Bebe Rexha Is "Not Proud" of the Way She Used to Dress

The singer, who recently performed at e1972's sizeless fashion show, admitted to rocking "spray tans and Bebe shirts."

These days, Bebe Rexha is considered by many to be a style icon, frequently stepping out in shimmering dresses, hints of animal print, and curve-hugging designs. But, the singer is the first one to admit that she wasn't always so fashion-forward. Her outfits looked quite different when she was growing up, thanks, in part, to her hometown.

"Oh gosh," she said to InStyle during New York Fashion Week, reflecting on the way she used to dress while living on Staten Island. "The only way Staten Island ever influenced my style was with spray tans and Bebe shirts. And, I'm not proud of it. But, that's who I am and where I'm from."

We're sure plenty of people who lived through the early '00s can relate.

Of course, Rexha was quick to defend the New York City borough, adding that she knows it gets an undeserved bad reputation.

"I feel a lot of people don't want to really say they are from Staten Island because it is not really a cool look. But, I can make Staten Island cool again."

Though she may look back at her spray tan days and cringe, in the last few years, the singer has certainly taken the fashion world by storm. In 2019, when designers told her that her size 6-8 body was "too big" to dress for the Grammys, she took to social media to vent and demand things change — and the world quickly took notice. Tons reached out to Rexha, offering to create something for her to wear, and the ordeal solidified her spot as a body-positive role model. It also led to one of her most recent gigs: performing at the e1972 fashion show during NYFW.

e1972 is a new, sizeless brand, designed by Elite World's Julia Haart, who was also a former creative director at La Perla. Rather than making clothes that fit in a specific range, customers measure their bodies through an app or at one of its ateliers. After ordering the items they want, the clothes are custom-made to fit their specific shape, arriving at their doorstep a few weeks later. There's no inventory involved — e1972 only makes what is needed — so the carbon footprint is pretty low, too.

"The second they said sizeless and inclusivity, I was like 'I'm in,'" Rexha said ahead of the show. "Julia sent me this beautiful dress and I was like, 'Oh my god, it actually fits my body and I feel sexy in it!' It's stretchy and it accentuates all the best parts. So, I was totally down."

Bebe Rexha e1972 Fashion Show
Albert Urso/Getty Images

While e1972's body-scanning app technology has been around for a while, Haart is excited to be using it in a way no one has thought of before. Every item is also made out of luxury materials, which are purchased in small batches, helping to keep production more sustainable, albeit more expensive. While one of the embellished dresses or jumpsuits will set you back thousands of dollars, for many it's worth the price to have something that fits you like a glove and can be altered to your liking (details such as necklines can be changed).

"It really messes with my head when I try something on and it doesn't fit my ass," Rexha admitted. "It's the most annoying thing."

Her honesty and confidence — not to mention her self-proclaimed "glamour meets rock 'n roll" aesthetic — is what makes Rexha the perfect person to be associated with e1972.

"She is her own face, force, power," said Haart. "She doesn't ask permission, she's such an individual, she's so gorgeous and glamorous, and fabulous. She represents the woman that I want to wear the clothes."

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