When British indie pop soul singer Vanessa “V V” Brown hit the scene in 2009 with her gold-certified single ‘Shark in the Water’ from her debut albu, ‘Traveling Like the Light,’ not only did we love her smooth, soulful voice, but she had this undeniably cool sense of style. A funky, retro vibe with a bit of London street chic.
Fast forward, and this 27-year-old Brit chick has sold out U.K. tours, performed on BET’s Black Girls Rock alongside Mary J. and Jill Scott, and set precedence as the first black British woman to become the face of U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer.
Brown wears many hats, fashionable ones at that. While at work on her second album ‘Lollipops & Politics,’ she’s found the time to tap into her inner designer with the launch of an online vintage shop VV Vintage. Once we learned that Brown, the consummate thrift shopper, has been creating her own stage costumes from original designs and re-worked vintage pieces, we couldn’t help but pick her brain about where she gets her inspiration and exactly where the hot shopping spots are in London. Here, she gives us the scoop.
ESSENCE.com: How would you sum up your personal style?
V V Brown: I love minimalism.
ESSENCE.com: Does your music translate into your fashion style?
Brown: At times. It’s a mixture of how I feel and musical taste.
ESSENCE.com: Who is your style Icon?
Brown: Bianca Jagger.
ESSENCE.com: What’s the last purchase you made and from where?
Brown: A pair of leather ankle boots from Miu Miu.
ESSENCE.com: What inspired you to start your vintage shop, VVVintage.com?
Brown: Finding treasures all over the world, the love of eco-friendly fashion and reinvention, and working with new designers.
ESSENCE.com: Designing and sewing seems to be another passion of yours, which fashion house would you love to design for?
Brown: Yohji Yamamoto.
ESSENCE.com: Could you give us the scoop on best shops to visit while in London?
Brown: TopShop, Vivienne Westwood, Relic Westlan, and Absolutely Vintage.
ESSENCE.com: Could you give us some tips on shopping vintage?
Brown: Be spontaneous, enjoy researching and be creative.