Photos via Garywarnett
My first and most important claim to fame was a puppy love romance with Neneh Cherry’s second cousin. They might have only been distant relatives but it was the closest I would get to the woman I idolized for the better part of my childhood. Apparently it’s a lifelong girl crush that I share with Riccardo Tisci, something I recntly discovered while interviewing the designer for a story on his new collaboration with Nike in Vogue’s February issue. As the story goes, Tisci was inspired to buy his first pair of sneakers as a teenager after moving to London and being completely seduced by the singer’s buffalo style (he listed her alongside Erykah Badu and Sade as one of his all-time favorite muses), a look engineered in part by stylist Ray Petri, and one that Cherry grounded fantastically well with a pair of box-fresh kicks.
Neneh Cherry's "ManChild" shoot by Jean Baptiste Mondino
Cherry has a new album coming out next month but that sneakers-with-everything idea has been percolating in fashion for the past few seasons. And if Chanel, Christian Dior, and Atelier Versace’s recent collections are anything to go by then even hand-spun haute couture dresses are fair game. Revisiting the styling in some of Cherry’s first videos, like the one for “Manchild,” shot by Jean-Baptiste Mondino against a digitalized beach landscape, it all still feels a step ahead.
Kicks sandwich: some of my many sneakers, photo by Ian Reid