We all buy clothes, but no two people shop the same. It can be a social experience, and a deeply personal one; at times, it can be impulsive and entertaining, at others, purpose-driven, a chore. Where do you shop? When do you shop? How do you decide what you need, how much to spend and what's "you"? These are some of the questions we're putting to prominent figures in our column "How I Shop."
Even if you don't know who Tayla Parx is, chances are you're aware of the many hit songs that she's crafted for musical artists across a range of genres, from Janelle Monáe and Khalid to Panic! At the Disco and, most notably, Ariana Grande ("Thank U, Next," "7 Rings" to name a few). The 25-year-old singer-songwriter got her start in the entertainment industry as a teen in film and television before making the switch to music nearly six years ago. In addition to penning chart-topping singles, she released her debut album, titled "We Need to Talk," in April to rave reviews.
Now, she's touring the world (previously supporting Anderson .Paak and Lizzo; catch her at Lollapalooza and One Music Fest next) and fronting campaigns, like her most recent gig with Reebok Classics for its leather ATI sneaker. "I only wanted to work with brands whose products I'm actually a fan of," Parx tells Fashionista during a visit to the Reebok's Boston-based headquarters. "They showed me what they're doing, the vision and what the campaign is about, and I was obsessed. That's what I was wearing during my tour, trying out all these different sneakers and clothes."
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As for Parx's favorite Reebok Classics sneaker, she's leaning towards the vintage-inspired Club C and sporty Aztrek. "I was in the studio the other day with Haim, and one of the girls had it on, and I was like, 'We're twins right now,'" recalls Parx. "It doesn’t matter what kind of artist you are — because me and Haim are completely different types of artists — we were both rocking Reebok. Everyone has a different take on it."
After wrapping her photo shoot with athletic brand, we sat down with Parx to learn more about her personal style and how it relates to her music, shopping while on tour and how she's approaching her onstage fashion choices lately.
"My personal style is a mixture of streetwear and high-end fashion, so the same way that I blend different genres of music together, I do that same approach with my fashion. I also like to blur the lines of gender with the types of silhouettes I choose, but I have fun mixing the streetwear and high-end worlds, just creating my own version of it.
My style has definitely evolved over time. I remember when I went through the Polo phase, and then I went through the Bape phase, and it's continuously evolving based off of where I am emotionally in life and how I feel. It reflects my personality. So right now my style is very bold, colorful and mixing a lot different patterns. It's been fun.
I don't really have a favorite outfit I've worn because I've never had a favorite anything before. I'm such a moody person that I really do dress so much based off of my mood and whatever that moment is. Sometimes I'm like 'Oh, I'm feeling a little girly today, might have to show a little leg.' In that case, I'm like 'We'll do some shorts or a skirt.' Or sometimes I'm feeling like I'm going to be on my TLC 'Creep' vibe and I want to do a baggy pant. It just goes based off of the mood. I don't usually do dresses, but if I'm going to do a dress, I do a moment, like what we did at the Grammys. It was a major statement dress. When my team showed it to me I was like, 'That's the one. That’s the outfit for the day.'
When you see my outfits you can kind of tell what my music is going to sound like. You're going to be brought into my own version of this reality that we all live in, you know? I make my own rules in fashion and music.
I prefer shopping while I'm out and about because I travel a lot. I try to find a thrift store in each city that I go to, or a store in general that I'm just like, 'I want to have this memory attached to these clothes.' Sometimes, even on tour, I'll go thrift shopping and wear that outfit onstage. I did that in Indonesia. I was like, 'I just got this down the street from here,' and the fans loved it. Same thing when I was in Germany. I like to pick up things so that my clothes can be a part of the story that I'm telling my fans.
I love shopping at Opening Ceremony because it has so many different kinds of cool brands; things that you don't just find in every mall in the neighborhood. [The buyers] really take a chance on working with dope up-and-coming and established designers, so you can always find something fresh. And that's what makes it so exciting because then you start a whole conversation with someone off of 'where'd you get that?' Then those conversations spark new songs for me. Anytime that I have a moment where I can have another reason to talk to a stranger — even if it's based off of 'I like your outfit' — is exciting.
My shopping can also get very impulsive. I could see one thing and end up in a rabbit hole. I could be on Instagram and be like 'Whoa, these pants are really cool.' And then all of a sudden I've been on it for three hours. Where's the time gone? I definitely go with the flow, though. I could be walking down the street on my way to a meeting and need to grab this shirt that I just saw. I just allow it to come to me, just let life happen and those pieces will come.
At times I do need to cut myself off, because the other day, I was surrounded in clothes when I did a shoot at my place. I looked around, and I had my hairstylists, my makeup artists and everyone in my bedroom and I'm like, 'I have a problem.' I have hundreds of shoes, I have so many clothes, like three closets that are overflowing. I skipped Coachella and cleaned my house. I was at home for six hours going through clothes and shoes.
Lately I've taken the same stance towards my outfits, which is what I wear at the studio and everyday life is what I bring to the stage. Every now and then I'll do something cool but I like the fact that audiences want to see the real you on stage. Back in the day, you used to have this whole elaborate thing and it just had to be that way, and now you see both female and male artists taking a real genuine approach to wearing clothes. I love when I see Sigrid, for instance, get on stage and she has a white T-shirt and jeans on. Or when SZA does something very similar, as well.
Sometimes you hit them with a Beyoncé and you've got to go all the way, but I love this new take on just being comfortable on the stage. It's you. Tyler, the Creator, wears really cool things on stage that you can see it's genuinely him, which I think brings you closer to your audience. I think that I've been taking that approach a lot more when it comes to getting dressed for the stage every single night."
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Disclosure: Reebok paid for my transportation to visit the brand's headquarters in Boston.
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