Taylor Momsen was hand-picked by Madonna to be the face and muse of Material Girl, the juniors label that will launch at 200 Macy’s stores next week. The line is partly designed by Madonna’s 13-year-old daughter, Lourdes Leon, but it’s Momsen who appears in the line’s advertising campaign and who will make an appearance at Herald Square on Aug. 3 for a kick-off event. There, she’ll perform an acoustic set with her band, The Pretty Reckless.
Momsen, who turned 17 on Monday, is the youngest of the “Gossip Girl” starlets. Currently performing on the Vans Warped Tour, she recently fired her stylist and has been making waves with her own wild-child fashion choices — such as the garters-and-raccoon-eyes ensembles that have drawn comparisons to the Courtney Love of yore.
Raised partly in St. Louis, Momsen may have been destined for her Material Girl role: she attended Roman Catholic school there at Our Lady of Lourdes.
On Tuesday, WWD talked to Momsen about the Material Girl gig, working with Madonna and how she developed her own style.
WWD: Where are you calling from?
Taylor Momsen: I’m in Nashville on tour. It’s the first day off we’ve had in eight days. So far, so good. It’s been hot. We played in Atlanta yesterday and it was scorching.
WWD: What was your reaction to being chosen as the face of Material Girl and what does that role entail?
T.M.: I was ecstatic to be asked. It’s such an honor. It’s Madonna. I was kind of shocked. She’s amazing. The role entails doing the launch of the line on Aug. 3 at Herald Square. And I’ll be tweeting and talking about the line. We did a photo shoot for the first pieces of the collection. It’s a really great line. It’s really cool.
WWD: Were you a fan of Madonna? What songs of hers are your favorites? And what about her influence on fashion?
T.M.: All her songs are so great. They’re so well crafted and really perfect, pure, pop genius. I’m a big fan of “Papa Don’t Preach.” I love that song. But really all of it is fantastic. She was the one who did it all first. She gave people like me an avenue to do what I’m doing. She was the one who started all the controversy to begin with. I’m a big fan of all kinds of vintage looks and altering them and making them modern. I don’t know if I copy anything directly, but I like to mix and match and play around a lot.
WWD: What has it been like working with Madonna on the shoots?
T.M.: We worked on the photo shoot together, and Lourdes was there too. Lourdes and she styled it, along with myself. We collaborated on putting the pieces together and finding the right look for each shot. She was very down to earth. It was nice to see after all her success, she’s still very grounded. It was cool to see her interaction with Lourdes. She’s a cool mom. She shot a couple of the photographs herself at the end. She definitely has a vision and was very hands-on. It was really easy working with her. She’s very comfortable to be around — very professional but a lot of fun. I’m very opinionated, so it was nice to work with someone who has such a direct vision and see how they accomplish that.
WWD: Have any of Madonna’s specific looks or periods inspired your own personal style?
T.M.: Personal style is just that — it has to be personal. There are things that are inspiring and can give you ideas, but I don’t really look at one person or one era. You have to make it unique to yourself. I don’t really emulate anything in particular, I take from all different places.
WWD: Some people have compared your recent looks on tour to Courtney Love. Any thoughts on that?
T.M.: I’ve heard that. I’m just dressing like myself. People will always make comparisons to different people.
WWD: Do you work with anyone now for your own wardrobe or special events?
T.M.: I dress myself. But I also work with a local designer in New York who I’m friends with [named Stephanie Paterek]. We design pieces together. And I go shopping and find things I like.
WWD: Do you feel pressure to look a specific way as a young actress and musician? And how do you deal with critiques in the press about your style?
T.M.: I don’t read the critiques because they’re always going to critique something. I just dress like myself. I don’t really feel any pressure. People are always going to say something about that.
WWD: Have you been wearing any Material Girl pieces on tour?
T.M.: I haven’t gotten any of the pieces yet. I only got to model them so far. Actually I lied — I have been wearing a double-cross ring from the line. I got to steal that from the shoot. But I wasn’t allowed to take any clothes.
WWD: Apart from Material Girl, what other projects are you working on?
T.M.: My record is coming out this summer, it’s called “Light Me Up.” So we’re touring and playing in support of that. I’ll be playing V Fest in England, so that will be exciting. And then coming to New York on Aug. 3 at Macy’s. My record is something that I’ve worked on for a very long time, so it’s definitely the priority for now.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)