Inside Kahlana Barfield Brown’s Closet

Editor-at-Large, Fashion & Beauty, InStyle. New York

By: Noah Lehava

Let it be known now that despite appearances, we're really whole-hearted advocates for the classic combination of a worn-in-just-so t-shirt and jeans. That said, it never hurts to have a generous helping of Tom Ford and Givenchy artfully thrown into the mix. And by a bit, we more accurately mean a full-fledged, decade-long archive of fashion house rarities. So when we ventured into the Brooklyn home of Kahlana Barfield, InStyle’s resident Fashion and Beauty Editor-At-Large, we had a good idea of what we were in for—you seen the girl's Instagram feed lately?

Her story goes a little something like this: Barfield broke into the business fresh out of college, with a short stint at the magazine Suede, hauling boxes and opening packages. “I made no money. It was $15 a day as a food allowance, but I loved it! I just loved fashion and I was inspired by it.” It was her next gig, an internship at the very magazine she works at today (that would be InStyle) that catapulted her career to what it is today. Fast forward to now and she’s a regular fixture on daytime television, talking fashion and beauty on all fronts; calls Julia Roberts 'her girl'; primps, primes and pre's with Gabriel Union; and receives those elusive annual golden tickets to the Oscars and Golden Globes.

And while if there’s one thing (okay, there are definitely a lot more, but we're simplifying here) that can show for her success, it's her collection of Hermés Collier de Chien cuffs—made glaringly obvious upon seeing her vanity stacked with rare skins and hard-to-find hardware selections. And believe us when we swear those little orange boxes are symbolic of success in beyond the strictly materialistic sense—Barfield gifts herself one at every milestone. Add that to her Kelly-green lizard and quilted CHANEL bags, trays overflowing with Miu Miu, Grey Ant, and Fendi shades and her love of the a classic single sole pump (in practically every shade)—it’s essentially an editor’s trophy room. If you ask us, that’s about as far away from package tape and mail slips as it gets.