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“WTF Is a Haim?” reads one of the top-selling T-shirt styles on Haim’s merch site — but really, it’s hard to believe that any music lover wouldn’t have heard of the Grammy-nominated girl group by now. Ever since dropping their critically-acclaimed debut album, Days Are Gone, back in 2013, sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim have developed a swift following (and a Swift following!) thanks to their rock-pop sound and killer ’70s-inspired style.
Brooklyn-based stylist Rebecca Grice has been the fashion force behind the trio’s wardrobes since 2013. And with Haim’s sophomore album, Something to Tell You, just around the corner, she’s been working double-time (triple, really) to pull the coolest clothes for the sisters’ myriad press appearances, performances, and photo shoots. Below, Grice discusses how she broke into the highly competitive celebrity styling sphere, the next phase of Haim’s style, and why the success of an all-female band means so much in today’s world.
How did you first get into styling? Was it always something you wanted to do?
Weirdly, I actually started off as a fashion writer. That was my first full-time job, but it really wasn’t for me. I was lucky — I had really good editors — but it was hard. I found myself struggling to fit 25 words into a text box about a shoe. So I give writers props, because it’s very difficult to be creative when you have to be so contained.
But [beyond that], I’m your textbook classically-trained assistant. I had a great start assisting on everything from Italian Vogue shoots to music videos to red carpets, so I had a really good foundation. I worked for some really great people, but you eventually need to spread your wings and fly! So I made a conscious decision to go out on my own.
You’ve been working with Haim for about five years now — do you remember your first job with them?
I do! I did their first album packaging [for Days Are Gone]. A friend put me in touch with them, and it was kind of a last-minute thing. But the rest is history!
We just get along really well — they’re smart, they’re funny, and we [see eye-to-eye] on vibes and aesthetics and big-picture things. I’m also gently cut from the same cloth as them: I grew up in Southern California; they’re from the Valley.
Circa Days Are Gone, the sisters typically performed in cut-offs and band tees — but they’ve really embraced high fashion since then. Tell me about that style evolution.
On your first album, I think it’s important to stay authentic to who you are as an artist, and what you feel comfortable performing in. Now, it’s just about continuing to elevate! We want to stay in an [aspirational] zone, but I think girls wear their favorite things over and over again. Girls dress high-low. So we always try to keep that in mind, too.
How do you let each sister’s personal style shine through when you’re dressing them as a group?
Este is my go-to skirts-and-dresses girl. She’s got incredible legs and is very tall and lean, so she looks great in that silhouette. Danielle is kind of my suiting, menswear-inspired cool girl, and Alana wears a lot of trousers and tees. But they’re all really willing to try new, different silhouettes as well.
All three of them are very, very swaggy — so if they’re feeling a look, it definitely comes through in their vibe and their attitude.
How do you go about pulling all those clothes for shoots, performances, and festivals?
We’ve gone shopping together a few times, but those [opportunities] are few and far between because of their schedules. So normally I’ll source everything, and we’ll have a big fitting. It’s a lot of talking about what’s been successful on stage versus what’s a good look for, say, a radio interview.
It’s very much a collaboration with them, which I love — a lot of calls and texts and [texted] images. They all have opinions, they all love fashion, and they’re receptive to trying new things — so basically, they’re a dream client.
Do they consult you when they’re shopping on their own, too?
Oh, yeah. I always get dressing-room selfies!
Who are some of your shared style icons?
I think that the ’70s has always been the coolest era — at least for rock stars! Think classic bands that always look really cool: Mick Jagger, The Stones, Van Morrison, Chrissie Hynde, Patti Smith.
Who’s your dream designer to pull for the band?
Well, I think Balenciaga right now is really major; Demna [Gvasalia] has really carved his own lane with both Vetements and Balenciaga. It’s just so cool!
I also feel like it’s important to support young, emerging designers, especially in this day and age. It’s expensive to be a designer, and it takes a lot of work to fund your own brand if you’re not affiliated with a big company like LVMH. So I try to always cast a wide net when I’m collecting for the girls. I think that Adam Selman, who’s a good friend of mine, is doing great things. Area’s doing cool stuff, too.
And of course, Haim’s known for wearing lots of vintage...
I think vintage makes a look feel authentic and genuine. I always like to have a cool vintage thing in my fittings. I kind of just source it as I go! Like when I was in London, I went to a bunch of vintage stores in East London that were so great for silk blouses and jewel tones. Right now, we’re really into ’70s Balenciaga blouses.
In New York, I love New York Vintage and Resurrection. Also Claw Money — she’s a graffiti artist who has these really amazing denim jacket-and-trouser sets. Those have been popular recently with the girls.
What was the styling process like for the group’s Something to Tell You album art? Those looks are incredible.
For that album packaging shoot — to set the tone for the entire album cycle, all the visuals and social media posts — we wanted to have them look as authentic as possible, but also push it a bit. And we wanted to have some sort of narrative.
The “Little of Your Love” looks are my favorite!
The tone these days is a little... hard, I would say. So it’s nice to see happy girls in bright colors! [We wanted to] keep it a bit optimistic, not too self-serious.
I think it was important to all of us to stay cognizant of the temperature and keep it light, keep it optimistic. Because there’s a lot of other shit that’s going on in the world. I mean, it’s a rock band that’s all girls in 2017 — let’s carry that torch a bit!
Something To Tell You is out on July 7th.