Model, actress, writer and mother to twins, Kaki West Swid is taking 2022 by storm, and she’s making all the right moves.
Shot at the Old Palm Golf Club, Kaki Swid is styled by Sasha Steele; makeup by Gilly Estrada; hair by Cesar Ferrette. Emilio Pucci kaftan; Alaïa belt; Bottega Veneta shoes; Stella McCartney sunglasses; Linda Farrow sunglasses chain.
What made you decide to move to Palm Beach?
Like many citizens during the pandemic, we chose to reasses our geographical location, education for the twins and our quality of life. We lived between New York City and L.A., and Palm Beach for us as a family was a conscious choice about raising our children in a community.
Where are your favorite places to shop, dine and play in Palm Beach?
My absolute favorite is Le Bilboquet, which my family and I go [to] every week in New York and Palm Beach! I love the green juice at Sant Ambroeus. For shopping, my favorites are Royal Poinciana and The Gardens Mall. My go-to in Palm Beach Gardens is Rocco’s Tacos.
What do you enjoy about being part of the island community?
I enjoy the warmth and the instantaneous belonging of a community. It’s idealistic watching my kids freely ride their bikes, play soccer under the lights on warm nights and go to school in pink and yellow uniforms! There’s an unwritten law in this community, where everyone waves hello. It’s shocking, being a city girl, how kind everyone is here. I really feel like I found the best place in the world to raise our children. It’s like a Norman Rockwell painting.
You’ve walked runways around the globe from Milan to NYC, acted in multiple films and television shows, and you’ve written a screenplay. How do you balance it all?
I started modeling at the age of 14. Modeling afforded me pivotal life experiences, travel and my first love: fashion! Right now, my sole focus is my screenplay. I love being a writer. I come from a family of writers and writing has brought me so much joy. The real balancing act is time management while being the mother of 7-year-old twins.
What are you most proud of in your career?
There is no singular moment in my career. I am always striving to do better. I have been wired that way my whole life. I achieve one career goal and quickly set my sights on my next, more elevated goal. My husband always jokes that ‘I can’t get no satisfaction!’
As a champion for women, any words of advice or encouragement that you’d like to share?
The only thing in life you can control is the effort—never the outcome. Women must enter the arena overprepared for anything work related. It’s a burden, but it’s a truth.
And on top of it all, you’re a mom to twins! What do you love about motherhood?
I was born to be a mother. Motherhood is the most glorious aspect of my life. I adore supporting, loving and raising my children to be kind, independent, incredible souls who will contribute to our society in an impactful way. That is my job: to love them so resolutely that they are empowered to navigate this colossal world.
You’re also involved with multiple charitable organizations. Why is it important to you to give back?
My father worked in government and service was part of our life. Both of my parents were adamant about helping others and were active in our community, church and schools. My husband and I are supporters of Henry Street Settlement in NYC. I’m a long-standing supporter of the USO and ASPCA. If you are more fortunate than others, build a longer table, not a higher fence.
Who inspires you and why?
I am grateful for all the courageous trailblazing women before me. Perhaps I’m most inspired by Dolly Parton. She grew up in poverty and went on to become one of the greatest singer-songwriters in our history. She is a champion who even wrote two classic hits (‘Jolene’ and ‘I Will Always Love You’) in one night! Dolly is an insane talent who has achieved the pinnacle in writing, singing, acting, business and philanthropy. Despite her prodigious achievements, Dolly struggled to break out, and in the industry she was consistently underestimated. She proved everyone wrong with her eccentric style, brilliant wit and immense talent.
Since this issue is themed around travel, tell us where you want to go on your next vacation.
Paris for my 10-year wedding anniversary and then Aspen with the family for skiing. I am a fan of après ski! My bucket list is to go on safari in Africa.
What’s on the horizon for you?
We are working on a movie I wrote and will also act in, directed by Jennifer Lynch, a brilliant Hollywood veteran who most recently directed Gossip Girl for HBO. The screenplay is a suspenseful thriller with multiple strong female characters.
Photography by: Photographed by Jorge Duva