Ciara attends the Candie's Foundation 2011 event to prevent benefit gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on May 3, 2011 in New York City. (Getty Images)more pics »
Ciara, StyleBistro guest editor
Having sold more than seven million albums worldwide and with countless Top 10 hits under her designer belt, Ciara
needs no introduction to R&B fans. And thanks to a few high-fashion friends (think Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy), the Atlantia, Georgia resident is also making a name for herself with the high-style set.
As StyleBistro's latest celebrity guest editor, Ciara sat down with Associate Editor Mercedes Hawkins to talk about the intersection of fashion and music. Mercedes says, "I felt like I was talking to one of my friends about our love of fashion and music. Ciara revealed her growing appreciation for fashion, and how it influences her music and her evolution as a woman. She may be one of the hottest R&B stars around, but she is easy to talk to and wasn't afraid to let me in on her insecurities. You can tell she loves to push her self creatively, and fashion plays a big role in that."
Ciara is known for a tough tomboy style and open attitude toward trying something new. We've got the scoop on Ciara's fave places to shop (Intermix!), her most embarrassing red carpet moment ("Aw man!") and her crack-like addiction (keep reading!).
Check out our exlusive interview:
SB: How does fashion influence your music?
I feel like fashion and music go hand in hand—both things need each other. Sometimes I can be making a record and I'll be thinking, 'Oh, this is what I want to wear.' It really shapes the direction of what I want to wear, and takes it to another place. Sometimes I can put something on and want to play a certain song. It's a beautiful thing when [fashion and music] come together. Those two worlds are really fun to me.
SB: How did fashion play apart in the creative direction of your latest album, Basic Instinct?
This album was about having fun and going places that I haven't been, but still staying true to how I am. [It] was really fun for me because I'm really trying to do different things and get familiar with different brands. I like the whole high-low thing...For example, I worked with Givenchy a lot for this album...Riccardo [Tisci] always sends me really cool things. Of course it's designer wear, but it's cool when I can put on a pair of Givenchy thigh-high boots and then some shorts from American Eagle. It's just about mixing things up and having fun. I want it to be original.
SB: You've been wearing a lot of Givenchy and Pucci lately. What is it about these designers that you love?
With [Riccardo Tisci] you just know there's going to be a consistency—I know pretty much all of Givenchy. I've built a friendship with Riccardo, so I want to support that. Of course the key thing is that the fashion is amazing; I know that Givenchy is always going to have something that I need. A similar thing happened to me with Pucci. I became even more familiar with the brand when I started working with Peter Dundas It's definitly a blessing to know that I can call my friends Peter and Riccardo and say, 'Hey, I'm doing this event. Can you guys send me something really cool?' But it boils down to how things look when you try them on. Fortunately in these cases, when I try it on it works. I never would have imagined that I'd be so in love with fashion.
SB: Where do you like to shop?
I love going to Intermix. It is really fun and consistent; they have a good mix of high [and] low. I love Barney's Co-Op, and I love the New York Barneys—it's the best one, they have everything. I like to go to Geoffreys and Opening Ceremony, that's fun. There's also this place in Atlanta called Little Five Points. It's a really cute area and has little boutiques. Sometimes you can find vintage or one-of-a-kind things because people [there] actually make them.
SB: What's your current fashion obsession?
Shoes are always my obsession. They're actually my addiction. Sitting down with my accountant...the highest number on my books is shoes. So I'm totally aware that I have a little problem here.
SB: Give us your best piece of style advice.
Less is more. That's important to remember because sometimes you want to try so many different things and, when you do, it can be overwhelming. It's always when you don't try so hard, that everything just falls in place. Fashion is about taking risks and not being afraid to be true to who you are. Sometimes you feel like, 'Oh, I have to dress like this because it's going to be this kind of event.' But the truth is, people love you for who you are. So, go as who you are.
SB: What was your most embarrassing red carpet moment?
Oh man...I swear to you, I don't want to tell you because I don't want you to pull the picture up. It's so embarrassing, it's like Aaahh! All I can say is it was early in my career and I just did too much for an award show. And, aw man...it was really bad. Every time I see the picture I cringe and I'm like 'Oh my god, erase it!'
SB: How has your style evolved throughout your career?
When I was younger, I couldn't wear some things that were a little bit sexier. I'm embracing my body more and I'm becoming more confident as a woman, and that's been a key factor to not being afraid to try different things. Back then, I liked one thing. I would be like, 'I'm going to wear my boxer boots and my jeans and this is how it's gonna be.' And 'No, I'm scared to wear this and this doesn't sound right and I don't know about wearing this.' I used to really think in a box with fashion. I wanted to be fly, but I didn't want to try a lot. Now I want to try everything; I want to explore.The biggest evolution for me is that I've been able to grow and become more familair with the world of fashion. Thats one of the key things to my evolution when it comes to my fashion of the years. I'm able to look at it from a whole different angle and it feels really free.
SB: How does your style set you apart from your competitors in the music industry?
It's always weird to answer this question because I don't like to say, well, I do this and that's why. I like for people to say what they think it is. For me, it's just all about staying true to who I am. When you look at some of my female counterparts like Rihanna or Beyonce, I think it's really cool that we seem to have [our own] thing that reflects our personalities, and we're all different in a sense. We all clearly love fashion. I'm just being true to me, and I really am a tomboy. But it's kinda hard for me to say what sets me apart—I don't know.
SB: What's your definition of beauty?
For me, it's about inner confidence, that's where it starts. You can do all these different things to try and be beautiful, but beauty really comes from within. It goes back to being true to who you are. It's beautiful to me when a person is sure of what they want to do and [who they] want to be. However they want to express themselves, that's beautiful to me. It's also the way you carry yourself. Of course, the way you dress totally finishes it off, but it starts from what's within.
Get more on Ciara's beauty must-haves, favorite designers and celebrity style crushes here: