H.E.R.’s star is on the rise. The 22-year-old singing sensation took home two Grammy Awards earlier this year — Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance — and she is gearing up to release a new album in November. Outside of her music, H.E.R. (which stands for “having everything revealed”) is taking on a new role as one of the faces behind H&M’s much talked about collaboration with Italian couturier Giambattista Valli.
“[The collaboration] is something that I wouldn’t necessarily expect, but I thought it was a really, really dope combo,” H.E.R. tells Refinery29. “It brings the world of high fashion and everyday wear together. Everything is so pretty.”
The H&M collection features Valli’s signature tulle dresses, a red carpet staple loved by style icons like Rihanna (she famously wore one to the 2015 Grammys and another the LA premiere of her 2017 film Valerian). And at the annual amfAR Gala in Cannes earlier this year, Kendall Jenner stepped out in a hot pink tiered high-low dress from the collection, which also includes red carpet-ready accessories.
Without a doubt, Valli is known for unapologetic glamour. So, which items does H.E.R. reach for when she wants a red-carpet-ready look? “When I want to feel glamorous, most of the time — honestly — it could be a dress, but it’s got to be a dress with a sneaker,” she explains. “Otherwise it’s a really, really fly pant with some heels or a boot — like a fly tracksuit, lately that’s been my thing. I love a two-piece outfit with a plaid jacket or a fly T-shirt and then some heels or boots.”
Outfits like those totally embody the singer-songwriter’s personal style, which she calls “tomboy chic.” “I like to say there are different versions of me, but in every version it’s like, you know that’s H.E.R.,” she says. “Whether it’s the color combination of what it is that I’m wearing or how comfortable I am, because I love comfort. A lot of time you can see me in bright clothes or some kind of fly pattern, and that’s what I’ve been on lately.”
Considering H.E.R.’s major social media presence — 2.6 million Instagram followers and counting — one might assume that she’s a voracious consumer of content, especially in the inescapable influencer age we currently live in. But that’s not the case, she explains.
“Honestly, social media doesn’t really affect my personal style because I’ve always been the way that I have been as far as my individuality goes,” she shares. “I’m mostly influenced by how I feel on the inside and not so much how I look most of the time. It’s always how I feel and what I’m attracted to. I try not to get too much influence from social media because trends come and go — I’d rather start trends than follow them.”