Aliyah O’Brien – Style in her words.


Aliyah O’Brien – By Zara Durrani




Born in Victoria, B.C. to hippy parents who believed in a four hug a day minimum and fed her home made fruit leather for lunch, Aliyah O’Brien began setting the stage to become a working artist at the ripe old age of seven. She began by putting on plays for the neighbors in her friends basement and her first foray into the world of paid art centred around her beaded earring and dream catcher booth at the local Moss Street Market.

The self-proclaimed adrenaline junky set off to see the world armed with an attitude for adventure, and a bungee cord to jump off any bridge that dared cross her path. After several years of globe trotting, Aliyah’s friend, Dave, challenged her to check out an acting class with him.  She was instantly hooked on a new kind of adrenaline rush and she soon shifted gears to pursue a new adventure.

She moved to Vancouver in 2007 to train as an actor, and booked her first audition on Chris Haddock’s acclaimed CBC series Intelligence. She followed up with roles on CW’s Supernatural, Showcase’s Ex’s and Oh’s, Syfy’s Eureka, CW’s Smallville and USA Network’s Psych.


In 2010 Aliyah made her first debut as a series lead on the major network television comedy Men With Brooms on CBC. Aliyah went on to guest star as Afina the Vampire Queen in Syfy’s hit show Sanctuary and star in a number of movies including her lead role as a bad ass bad girl in Stephen Seagal and Stone Cold Steve Austin’s action flick Maximum Conviction. Fans can catch Aliyah in her recurring roles on both the new and highly anticipated A&E series Bates Motel, starring Vera Farmiga and in the fourth season of the hit summer drama on ABC and Global, Rookie Blue. Beyond the world of entertainment, Aliyah is passionate about personal development and hopes to one day inspire others to move through the world with heightened love, joy, playfulness and compassion.





What are the top 3 must haves in your closet?

  leather jacket, long sleeve denim shirt, bad ass boots


  What’s your go-to outfit?

Bad ass Bohemian 😉  Skinny jeans, v-neck t shirt, motorcycle boots, leather jacket and turquoise bohemian accessories.


What’s your go-to  store?  

 El Kartel, Aritzia, Urban outfitters, and mainly little boutique stores I can never remember the names of 😉


Who’s your favourite designer?

I’m embarrassingly fashion naive.  I would be lying if I started dropping names.


Are you effected by trends? Are there any trends at the moment you love or hate? 

I tend to be a little late to jump on the trend trains and kind of march to the beat of my own drum.  But I do remember a time when skinny jeans became cool and I was like “I will never wear those, they look terrible on me”.  And now that’s all I wear. Trends I love ~ Boyfriend jeans.  And hippie summer dresses with chunky leather boots.


What advice would you give to young women/men trying to find their personal style?

Oh man it took me forever to figure this out and I’m still working on it.  But the best advice I can give is don’t force it.  If you put something on it should feel like YOU.  Follow your instincts.  It’s one thing to enjoy something on someone else, but when you put it on you it will either feel right or it won’t.  That being said, don’t be afraid to go against the grain now and then 😉


What was your favourite style decade? (grunge, hippy, 40’s, …) 

I’d have to go with 1970’s Boho Chic with a splash of grunge punk in there too 😉


Do you have any beauty or fashion tips you’d like to share?

Don’t buy anything unless you LOVE it and don’t be afraid to spend good money on the staple items like good jeans, boots and jackets.  And I love accessories!  I’m super casual, so I like to spice it up with bold accessories that express my inner Bad Ass Bohemian.


  Do you think women dress to impress men, other women or for themselves ?

Yes, yes and yes to all of the above.  I think it depends on the situation, who they are and what they are going for.


What do you think about the way men/women dress in this city? Do you find Vancouver’s style different from other cities you’ve been to or lived in?

Oh for sure!  I come from Vancouver Island and when I moved here I was all sneakers and jeans and felt totally under dressed when I went out.  I quickly bought heels and tried to fit in with the trends (this is a recipe for disaster by the way).  Thank god for the high top, high heeled sneakers nowadays 😉  I work a lot in Toronto though and when I go there I feel like everyone looks good and Vancouver is behind the game.  Every city is a little different.


Define the word style? Or What does the word style mean to you?

Style feels like an expression of what you like.  What’s important to you.  I think it depends on what kind of communicator or learner you are too.  I’m very kinaesthetic so my style FEELS good to me, clothes are comfy and I have free range of motion, feet are generally flat on the ground.  Whereas my very visual friends are often very well put together and clean cut, bold colours and patterns.


What’s your favourite accessory?

Long gold necklace with a big turquoise stone.


What do you do to look Red Carpet ready?

Generally speaking I like body hugging dresses.  Black with a bright red lip.


Do you or would you ever consider using a stylist?

Yes!  My god stylists are like angels.



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Designer and founder of Assignment Fashion.