Rita Ora talks fash­ion, film and fra­grance.

ELLE (Canada) - - Radar -

It’s hard to imag­ine that Rita Ora ever lacked self-as­sur­ance. But now she’s in Los Angeles, chat­ting about her stil­lun­ti­tled up­com­ing al­bum and ex­plain­ing that she has come into her own since her de­but ef­fort, Ora. “I have more con­fi­dence in what I’m talk­ing about now,” says the 22-yearold. Since she stormed the charts in 2012, rock­ing her sig­na­ture plat­inum waves and red lips (which are of­ten pressed onto the face of her bestie, Cara Delev­ingne), she has been a brash star in both mu­sic and fash­ion. She rocked out on the run­way at DKNY’s spring/ sum­mer 2014 show at New York Fash­ion Week and is now the face of the brand’s lat­est fra­grance, MYNY. It has been a busy few years, but she’s not about to slow down.

How did your col­lab­o­ra­tion with DKNY come about?

“I wore one of their fully metal­lic out­fits, posted a pic­ture on In­sta­gram and un­der­neath it wrote ‘DKNY makes me feel like a bad bitch,’ which they loved. I just nat­u­rally grav­i­tate to what they rep­re­sent.” Have you al­ways loved fash­ion? “When I was 15 or 16, I worked in a sneaker store, and I saw how crazy people were about sneak­ers. People would travel from dif­fer­ent coun­tries to come and buy them. Now I’m work­ing with Adi­das, de­sign­ing a new range for them. I’m do­ing my own take on the Shell­toes, which is a big hon­our be­cause they don’t re­ally let any­one touch them. It’s in­sane.”

Was there a mo­ment when you re­al­ized you’d ar­rived?

“There are times when I won­der how the hell this hap­pened! Like when I got to go to Minneapolis and work with Prince and I was walk­ing through Pais­ley Park [Stu­dios] with his dogs. There was also a mo­ment when I per­formed at Glas­ton­bury, the mother of all fes­ti­vals. The main stage is in front of, like, 200,000 people, and they told me ‘You’ve been con­firmed for the main stage.’ I was like, ‘What? Me?’ I’ve jumped out of a plane and it’s not as much of an adrenalin rush as per­form­ing in front of an au­di­ence.”

Bey­oncé has been a men­tor to you. What has she taught you?

“She’s one of the most iconic fe­males of all time, and she’s just an amaz­ing, stun­ning per­former. I think that the big­gest way in which she in­spires me is not even through what she says; it’s just leading by ex­am­ple. All you have to do is watch one of her shows to see how hard she ac­tu­ally works. Ev­ery step is on point; ev­ery­thing’s to­gether. She’s al­ways calm. She’s al­ways col­lected and pro­fes­sional. You can’t do bet­ter than that.”

You play Mia Grey in the up­com­ing Fifty

Shades of Grey: The Movie. Did you want to be in the movie when you first read the book?

“I was ob­sessed with the book. I would read it out loud on my tour bus in front of the whole band and they’d be like, ‘Can you not do that, please? We’re very un­com­fort­able.’ And I’d be like ‘...and then he ties her up and then touches her.’ A year later, they asked me to read for a part. I was re­ally ner­vous be­cause I knew how much this book means to fans. I didn’t want to do any role that I wouldn’t want to watch, so I think that the role of Mia is per­fect—and I don’t have to be naked. [Laughs] Not that I have a prob­lem with be­ing naked.” You’ve acted be­fore, right? “When I was 12, I was in a movie. The weird thing is that I was asked to au­di­tion for the role of Hermione in Harry Pot­ter when I was 11, but I’m quite dark and they wanted an English rose so I never ended up au­di­tion­ing for it.” That’s crazy. “It’s such a weird world. I have al­ways been in­ter­ested in en­ter­tain­ing, and for me that’s mu­sic. There’s kind of a cross­over—you turn into this other per­son when you’re on­stage.” KATHRYN HUD­SON

DKNYMYNYEau de Par­fum Spray boasts notes of rasp­ber­ries, pink pep­per and Egyp­tian jas­mine ($95 for 100 mL, at most depart­ment stores).

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