Sep 11, 2014 5:53PM

Rita Ora On 'Fearless' Fashion & adidas Originals [Interview]

Literally unstoppable.
As you now definitely know, the adidas Originals By Rita Ora debut collection has dropped, and there's more where that came from. The artist and her adidas Originals family have been busy celebrating the AW14 line's arrival in London and we've been helping them.
Oyster attended the singer's VIP dinner, we hung out with Rita, we shopped the collection at London's adidas Originals new flagship store on Carnaby Street (where Rita performed an acoustic set and blew everyone's mind with her lung power) — and we danced our butts off at the streetwear label's massive party. It was a great time. See the polaroid evidence and read on for our interview with Rita!
Jerico Mandybur: You look great in that pink jacket.
Rita Ora: Yeah I know, and I hate pink so this is amazing for me. I designed it now so I can't say I hate it anymore. 
You've found the perfect shade.
Yeah exactly. So I found the right pink which is good. And it's comfy.
It looks comfy.
I like doing interviews about sport brands because you get to dress comfortably.
Totally. So why did you decide to collaborate on a fashion line, and why adidas Originals?
So I knew that I always wanted to design clothes because I used to rip magazines up and put outfits together. And I used to take all my mum's clothes and steal them and basically I liked dressing up, I liked costumes. Halloween for me was a big thing, it was a way for me to wear wigs and do all this. Growing up I went to a lot of drag queen competitions and I went to a lot of these amazing underground raves and I fell in love with costume and makeup. I wanted to do that and so I did. That's how it started and then designing things was something I wanted to do one day.
But doing it with adidas was a perfect introduction for me. I got to feel like I'm designing without having a lot of pressure on myself, you know? Because I had a lot to learn and I knew that and I was willing to learn, so I went in there and just shut my mouth. I flew to Germany, I looked at silhouettes, I looked at fabrics, I looked at how you design things and how you create a mood board and turn a mood board into an outfit.
That for me was the hardest part, because I can stick pictures up all day — I've been doing it my whole life, but then I was like, how do I take that and make an outfit out of it? So then I worked with my co-designer Josephine, who's the designer director for adidas Originals so she helped me out a lot. I was very grateful, I had a lot of support from designers who usually don't want to help anyone so it was nice to get that support. 
How does the end product reflect your initial vision? Did it kind of change as you went through the process?
Yeah. Well I wanted to put all my tattoos on one outfit and I wanted to stick badges all over it, you know? Because I did that when I was in school. I won a lot of badges and my blazer would look like shit at the end of it. It was covered in badges. It was a mess. I wanted to create that kind of organised mess so that's how started.
It was a gradual process because I got people giving me more options, saying, "You know you can make it glow in the dark," and "You know you can do this and that." I was like, fucking hell, how am I going to choose? I had a good team and I listened to my team which was good because they knew more than I did. I only knew the vision. But I was at every meeting, I went to every showroom, I met everybody in the team. I love them so it was easy — it was a great process. 
It seems like the inspiration is super personal to you. 
It is, it's very urban because I am a bit urban. I grew up in the hood so for me being the only white girl in the hood was great. And I wanted to represent that and what you envision of the hood — for me it was people making barbeques outside the block. Like when you roll around Brooklyn in the summertime, you see people leaning on the walls. Hats and numbers were all around. So you could say there's a bit of an urban hip hop feel in there.  
What about the whole unstoppable concept? What does it mean to you personally?
With this collection, I wanted people to feel undefeatable. I wanted women to feel sexy, I wanted women to have a reason to wear sportsgear and not put heels on. I was like, superheroes are unstoppable, my mum is unstoppable. So that's where it came from. My love for females.
Do you feel good being the first solo artist in ages to collaborate with adidas?
Yeah, being the first since Missy Elliott and working alongside other designers like Pharrell Williams and Kanye West, who are on the Adidas team — I was really proud. I just took the opportunity with both hands. In the next collection, you'll just see the growth. Like, now she knows how to sew this onto that. And now she gets how to mould the fabrics together. It flows better because I've learnt more. I created this line last year so I've learnt a lot in a year!
Who were your fashion heroes or who did you admire? Who was on your wall?
Growing up I was a bit of punk lover. Not that I listened to it, but I liked looking like them, so I grew up looking like Sid and Nancy. Freddie Mercury was massive for me, I just loved him. I wanted a moustache so bad. Mick Jagger, David Bowie, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Tina Turner — divas all day. Divine was big for me. Big hair, makeup, I loved drag queens. I loved wigs and I always just wanted to create a costume. So that's how it started.
It's nice to hear you say Divine. She's legendary.
She's legendary because she's a fucking gangster. And I love how crazy she was. You know Van Smith who did the makeup for Divine was truly inspiring. He created characters on people's faces. I love reading about these designers and I honestly do my research. And not because I want to show off but because I actually want to know about it so yeah, Divine's a big love for me. 
Do you have any fashion regrets?
I definitely look at things and say that was a big mistake but I wouldn't let anybody else know that I said that. I have this feeling where if I start worrying about fashion faux pas and things like that, I'll forget what it feels like to be fearless and that's what I love about this collection. Even me, I like being fearless. Don't get me wrong, I'm very scared of some things, like spiders but still think it's good to strive for fearlessness. I like Oyster. Oyster is a fearless magazine.
That's nice to hear, thank you.
Yeah, it's a great magazine.
I really wanted to bring you a copy, because Issue #105 has just come out.
Cool, my manager's into it too, she was the first one to tell me about it. 
We did an editorial with some of your pieces, it looks great.
Did you!? Woo! 
We'll send you a copy.
Thank you! 
Lastly, what's the best fashion advice you have?
Follow your inner gut. And be fearless. How can I say it? I mean, I walked into the adidas design studio and I was like, "what am I going to do?!" But it never stopped flowing, so I would say just wake up everyday and feel unstoppable.