Janelle Monae Talks Karl Lagerfeld, S.F. Hot Spots, & Her Signature Style



janelle There’s no denying that the annual Black And White Ball brings out some of S.F.’s best-dressed partygoers, music fans, and professional hobnobbers. And this year was no exception. From over-the-top floor-sweeping gowns to simple (yet stunning) cocktail frocks and magical performances, it was a shining moment for our fair city. We sort of felt like we were reliving our senior prom — with a dash of New Year’s Eve energy thrown into the mix.

Even the performers got into the spirit. One sound star that embodied the fete’s theme to a T? The perpetually impressive crooner Janelle Monae. Not only is her signature tuxedo-inspired look so spot-on for the event, but her sounds were a smooth fit, too. We caught up with the singer who talked about everything from her fave cheesy S.F. hangout spot to her friendship with Karl Lagerfeld.

Tell us about your signature black and white color palette?
"I’m not a fan of clutter and I think that these two colors keep it very clean and really allow my personality to show and also highlight my performance."

S.F. is a huge tech capital — would you consider yourself to be a techie?
"Yes, absolutely. Not too much though, I am still into nostalgic things like writing letters. But, I like technology. I think it is our number one use of communication and it’s growing at an exponential rate as far as the ideas and people that are cultivating it. I really look at it as a form of power when people are sharing — especially when there is no filtering involved. I think it’s extremely important."

Have you been to S.F. before? If so, what are your must-hit spots?
"Yes, I have been to San Francisco and the last time I was here I visited Fisherman’s Wharf."

What are your fave beauty products?
"Honestly, the beauty products that I use really come from within. Peacefulness, positive energy, and unique style — ones that don’t cost anything are what I wear each and every day."

Karl Lagerfeld went from being one of your muses, and now people say you're his. Can you tell us a bit more about your friendship?
"There’s no one like Karl Lagerfeld, and I don’t want there to ever be anyone like him. We appreciate each other. I think he’s a true artist."

What’s up next for you?
"I think really focusing on building Wondaland Arts Society over the course of the next few years."

Photo: Courtesy of Atlantic Records