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«A way of becoming myself»: interview with Conan Gray

nss magazine interviewed the singer ahead of his collaboration with Bershka

«A way of becoming myself»: interview with Conan Gray nss magazine interviewed the singer ahead of his collaboration with Bershka

Conan Gray's is perhaps the most emblematic success story of Gen Z's music. Son of an Irish father and Japanese mother, Gray spent his childhood in Hiroshima and adolescence in the sleepy Texas town of Georgetown. Already at the age of nine, his passion for music and videography was manifested – a passion that was translated, in 2013, with the birth of a YouTube channel whose videos would have amassed up to twenty-five million views each. His first EP, Sunset Season, garnered more than 300 million streams, while his first album was the most successful debut of 2020. Meanwhile, her multifaceted creativity has spread to social media, with 2.9 million followers on Instagram and 3 million on TikTok – a platform on which her song Heather went viral last August.

In this dizzying ascent, his style was not a secondary element. By always refusing to put a definite label on his sexuality, Gray has become a champion of gender-neutral fashion on Instagram. Beyond his undoubted ability to compose highly instagramable outfits (his feed is almost a manual on e-boy aesthetics), Gray has never had any qualms about experimenting with more androgynous solutions for his wardrobe – something he also emphasized during the interview that you can read below.

Gray's most recent step into the fashion world was his collaboration with Bershka. The singer has in fact designed a capsule of clothing for the brand that represents a synthesis of his style a little modern and a little nostalgic – influenced by his Texan adolescence and indebted with a certain, nostalgic love for Americana. Ahead of the release of its capsule, nss magazine had the chance to interview Conan Gray to better deepen his relationship with fashion.

How would you describe your relationship with fashion?

When I was younger, I was very afraid of being anything other than ordinary. I wore what I knew would help me blend in. But as I got older, fashion became a way of becoming myself. Wearing what I wanted to wear, having the ability to become somebody new each day— I love that about fashion. I wouldn’t say I have one distinct style, I just try to wear whatever the fuck I feel like wearing. If I wanna wear a skirt, imma wear a skirt.

Do you have a style golden rule that you follow and never has failed you?

Jeans and a tee shirt will never let you down.

Is there a message you want to send with the clothes you designed for Bershka?

I want these clothes from the Bershka collection to be liveable. I want people to scream in their car to music with their friends in them, get them dirty at a party and wear them in. These clothes are very much what I wear on a daily basis living life and I hope people do the same.

 What are your main style influences?

It’s hard to choose just one, I am very inspired by the past. I grew up in a small town where everything seems to move a bit slower, so I was always surrounded by the 50’s-80’s. I think that largely impacted my style.

You get invited to the Grammy Awards. What is your dream red carpet outfit?

I think if you don’t wear something a little ridiculous to the Grammy’s, what's the point? Maximalism is my hopes.

What’s the most unsual piece you have in your wardrobe?

A fuzzy, glittery pink cowboy hat that I have worn to one too many outings.

Do you have a favorite pair of sneakers?

I’d have to pick between my doc’s and my AF1’s. Both classics and staples, depending on the mood.

Did you like designing clothes? Do you think you’ll do it gain?

I loved designing clothes! It was so exciting to watch my little sketches and ideas turn into real, tangible clothes.

What do you think of TikTok as a platform for young singers and artists like you? Does it work in exposing creatives? 

The internet has created a new generation of music that is truly chosen by the people instead of what the people are getting fed by massive corporations. I think music now is more creative than it’s been in years and years, I feel very inspired by that.