We all know Rita Ora for her incredibly catchy tunes – “How We Do (Party)” and “I Will Never Let You Down” come instantly to mind – and fabulous red-carpet fashions (yes, we’re referring to that stunning sequin dress at last year’s Grammy’s). The 25-year-old, who was born in the Balkan territory of Kosovo and was brought up in London – and who, by the way, is charming and even more beautiful in person than in photographs – is on her way to becoming a multitasking, multi-hyphenate in the entertainment and fashion industries.
Ora has already appeared in her first major movie, Fifty Shades of Grey, alongside Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, been a coach on season four of The Voice UK and designed numerous collections with Adidas’s casual sports line, Adidas Originals. This year she will, among other things, release her third studio album, reprise her role as Mia Grey in the Fifty Shades sequels and launch her 10th designer collection with the sportswear giant.
We caught up with Ora during her recent visit to Hong Kong, when she performed at the fifth anniversary of Landmark’s Boutique Boulevard.
How do you like Landmark?
I think it’s gorgeous. It’s the first time that I’ll be singing here. It’s the prestigious shopping part of Hong Kong. And it reminds me of home. There’s a similar shopping mall like this in the UK. It definitely just gives off a really good energy.
What are your favourite stores?
Well, I’ve seen all my favourite stores here at Landmark. Valentino, Dior – I think they’re all great. They have all the important stores in here, for sure.
Who are your favourite fashion designers?
That’s a lot of fashion designers to go through. Well, I’m friends with the ones I love, I feel so lucky. Tom Ford, Jeremy Scott, I’m a big fan of what Raf Simons is doing at the moment. I love Azzedine Alaïa. Yeah, I think that’s enough.
How would you describe your style?
My style is very free. It definitely doesn’t have a rule book. I think people never really know what to expect from me on the red carpet, with the hair and the make-up and the clothes. I think that’s a good thing, because I’ve been wanting to build that for a while. I hate it when people have expectations and when people think they know what I am going to do. It really gets on my nerves. I wanted to start this impression as soon as I came out in the public eye and express this kind freedom. I think that’s why people in the fashion world have been so nice to me, because they know I take risks.
On the red carpet, you change your look every time and you always look great.
Thank you. That’s lovely to hear, because Tom Ford actually said that to me. He said, “You know, it’s hard for people to adjust the different looks and actually pull it off.”
Tell us about your collaboration with Adidas.
It was so fun. Because it was actually the first time that I got to really design with an established company. I went to Germany, I saw all the fabrics and textures and I really wanted to learn about everything. One day I would love to do it on my own. Right now, I’m about to drop my 10th collection with Adidas, so it’s exciting.
What are your plans for the future? You’ve been in Fifty Shades of Grey and you’ll appear in the upcoming sequels.
Definitely. I think these cameos and movies have opened so many doors. I’ve been doing so many auditions and it’s just a great experience for me. But right now I’m really focused on my album, which comes out this year. It’s funny, because since I’ve been doing this some people forget that I started in music. I think it’s great that I get to release an album and do these movies and design for Adidas. I think it’s awesome, because not a lot of people get to do all this stuff.