In this exclusive interview with China Daily Lifestyle Premium, the multi-award-winning US pop goddess and fashion icon talks about her H&M holiday campaign, her disdain for odd numbers, the must-have baby wipes and hand lotions in her bag, and how she’d love to style Hillary Clinton.
China Daily Lifestyle Premium: H&M in Hong Kong is about to open its flagship store in Causeway Bay, which will be its biggest boutique in Asia. The city’s fashionistas are super-excited to hear about your new collaboration for this year’s H&M holiday campaign.
Katy Perry: It was great fun to be part of the campaign and to be the face of their holiday season. The brand and I have a history. I first started to wear H&M when I was 13 because I was always shopping on a budget. I would go on vintage shopping sprees and then accessorise with H&M stuff. So it’s a very organic friendship. For the campaign, I got to do a commercial with Joneth Acolon, in which I’m a pixie fairy and, for half of the time, I was flying all over the stage. I wore a harness for a couple of days and I had all bruises all over my body.
CDLP: Oh, really? Sounds painful!
KP: But it was all fun. They created an amazing holiday atmosphere and there were lots of kids on set, which I loved, because they’re adorable. There was even a huge electronic polar bear, which all the kids thought was real. So the whole experience was very sweet.
When you see the commercial, you’ll see different kids in different outfits and costumes, all of them sold at H&M. Some of the girls were only three or four years old, but they were wearing mouse costumes – they were so sweet. And there was a boy wearing a dinosaur costume – that was adorable. That’s perfect because I have a niece now, and she’ll be almost two years old soon, so I’ll definitely grab some of these clothes for her.
CDLP: What’s one of your favourite pieces from the H&M holiday collection?
KP: Well, the accessories are amazing, especially the earrings. They’re big, Spanish style, but very lightweight. I wore some with a red dress and they’re beautiful. There’s also one tuxedo jacket with arms cut like a geisha jacket that’s gorgeous. It’s very beautiful and well tailored – I can put it on and not have to touch it. It was perfect. I was very impressed by the whole H&M line. The collection is chic and fun. There’s also one sweater called the Elfie-Selfie; it’s like a grey sweater that has the outline of an elf with glitter and it’s funny.
CDLP: What was your favourite H&M designer collaboration?
KP: In fact, I just saw the Balmain collaboration [#H&MBalmaination] and I’ve already put in my request for what I’d love to wear from the collection. I remember Lanvin, the Alber Elbaz collection  – I liked that a lot. And I loved the Donatella Versace collection  a lot, too. In fact, I saw something from the Balmain collection again today and thought, hmmm, maybe I know somebody over there who can get me a discount!
CDLP: Despite all that’s been said about you, what hasn’t yet been written yet about you and your fashion style?
KP: That she’s boring! [Laughter] Well, I’m glad they haven’t said that yet! I always think I’m very creative and colourful, and I think I’m having lots more fun sometimes.
CDLP: Which is quite refreshing…
KP: Yes. There are certain people who play too much of a political fashion game, who haven’t been having as much fun as I do. So I just like to stay true to myself. One thing I never used to wear is black, and now sometimes I wear black.‘Fashion can give you little breaks’
CDLP: Describe your relationship with fashion.
KP: I think life can be extremely difficult the older you get and when you become an adult. You need little breaks sometimes – we all do – and fashion can give you little breaks. The way you present yourself can lift your spirits and make you feel what you want to be, which is happy.
CDLP: What are the must-have items in your bag?
KP: I love baby wipes; I love hand lotion that smells like strawberry and bananas; I like pastilles for my throat; and I like Jao hand sanitiser, which smells so wonderful. I take lots of vitamins. I like extra phone chargers; I have a gold Pantone phone charger. I got it at Colette in Paris. Every time I go to Paris, I go to Colette.
CDLP: If you could style any public figure for a photo shoot, who would it be?
KP: Maybe Hillary Clinton. I like her pantsuits. I could put her in some Moschino or maybe some Chanel. But then, I also know you can’t be too flashy when you’re a politician, so you have to occupy the middle ground. But I’d love to try to style her one day.
CDLP: You’re supporting Hillary’s election campaign, aren’t you?
KP: Yes, so it’s a natural thing! And Michelle Obama looks beautiful all the time. And President Obama wears Brioni. So, people are definitely bringing it to the White House!
CDLP: Who would you like to see collaborate with H&M that hasn’t yet?
KP: Kanye West.
CDLP: You’re just about to celebrate your 31st birthday. How did you enjoy being 30?
KP: It went by very fast. I do not like being an odd number, like 31. I don’t like the idea of being an odd number – I protest!
Source: China Daily Asia