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Kim Gordon Doesn't Think '90s Fashion Is All That Interesting

And she doesn't get why people think she's a style icon.
Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty Images

Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty Images

If anybody embodies the Harper's Bazaar catchphrase "Fabulous at Every Age," it's bassist, singer, guitarist, author and founding member of Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon

I actually rode the elevator with the 61-year-old rock goddess up to a swanky luncheon at Le Bernardin Privé to celebrate Bazaar's "Fabulous at Every Age" April issue and its annual contest in partnership with Estée Lauder honoring five especially impressive women from around the country, ranging in age from 20-something to 60-something. Gordon looked effortlessly and intimidatingly cool in a black leather moto jacket over a structured white mini-dress and Summer Bummer sunglasses with chunky X shading on each lens that screamed, "don't even think about making small talk with me in the elevator."

"I always like to feel like myself," she told me (later, post-elevator ride) about her style these days. "As you get older, that’s the one thing. You don’t want to look like a crazy person, but at the same time you want to feel like you’ve retained your personality." She has trouble thinking of herself as a style icon, though: "Yeah, I don’t even get that," Gordon laughed. "But I appreciate other people who really do it well."

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Along with inspiring girls to copy her irreverent, anti-grunge style in the '90s, Gordon made an official impact on the fashion industry in 1993 by founding the pioneering women's streetwear label X-Girl with stylist Daisy von Furth. All the cool kids approved: Sofia Coppola and Spike Jonze produced their first fashion show (where Linda Evangelista sat FROW) and Chloë Sevigny played the part of muse. But ironically, the resurgence of '90s trends on the runway doesn't really impress Gordon. "It’s not the most interesting style, the ‘90s," she said. Ah, well. 

Gordon's also not particularly interested in designing again. Some of you may remember that the musician collaborated with with Parisian label Surface to Air in 2012 for a capsule collection. "It’s not that satisfying," she said. "There are some things that came out of it. Some shoes that I still wear — people go, 'who made those?' I wouldn’t mind remaking them. I kind of just did it really for them, to try and make some money. You know, you never make money at that unless you’re doing some mass produced stuff." She says she would consider one day working with the downtown NYC store No.6, but we won't hold our breath. Right now, she says, she's focusing on her art.