THE STYLE EDIT
ASOS CHATS TO LEIGH-ANNE PINNOCK
By Ebony-Renee Baker, 9 November 2020
Below, we chatted to the songstress to get the goss on her fave picks, her cringiest fashion moments, her new swimwear line and lots more. Oh, and while you’re here, don’t forget to shop the whole edit. It’s got all the cosy sweats, everyday ’fits, and uber-glam dresses you could want for seeing out 2020 in style. Cos, TBQH, everybody needs a little bit of Leigh-Anne in their life! ✨
So, tell us a bit about your Style Edit.
What I love is there’s a mixture of going-out dresses and outfits, but with casual stuff added in, as well. I feel like it has a bit of a 90s theme running through it, too, and I love that kind of fashion. I love all the looks.
What were some of your favourite pieces from the edit? ✍️
Ooo, there's this one green dress [squeals with excitement]! I love green; it's my colour! So, when I saw it, it was the first thing I picked up and I was like 'yep, that's me’.
It must have been so fun to pick the pieces…
Yeah. It makes it easier when you love the brand as well, and all the stuff that they have!
How would you say your personal style has changed over the last decade?
For the first couple of years of being in the band, I was really finding myself with regards to fashion. But now I feel like I’ve really honed in on my fashion, but it's not necessarily specific. I like to experiment. If I had to say who my fashion icon is, it would probably be Rihanna because she sets trends and she doesn't follow fashion – she does her own thing, and that's what I love. And that's who I aspire to be like.
What do you think was your cringiest fashion moment? 👀
Oh, gosh. Well just go back to X-Factor and it's literally every single week [laughs]. When we were first put together in the group and we all went to Camden shopping for these slogan vest tops and bright-coloured leg warmers and the fake glasses. I don't know what we were trying to do, but we loved it at the time. We just wanted to be quirky. It was hilarious, but it was cute.
What about your best fashion moment?
One of my favourite moments was probably the BRIT Awards red carpet when I did like an emerald, silk dress by Suzanne Neville. She made it for me, and it reminds me of an Aaliyah-style piece, cos it's got the stomach out. I think that was probably my favourite.
The band’s new album Confetti came out on Friday (Nov 6). Can you tell us a bit about it?
We've been together for nearly 10 years, so we just wanted to do a fun album that wasn't going to put a lot of pressure on us. The last album was a statement – we spoke about issues, and lots of different things that we were all experiencing that time. But, with this one, we thought: ‘you know what? Let's just have a bit of fun’. It came to us naturally; it’s just a good solid pop album.
Can you tell us about your swimwear brand, IN‘A’SEASHELL? (Psst… coming soon to ASOS! 🙌)
Yes, I'm so excited! Me and one of my best friends Gabby created it about a year ago. I've always been obsessed with swimwear, but I never found any that I loved the quality of. And I wanted to start my own fashion brand, so I thought swim was a great place to start. The brand’s slogan is: ‘Like seashells, we are all beautiful, all unique, each with a story to tell’ – it’s made for anyone and everyone. I set out to make sure that I was using models of all different shapes and sizes and colours. I wanted it to be as inclusive as possible because I just feel like there aren't enough swimwear campaigns that do that.
Well, I can't believe it's happened. For once, the whole world wants to talk about race and that's never happened in my lifetime. I'm still getting my head around it. I think it's frustrating that it's taken so long, but you know what? It’s progress. It can't just be a moment though; it has to be a movement. And it does feel promising and I do feel hopeful about things changing. So, we gotta keep talking about it, keep having these awkward conversations that shouldn't be awkward. They should just be normal.
How’ve you been coping with this and everything else that's gone on this year?
It's been a bit of a whirlwind with COVID and everything. And then, with the BLM movement, I've never had so many requests come in and just attention in general. It's gone from like zero to 100 so quickly. But I'm just taking it all in and using my voice and doing what I'm here to do. And that is to talk about it, spread awareness and hopefully bring about some sort of change.
You've also spoken about your own hair journey and being confident with your natural hair. Why is it important for you to share this message with Black women and girls?
When I was in primary school, I hated my hair. My mum would blow-dry mine and my sisters’ every week, just so it was easier for us; we wanted her to do it. I always had a complex about it. A couple of years ago, my little niece made a comment and she said, 'I hate my hair, I want to look like the other girls in my class'. And that literally broke my heart. From the moment she said that I knew I had to speak about this, and do more as well to make these young Black girls see how incredible and beautiful they are.