Rita Ora On Her Style Inspirations and The New British Designer On Her Radar

by Freya Drohan

Chart-topper Rita Ora is a true fashion chameleon, whether on the red carpet, on tour, or off-duty. Naturally, the chanteuse seeks inspiration in her fellow female powerhouses, who treat the stage like it’s their catwalk. Here, she shares her influences, inspirations, and icons.

What celebrities were your first style icons?
I would say Cher, Madonna, Diana Ross, and Gwen Stefani have all been huge inspirations in my life. They’re such powerful women who all have a unique point of view when it comes to fashion. Kate Moss is another style icon of mine; she is the epitome of British fashion.

1977: Entertainer Cher and guitarist Gregg Allman attend an event in 1977. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Who or what first influenced your love of fashion?
Madonna’s whole existence! She is such a badass. When I was younger, I was into making my own outfits and I would go digging in flea markets to find the perfect pieces. That’s probably my earliest fashion memory.

How does your taste in music come through in how you dress?
Musically, I’m all over the place with whom I listen to, and the same goes for when I’m writing in the studio. I like experimenting and collaborating with other artists, and I feel that attitude comes through in how I dress. I’m always up for trying new things, and I don’t take myself too seriously, which helps when I’m experimenting with a new look.

How did you meet your stylists, Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn?
Through a friend! I loved the work I saw and just knew I had to go with them. Through collaborating we formed a friendship and I think that connection with Rob and Mariel has helped when curating looks

What’s that collaborative process like?
When it comes to planning for a tour, it’s all about the theme of the current album. We take inspiration from the feel of the music when putting together the outfits to make sure that everything is cohesive.

Red carpet moment during which you felt your best?
The red dress I wore to the 2014 VMAs—everything about the dress made me feel confident, which is key on the red carpet! The other was my Oscar performance dress [in 2015]. It had such a classic old Hollywood glam feel. That night was an absolute dream come true! What three pieces in your closet mean the most to you? I find a lot of meaning in simplicity, so I would say my favorite pair of jeans, a white tee, and a great pair of trainers. I’m a bit of a tomboy at heart!

First fashion purchase when you felt successful?
An Hermès Birkin bag. I still have it and every time I use it, I’m reminded of how far I’ve come. What kind of shopper are you? I’m very quick. When I shop, I have a clear vision in my head of what I want, so I don’t waste much time looking around.

Do you keep up to date with shows/trends/designers?
I do! Fashion is such a passion of mine and I love discovering new designers, trends, and trying new things. I’m lucky to have friends in the industry who tell me who and what to watch for.

Who are your ones to watch right now?
I’m a big fan of any woman who has the guts to put herself out there creatively. Bianca Saunders is an amazing young British designer. She designs menswear, but I love fluidity in fashion and I don’t see gender in clothing.

If you could be born in another fashion era, what would it be?
The 1960s; there was so much variety during that era and so many iconic fashion moments. From Diana Ross and the Supremes to Twiggy and Jackie O, that decade had it all.

New York, NY – June 03, 2019: Jennifer Lopez attends 2019 CFDA Fashion Awards at Brooklyn Museum

Who do you think always gets it right?
Jennifer Lopez always nails it. Her looks are always on point

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