Style Record: Nikki YanofskyAll photographs courtesy of Nikki Yanofsky, by Justin Key Style Features Style Record
At the ripe age of 22, Quebecois pop singer Nikki Yanofsky is already on her way to becoming one of Canada’s national treasures. She’s a former jazz singer and 5x platinum artist, having been the youngest ever to receive the award for Verve Records when she was just 13. To have called her a prodigy then would be an understatement. If she’s unfamiliar to you now, prepare for that to change with her recently released music.
Having previously worked with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Elton John, Feist and Will.i.am, Yanofsky teamed up with Wyclef Jean for her new EP Solid Gold, which includes the popular single “Miss You When I’m Drunk.” In addition to the music, Yanofsky’s become known for her impeccable style, having walked more runway carpets than we can even count. We caught up with the exciting talent to talk about her love of Sex and the City, dressing to feel confident and “borrowing” from her mother’s wardrobe.
Paste: Is fashion something that you’ve always been interested in or has it been more of a afterthought?
Nikki Yanofsky: Fashion was never an afterthought for me. I’ve always been super interested in it. Ever since I was small! I remember the first time I felt connected to it. I was maybe five or six and I had a pair of cute pink fluffy slides. Whenever I wore them, my attitude would shift. I was obsessed with those little shoes because of how they made me feel when I had them on.
I think that being a singer has always helped me to appreciate more than just the art form of music. Fashion is another important portal of expression.
Paste: Do you think there’s any difference between Canadian and American fashion, despite the countries’ proximity and shared culture?
Yanofsky: I think we pretty much have the same trends. Maybe we just invest more in warmer winter jackets [laughs].
Paste: Who are some of your idols when it comes to dressing up?
Yanofsky: I love the classics, like Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin. I gravitate towards classic styles, casual clothes with a ‘70s feel. I also am a frequent shopper of my mom’s closet. She has the best style ever and I think she is my biggest influence when it comes to fashion.
Paste: Is there a movie, music video or TV show that has had a large influence on your sense of fashion?
Yanofsky: Sex and The City! I grew up being obsessed with (almost) everything Carrie wore. And the shoes… well, as you found out from the first question, my love affair for shoes started at five or six. For sure that is my biggest vice. Sure, I love me some Carrie and Big but half the reason I watched was for the shoes. I could go on forever.
Paste: How do you dress during a normal day as opposed to when you’re performing onstage?
Yanofsky: My style every day is very laid back. I’m a jeans, t-shirt and leather jacket kind of girl. I also love a good trench. Pretty much the same applies to my stage wear. I have to feel comfortable enough to move around and be myself!
Paste: What’s your go-to outfit for the winter?
Yanofsky: I don’t wear fur or down… so I really go for a lot of chunky knits and long clothe coats to stay warm. I love a good pair of trousers or distressed denim. I also live in scarves and toques! I’ve had this one hat that is super warm for like seven years. Just a grey knit beanie. I love it!
Paste: If you had to sum up your style in three words, what would they be?
Yanofsky: Timeless, Undone, Neutral color pallet!
Paste: What do you think is the worst fashion trend that’s ever existed?
Yanofsky: ‘80s Neon! It just is a lot to take in. Or mullets. Mullets are never okay.
Paste: Do you think the connection between fashion and music is important, and if so, why?
Yanofsky: I think that the element of fashion can be used as an asset to communicate your musical style. I also think when you feel good in what you’re wearing, that confidence carries into other aspects of your life. For me, it’s my music. I think they go hand in hand!