Last week, Cartier held a swanky party in their uptown manse for their new Juste un Clou collection. Afterward, they completely transformed Skylight Studios into a late night discoteque. The highlight of which was a performance from London’s newest dance queen, Rita Ora. (Beyonce and Jay-Z, the latter of which is a major fan and signed the star to Roc Nation, snuck in for the show.) After she went on, I snuck back for a little gushing.
Derek Blasberg: Was it true that it was your first night performing in New York?
Rita Ora: Yes, and I loved it. The crowd was really enthusiastic. What a great party!
DB: Did you know that Beyonce and Jay-Z were in the audience when you performed?
RO: Yeah, it was truly amazing that they were able to come. A big moment for me. They both came by to say hello before the show, which made me really nervous!
DB: I bet!
RO: Especially as I had [a cover of Destiny’s Child hit song] ‘Say My Name’ in the set! I wanted to perform my best for them.
DB: Did you do ‘Say My Name’ because you knew she was coming?
RO: No, that song is already in my set because she’s one of my main inspirations.
DB: Speaking about inspirations, who would you say are your biggest influences?
RO: My dad has had a huge collection of music, and all sorts. A lot of things inspire me: Eric Claption, BB King, and then my Pop influences too, like Gwen Stefani.
DB: Where did you grow up?
RO: I grew up in West London, near Portobello. I love it there. That’s where my favorite vintage shops and restaurants are too. When I was young, I was writing a lot and singing in bars. I got spotted by a scout in London, who introduced me to Roc Nation – and the rest has been an amazing journey!
DB: You told a nice story on stage about how your grannie gave you a Cartier ring for your 18th birthday. Do you know what ring it is?
RO: No, my mum gave it to me. I am not sure what the name of the ring is. I guess I’ll need to find out! What I like about Cartier is they’re this old brand, but they keep it current for us kiddies.
DB: It’s true. The party was a mix of the old and the young, the stiffs and the loose. I liked your look on stage. How would you describe your personal style?
RO: Thank you! My outfit was Jean Paul Gautier, who I think is amazing. I think my style is eclectic, and I like mixing different things together: from vintage Chanel to Air Jordans! I think my style is a lot like my music.
DB: Did you do any shopping in New York?
RO: Unfortunately, no. I was really busy on this trip to do anything. But I love shopping in New York, particularly the vintage shops in Greenwich Willage are my favorites!
DB: How long were you in town?
RO: Less than a week. But I love it here.
DB: Well, then do you promise to come back soon and sing again?
RO: Yes. I would love to.
And just to slightly humiliate myself and my date for the evening: Here’s me and Karlie Kloss attempting to break it down during Rita’s gig