Zeyna Sy

The former brand marketing manager of Marley Natural on lasting images, getting robbed abroad, and making the move to Outdoor Voices.


Welcome to our series of conversations with curious, clever, and captivating people—in other words, the kind you’d like to sit next to for an hour or two.

My mom is Jamaican. My dad isn't. I was born in London, but I lived in Jamaica for four years, from 14 to 17. I actually begged my mom to let me go. I wanted to do something different and going to Jamaica felt intuitive. I went to boarding school and lived with my grandma and I'm happy I did. It taught me discipline. I don’t think I would have performed in school otherwise.

I'm so proud of every place I’ve lived. I'm proud to come from London. And living in New York was a defining time. I think it's very important to live in New York. I never intended to live in L.A., ever. If you told me that four years ago I’d be living here . . . But L.A. has given me the physical and mental space to breathe. New York is so anxiety-driven. Here, I have so many things I’m doing and interested in. But I'm not scattered; it still feels focused.

I love to travel. I've got the itch now. I’ve been in the process of transitioning my visa, so I haven’t been able to leave at all. But I kind of understand why some Americans never leave—it's because you can have so many different experiences here. Going to Joshua Tree is totally different from going to Savannah or Arizona. So I've been doing a lot of stuff in America, but next up is Peru.

My ex-boyfriend and I went hiking in Patagonia once. It hailed and rained and I was petrified. I thought it was going to be glamping. But no, it was like five days with all your equipment on your back. And then all our shit got stolen. All of it. All my jewelry was in there. We had insurance, but it was traumatizing to have to write it all down and then remember all the stuff you’ve lost. He told me at the time, “You'll remember this a bit more fondly later on.” I was like, “No, I hate this trip.” And now I think I do. But it was amazing, seeing the alpacas! I learned that the key is just to travel light.


I’m always interested in how people listen to music and what they hear.