If you haven’t listened to indie pop singer Dua Lipa (pronounced “do-wah LEEP-ah”), do so immediately. The 21-year-old Londoner with Kosovar Albanian roots has a mature-beyond-her-years voice capable of transfixing stadium-size audiences. And she’s got killer style to match, with an eclectic wardrobe of cool-girl brands like Vetements alongside thrift-store finds picked up around her hip Camden neighborhood.
“Chloë Sevigny in the ’90s is my ultimate style icon,” she recently said at our photo shoot, wearing a fur-lined leather jacket by English label Marques Almeida with jeans from Topshop. One trend Lipa undoubtedly borrowed from the grunge-filled decade is the choker necklace. “I’ve worn them ever since I can remember,” she says. “The second I got any pocket money, I’d buy either a choker or an album.”
During Lipa’s teen years spent in Kosovo, Pink and Nelly Furtado were in heavy rotation along with Method Man and Redman, thanks to the country’s burgeoning hip-hop scene. Eventually, while taking courses at London’s prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School, Lipa began to post videos of herself singing covers on YouTube.
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Now she’s invented her own brand of sultry dark pop with R&B undertones, which can be heard on her self-titled début LP, out this month. This summer she’ll hit the music-festival circuit, presumably the first of many billings for the young talent. “I want to be successful early on and sustain it,” she says. “Everything is lining up pretty well so far.”
For more stories like this, pick up InStyle’s June issue on newsstands and available for digital download May 12.
Photographer: Easton & Roso; hair: Elsa/See Management; makeup: Misha Shahzada/See Management; fashion editor: Nina Sterghiou/Bridge Artists; manicure: Yuko Wada/Atelier Management.