your kids’ clothes. It makes all those wonderful memories of them wearing them come back to life. It’s truly special.
What’s in your Vestiaire Collective shopping bag right now?
I love all these brands but they come with big price tags. They aren’t really basics so it’s perfect to buy them preloved. I also lost my leather jacket that I’ve had for 20 years recently, so I have my eye on this one by Sir. I’m also eyeing this Innika Choo linen dress and this Christy Dawn maxi dress.
Inside Cara G’s Vestiaire Collective Shopping Cart
About Wardrobe Reality Check by Vestiaire Collective
As part of Vestiaire Collective’s broader “Fashion Should Feel Good” campaign, comes Wardrobe Reality Check — a challenge that aims to inform, inspire and motivate people to break old habits and free themselves from pieces they no longer need, and how to build an eco-conscious wardrobe for the future. Join Cara in her Wardrobe Reality Check challenge by following these simple steps:
- Sort through items you don’t wear into 4 categories: pieces to be resold, donated to charity, repurposed or recycled. Deposit pieces from your resale pile on Vestiaire Collective’s app and arrange for pick-up/drop-off of other items.
- Change the way you care for your new edited wardrobe by steaming, repairing and laundering.
- Build a core wardrobe with good quality staple pieces and consider reselling or investing in pre-loved pieces that are more trendy and seasonal
- Share your tips and spread the word to inspire others
Download the full Wardrobe Reality Check Challenge guidelines here.