SHE’S no stranger to serenading the style set, having been tapped to play Kenzo, Calvin Klein and Opening Ceremony parties, but Kelela has news of her own. Her debut album, Take Me Apart, is out and it’s something to shout about.
The latest instalment of her seductive RnB has been long anticipated. The Ethiopian-American singer with the most fabulous braids in the business worked for four years on her first mixtape, 2013’s Cut 4 Me, and followed it up with just six more tracks on 2015’s Hallucinogen. Luckily Solange and FKA Twigs, whose synthy output has been likened to Kelela’s, have been girl bossing the airwaves in the meantime.
The Washington-born performer has been creeping back onto the scene this year, performing with friend Solange in the US, and, most recently, at the New York spring/summer 2018 shows. But where her industry colleagues favour bold colours, short hemlines and sportswear (Cardi B and Rihanna we’re looking at you), Kelela has a softer style. She favours knee and mid-shin skimming dresses that are fitted but not tight, and have a subtle point of interest to them. Her bead-embellished plaits are her calling card.
From New York to the closing shows of Paris, where Chloé, under the new creative vision of Natacha Ramsay Levi, had already crowned her a “Chloé girl” – a label ambassador who “is all about attitude” – and enlisted her to perform at the PFW party. If you need a new fashion darling to crush on, Kelela is back on the scene and she’s got a host of brands fighting to dress her.