Rita Ora Opens Up About Her Life as a Designer

Karl Lagerfeld is a fan. Tom Ford was her date to the Met gala. She has done duets with Jay-Z, Madonna and Drake. She designs collections for Adidas. Today, the success story called, Rita Ora, who hails from Kosovo is more inspiring than ever.

A new element has found its way onto the international fashion scene, and has had a massive presence on the catwalk. Street wear has paired itself with high fashion. We’ve seen more than one pair of overalls strut down the runway this season. In hip hop culture, street wear has always been the predominant style. Artists such as Kanye West (founder of fashion brand, Yeezy, which showed at Paris Fashion Week), A$AP Rocky, among many others have infiltrated the fashion scene, resulting in a breakout style. Artists like Rihanna, have master styling by mixing the most luxurious designs with urban street wear. Then, there is Rita Ora.

Adidas Originals by Rita Ora

Rita is a young star that the fashion industry has welcomed with open arms. Karl Lagerfeld has made a point of including her in his social network. We are definitely not surprised by his fondness of her inspiring personal style. Chanel’s latest collection has overt street wear influences. Quintessential Chanel style is close to Rita Ora’s heart, as is Gwen Stefani’s, whom she mentions is one of her biggest inspirations – ”induvial, super cool and super sexy all at once”.

When I ask her to describe her philosophy around style she remarked: ”I like the typical classic style, which I like to spice – I like a little edge. I like to give my outfits some fun elements, I don’t like my style to be too serious. The past few years I’ve learned what suits me and what I am most comfortable in. I’ve definitely realized that is the most important thing. You have to feel secure in your style, or else everything is wrong. On the stage, on the red carpet, in an interview… I always feel that I perform better when my outfit feels good on me.”

Having good personal style is valuable in today’s world, it helps when promoting yourself and with your career. While this rings true for many professions, in the world if pop cultural it can be equity. It’s an essential component of the whole package.

I love both worlds, music and fashion, I think they belong together.

”My style has definitely played a huge part in my success,” Rita openly admits. At twenty-five, she has dealt with more than most. Born on November 1990 in Pristina, Kosovo, she was named after Rita Hayworth. Her birth name is Rita Sahatciu. “Ora” was given to her by her father, Besnik, when they left Kosovo in ’91 before the war in Yugoslavia reached a critical stage. As refugees, Rita and her sister lived at an orphanage in England before the family was reunited. She was discovered at fourteen and flew to New York. By eighteen she landed at contract with Jay-Z, who she went on to perform duets with. She’s sung with other notables such as Drake, Prince and Madonna. Last year she performed at the Oscars wearing a dream made by Vera Wang. She starred in Southpaw with Jake Gyllenhaal and scored a small role as Mr. Grey’s younger sister in 50 shades of Grey’– a role that will expand in the upcoming sequel.

She frequents fashion week as often as a fashion editor. You’ve seen her star in campaigns for DKNY, Rimmel, Superga, Material Girl, Coca-Cola and Samsung Galaxy. She used to date Calvin Harris. She has been a judge on both X-factor UK and The Voice. Her debut album was number one on the music charts and her new album is coming out this year. Cara Delevigne, Madonna and Miley Cyrus are in her social circle. And, she designs clothes for Adidas. Puh.

”The music has always been my number one, but fashion always has and always will be a huge part of my life. I understand that my outfit plays just as big of a part as the sound of my music does. I really feel that I perform much better, and the overall experience becomes more massive. I love both worlds, music and fashion, I think they belong together.”

How did you come become embraced by fashion world? ”When you’re on a certain level in the music industry you often end up in situations where you’ll work or meet people from the fashion industry. You’ll be introduced, exchange contacts and suddenly you’ve got access to clothes signed by the top designers. I love the clothes I choose to wear. I have a genuine interest and I think people can tell. To be able to design my own collection is extremely exciting.”

Adidas is known for their fearless partnerships with the music industry having worked with Kanye West and Pharrell Williams. In 2014, Rita Ora and Adidas started their collaboration.

”It’s always been a dream to design clothes. Street wear has been an incredibly big part of my style, and I love Adidas so this is really a dream – it’s the perfect cooperation,” Rita says. She points out that she’s one of the few who includes a one piece, or ‘onesie’ as she calls it, in her designs. It’s the fashion industries most lambasted article of clothing.

”Fashion should be fun, and positive – at least for me. I don’t listen to preconceived opinions or rules of what or what not to wear. Fashion can’t be taken too seriously, and I find ‘onesies’ so much fun! I love an overall!” This season, you may have noticed, you’re not alone Rita Ora.

By Jonna Bergh