Anna Lotterud’s "Lovers" has been stuck in my head all day. I’m not the only one: After the Norwegian singer, better known as one half of the electropop duo Anna of the North, released her 2017 album of the same name, "Lovers" was picked up as the title track of Netflix’s surprise hit To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. This epic pop culture plug brought the singer’s dreamy, synth-forward tunes to the top of American teens’ Spotify playlists. The song continues to stream over 100,000 times a day. But as the story often goes, Lotterud was no overnight success: Over the past five years, the 27-year-old has hustled her way from a middle-class family in Oslo to a collaboration with Tyler, the Creator and a viral remix by The Chainsmokers. She has also established herself as an indie fashion icon, having served as a Kenzo x H&M ambassador and designed her own Vogue-approved clothing line of winter basics.
When Lotterud and I meet in the tiny green room before her show at the Troubadour, an intimate music venue in West Hollywood, she has no entourage and no airs. This is her first American headline tour, and though her disposition is quiet, I can tell she’s giddy. One strong indication is what she’s wearing: high-rise jeans and red Chuck Taylors, an endearingly loose striped long-sleeve tee, and an oversize pearl hair clip tucking back her waist-length brown hair. It’s the sort of outfit a kid might wear on her first day of elementary school. As I’ll learn, childlike whimsy is a part of Lotterud’s personality, music, and fashion sense. (See the ’90s-inspired bucket hats, big sweatshirts, and costumey strings of pearls she wears on her Instagram.)
Lotterud styled herself for the shoot below. Keep scrolling to read our conversation about the up-and-comer’s favorite accessories, style inspirations, and obsession with the "baby" aesthetic.
Who were some of your early style inspirations?
When I was really young, the Adidas factory was in my super-tiny hometown. We didn’t have much money at that moment, but my babysitter’s dad was the big boss at Adidas, so he’d always come with these huge plastic bags full of Adidas stuff. You know the EQT series that’s really in again now? I had those sneakers, all these big baggy T-shirts. So that was really cool. My entire family was just in Adidas all the time.
Also, I grew up wearing my brother’s old hand-me-downs. I think that’s where I got my love of baggy clothes. I just wore what my brother wore.
I think studying graphic design has shaped me a lot, too. I’ve always been into creative stuff, but once I started researching fashion designers… wow. It was like a whole new world. I had no idea there were so many people making such amazing art.
What do you tend to go for when picking out clothes now?
I think I tell myself I don’t care what I wear, but really I do. I spend a lot of time in front of my closet. Isn’t it weird when you wear something once, and you’re like, shit, I look good today, and then the next time you wear it, you’re like nahhhh.
Totally. You tell yourself you only need five minutes to get ready because you’ll just throw on this outfit you know looks good, and then you put it on, and you’re like, what?
It looked good two days ago! What happened? But yeah, I go for colors. I’m a bit tomboyish with the big baggy clothes. But recently, I also started going more feminine. I have this new favorite top I bought at a thrift shop in L.A. for $5, and I’ve been wearing it nonstop. Usually, I style myself for photo shoots. [Displaying her phone] Can you believe this was only $5?
Wow, I am obsessed. Feminine but still baggy.
I love it. That is my go-to when I need to look "pretty." But it’s a shame; I have worn the pants I’m wearing now for the entire tour, and now they’re getting worn. I bought them at a vintage store and cut them off. Tide to Go pens have been quite good for me.
They’re white Tommy Hilfiger boot-cut jeans, for the folks at home.
It seems like even though your clothes (like these baggy white jeans) are tomboyish, your accessories (like the pearls you’re wearing) are more on the feminine side. How do you use accessories to play up an outfit?
What I’ve learned from doing music and art is that it’s the little details that make something cool. Like even just this pearl necklace—it’s little things like that that make you stick out. But not too much. There always needs to be a balance. Like if I’m dressed really casually, have just one thing that’s a little fancier. But I could never dress up too much. I did a shoot with someone at Louis Vuitton, and I wore this amazing dress. It looked so good. It had diamonds on the shoulders. It was really cool for a photo shoot, but you’d never see me go out in that. Only if I got to go to the Grammys. Then I’d go so hard. If that ever happened, I’d wear something crazy.
Oh, it’ll happen. 100%.
Haha. Well, for things like that, it’s fun.
What are some of your favorite accessories right now?
Earrings, always. Those are a go-to. If I’m wearing feminine clothes, then I’ll just do some little loops. But if I’m dressed baggy, I’ll usually go for something bigger and sparklier.
Also pearls. A lot of pearls. I’ve been trying to make that a thing again. But I actually see a lot of people doing them now. I used to say that for me, this next style chapter is going to be all about pearls, and now I see them everywhere, so I was like oh fuck. Ha! But I haven’t seen too many pearl necklaces.
You also are always wearing the greatest hats on Instagram.
Oh, I have this one great hat. It’s like a [gingham] strawberry hat—one you’d wear in the fields. It’s just amazing. I found that in a vintage store as well. Imagine that in summer with a dress. Actually, I think I kind of dress like a baby. Ha!
Oh, me too. I look 7 years old today. Baby aesthetic.
Yeah, I love that.
When you’re on tour, what are some clothing pieces you always take with you?
This tour, I’m trying to bring as little as I can. So I’ve been wearing these white pants a lot. I have some orange pants with me and a crazy pair of pink flower pants. I actually only brought four pairs of pants on this trip. And then just super-simple tops. Not a lot of things but definitely some that stick out. Usually in my day-to-day as well, I have something that’s more extra, and the rest can be simple. I always say to stylists when I work with them, "I want to look extra but not too extra."
What is the relationship between your clothes and your music?
It’s all my personality. My clothes are fun and colorful, and so is my music. You dress according to your mood, so I wear black from time to time when I’m home in Norway, but colors are what I wear on a good day. I feel playful today. Sun’s out!
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Source: Who What Wear – Amanda Montell