Madonna’s Interview for Teen Vogueby ZaCK, www.absolumentmadonna.fr
Madonna and Lourdes’s Material Girl Line for Teen Vogue
Madonna has met her match. With the material mom’s new fashion line, daughter Lourdes calls the shots. www.absolumentmadonna.fr
Word of warning to anyone looking to congratulate Madonna on her new line, Material Girl: “I didn’t really do anything,” the pop icon insists. “I couldn’t even say it was a collaboration. It was 90 percent Lola. I needed a teenage daughter to kick me in the butt and go, ‘Let’s do this, Mom!’” she adds, laughing. Supporting act isn’t a role we’re used to seeing Madonna play, but in the case of her thirteen-year-old daughter, Lourdes Leon, she seems perfectly happy taking a backseat. “I respect her style,” Madonna says. “It’s a juniors’ line. That’s who she is.” Of course, when your mom has a fashion archive as rich as Madonna’s, you’d be crazy not to take a peek. “She steals from my closet all the time–whether she’s allowed to or not,” Madonna says. “She loves everything I wore in the eighties. Her thing is to bring it into the twenty-first century–to add her own twist.” The line carries certain unmistakable Madonna signatures–like lace, pearls, and cross motifs–but other pieces fly over Mom’s head. Take the leggings with intentional tears inspired by a Lourdes styling trick. “Lola will leave in the morning with a pair of tights on,” explains Madonna. “Then when she comes home, they’re all ripped. I’m like, ‘What happened?’ And she goes, ‘I did it on purpose, Mom.’ OK, then,” Madonna says with a shrug. After three decades of shocking and awing us with her costume changes, it looks like fashion’s favorite chameleon has found a worthy successor.
Jane Keltner de Valle: You’re such an enduring style icon. Why did you wait until now to launch a fashion line?
Madonna: I guess I needed a teenage daughter to kick me in the butt and say, “Let’s do this, Mom!” There’s so much competition out there, and I work with so many great, talented designers. I didn’t really feel like I had a specific voice or an opinion until my daughter became a teenager, and then it became very clear what direction we were gonna go in. Lola’s direction!
Jane Keltner de Valle: How would you describe her style and how has she influenced your style?
Madonna: Her style is definitely more edgy. She has much more sense of humor about the way she dresses. She doesn’t take herself so seriously. She dresses in a very effortless way, which is something that I admire and wish I could do more of. She’s also 13 years old, so everything looks good on her! But yeah, she reminds me that getting dressed-up is actually fun. It’s been so much a part of my work that I sometimes forget to, like, have fun with it. So she’s reminding me that it’s fun.
Jane Keltner de Valle: Do you give her complete freedom to wear what she wants?
Madonna: No, I do not. Absolutely not!
Jane Keltner de Valle: What are the ground rules?
Madonna: Sometimes she puts something on, and I’ll be like, “My god, that looks amazing!” And then I’ll go, “Oh my god, that’s my 13 year old daughter.” So, um, no, we have rules. She can wear make up when she goes to parties and special events. And ya know, there’s always a little bit of a discussion about how short the skirt is…or is there some cleavage showing. And I always say to her, do you want everybody to be staring at your breasts, or do you want people to talk to you?
Jane Keltner de Valle: Does she raid your closet a lot, and is she allowed to?
Madonna: She steals things all the time–whether she’s allowed to or not. There are always things missing in my closet!
Jane Keltner de Valle: What does she think of your style now, and of some of your iconic looks from the past?
Madonna: She loves everything I wore in the early 80’s. She likes to take from that and make her own statement. Her thing now is to take what was my first thing and bring it into the 21st century–add her own twist to it. She’s also very influenced by dance. She’s a dancer, and she’s influenced by what kids wear in her classes. Ya know, the layered thing and the legwarmers. She’ll leave in the morning with a pair of tights on, ands when she comes home they’re all ripped and run and torn. I’m like, “What happened to your tights?” And she goes, “I did it on purpose, mom.” “Ok then.”
Jane Keltner de Valle: She takes after her mom.
Jane Keltner de Valle: Do you ever raid her closet?
Madonna: Um, yeah. I wear her shoes a lot. We wear the same size, so when I’m really sick of wearing these [shows me her Christian Dior platforms]. She’s got some really cool flat boots and I steal her Converse sneakers.
Jane Keltner de Valle: So tell me how you approached this collection. How did the collaboration work?
Madonna: I would say it was 90% Lola. I couldn’t even really say it’s a collaboration because she’s doing a lot more than I am. I didn’t really do anything. I respect her style. It’s for a junior line, and that’s who she is. We share some common things, but then there are things that she wears that I would never wear. I mean, I don’t wear leggings and t-shirts. That’s not my thing. But that’s Lola’s thing.
Jane Keltner de Valle: Why did you decide to name it Material Girl and not Madonna.
Madonna: Because naming it after me is boring. First of all, that’s my name, and I don’t think Lola would have been as interested in working on it. Material Girl isn’t necessarily about me. People connect that name to me, but it’s really about a kind of a girl, and it has a lot of different connotations. So I think Lola feels like she can make it her own.
Jane Keltner de Valle: How would you describe the girl the collection is for?
Madonna: She’s not afraid to take chances. She’s adventurous, has a sense of humor, is witty, clever, interested in what’s going on in the world, she reads books, likes music, likes to dance–loves to dance!–and is as in touch with her masculine side as she is with her feminine side.
Jane Keltner de Valle: The two of you are both very strong-minded. Was it easy working together? Did you ever clash?
Madonna: Once in a while. But I have to say, when it comes to fashion and style, it’s the one area we argue the least in. Practicing piano, giving the little kid a bath, cleaning-up the bedroom–those are the things we don’t agree on.
Jane Keltner de Valle: Do you have any favorite pieces from the collection?
Madonna: I like just about anything that has lace on it. There’s a little lace hoodie with a metallic zipper on it that I’m obsessed with. I’m gonna steal it after this interview’s over with. And I love all the jewelry. The necklaces, all the chains…
Jane Keltner de Valle: How important was it to keep the prices accessible?
Madonna: Extremely important. Lola wanted to create a line that she could afford, and that girls across the country could afford. She wasn’t interested in making something so exclusive that only 50 girls could wear it.
Jane Keltner de Valle: Does Lourdes have a clothing allowance?
Madonna: She has no allowance. If she wants to go shopping I basically say, ‘Ok, well you have to do x, y, and z…” She has to earn it. If she’s done really well in school, and gotten really good grades in all her classes, a reward is usually $50 to go to American Apparel or Topshop, and go mad.
Jane Keltner de Valle: Do you two go shopping together?
Madonna: She doesn’t like me to go shopping with her. No.
Jane Keltner de Valle: Will you and she star in the campaign together?
Madonna: I won’t. I think she will eventually. After she gets into high school, and gets good grades. I’m using it as leverage!
Jane Keltner de Valle: Does she want to follow in your footsteps in other arenas, like music or film?
Madonna: She’s majoring in drama. That’s her main area of interest. She’s also really interested in dance. She doesn’t want to be a singer, though. She’s made that very clear. That’s cool. I respect that.
Jane Keltner de Valle: How do you feel about her going into the entertainment industry?
Madonna: I’m fine with it as long as she takes it seriously and puts in the hours. I always say to her, “If you want to be good at anything, you have to put in the hours.” She might get some things handed to her because of her connection with me, but she doesn’t really want that. She wants to earn it. She’s made that very clear to me.