Play It Again, Tavi: 10 Fashion Figures Who Turned to Music


Music-fashion crossovers are by now legion, with seemingly anyone who can carry a tune turning their attention to seams and trims. (To quote a recent, priceless Kanye tweet, "Pardon me, do you have any crepe chiffon?") However, the fashionista-to-musician path is a well-trod one as well. With Anna Dello Russo’s announcement to Vogue UK that she’s leaving la moda to record an album (watch her music video for a taste), we’re taking a look at others who have made the jump. Sadly, not all of these attempts were quite as successful as Alber Elbaz’s foray into dance.

Fashion and music

Photos: Getty Images and Patrick McMullan

Karen Elson, Carla Bruni and Tavi Gevinson.

Naomi Campbell

An appearance in George Michael’s "Freedom '90" video and a guest spot on Vanilla Ice’s “Cool As Ice” evidently stoked the supermodel's desire for a solo career, as working with Vanilla Ice on a song in which he rhymes “vex me” with “testy" would naturally do. In 1994, she released the inauspiciously-titled album “Baby Woman,” which never even made it to the U.S.

Tyra Banks

After recording an unprepossessing 2004 single, “Shake Ya Body” (not to be confused with the Jay-Z/R. Kelly single of the same name), Banks teamed up with noted songbird Kobe Bryant for "K.O.B.E," in which she choruses "K.O.B.E., I L.O.V.E. you." Unfortunately, it's not even the best Kobe-related track out there; that distinction goes to Lil' Wayne's "Kobe Bryant."

Kate Moss

Moss has rock-star style down, but does she have rock-star pipes? Actually, she sort of does. Singing with Primal Scream, and later duetting with bad-boy paramour Pete Doherty, she evinces a Marianne Faithfull-like sweetness. Sometimes, you can judge a book by its kohl-eyed, heavy-banged cover.

Tavi 

Teen blogger and Rookie impresario Tavi Gevinson doesn’t really need another string to her bow. But she’s been taking voice lessons in her free time, and her training paid off. At the premiere of the film Cadaver this New York Fashion Week, the style rookie crooned Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold." We would have expected a grunge anthem, not a baby-boomer ballad, from the '90s-loving pixie, but we must admit that her lovely, moody contralto could teach Lana del Rey a few things.


Carla Bruni

Before she became Madame Sarkozy, the Italian-born model recorded several successful albums, including the English-language disc No Promises, where she set the poetry of Christina Rossetti and William Butler Yeats to music. Surely those intellectual ambitions helped attract Sarkozy's attention.

Karen Elson

Jack White helped resuscitate the careers of country legend Loretta Lynn and original rock’n’roll queen Wanda Jackson, but his magic touch extended to ex-wife Elson too. The Titian-tressed model, who hails from Manchester, turned Nashville troubador with the spooky ballads on her record, The Ghost Who Walks. We’ve had the pleasure of seeing her live, and she can strum!

Milla Jovovich

The little ditty she sang in Dazed and Confused was just the beginning for the Ukranian model-actress-designer (RIP Jovovich-Hawk!) She has released a number of albums over the years. They sound to our ears like elevator music, but we don’t really “get” Sleigh Bells, either, so who knows.

Abbey Lee Kershaw

Kershaw has a side gig playing in the band Our Mountain with boyfriend and fellow model Matthew Hutchinson. Between Kershaw’s lust-worthy bangs and Hutchinson’s overall pulchritude, we doubt anyone is actually listening to the music: the same goes for her fellow hyphenates Irina Lazareanu, Charlotte Kemp Muhl and Alice Dellal.

Valentino feat. Carine Roitfeld

OK, maybe karaoke doesn’t count, but the Italian legend and the French transplant were pretty darn good when they performed at strip joint-turned-hipster-den The Westway last fashion week to fete Roitfeld's Barneys New York campaign. The editrix did a capable rendition of George Michael’s “Careless Whisper,” while Valentino is evidently an adherent of Ol' Blue Eyes: he warbled “My Way.”

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