Hailee Steinfeld was certainly the cat’s meow as she co-hosted Harper’s Bazaar’s May Issue Event in West Hollywood, California on Friday.
The 19-year-old Pitch Perfect 2 star donned a filmy sheer-topped leopard jumpsuit with cuffed sleeves and flare trousers to the party that was circulating with celebrities in irresistible fashions:
When you’ve starred in a Miu Miu campaign at age 14 and can call up celebrity stylist Karla Welch with an idea like most people call up their best friends, it’s safe to say that fashion plays an important role in your life. We talked to Hailee Steinfeld about taking risks, looking to Rihanna as her ultimate style icon, learning from Taylor Swift’s love of sequins and more.
How would you describe your style?
I love taking risks with [it]. Cool, casual, and comfortable is the way I’d define it at this moment because it’s constantly evolving.
You work with stylist Karla Welch who also styles Justin Bieber. What’s your process like with her?
I’ve been working with my stylist Karla Welch since I was 13, so she knows me, what I’m comfortable in, and what I love. It’s become so much more of a collaborative effort when it comes to selecting or designing a new piece. We’ve had situations more recently when I won’t have fittings until the day of or minutes before the event. I’ve become so trusting of her because she just gets me at this point. It’s such an open process: I’m able to call her up and send her references.
You’ve worn a lot of amazing brands over the past couple of years: everyone from Versace to Peter Pilotto to Yeezy. Do you have any favorites?
Anything from Opening Ceremony and Miu Miu are pieces I’m sure to love. I’m also a huge fan of Tory Burch, Michael Kors, and Prabal Gurung, but there are honestly so many amazing designers. What’s crazy is I never thought I’d be able to wear these brands, let alone meet them and have relationships with them.
And what has connecting with different designers and building those relationships with them been like?
That’s been and continues to be one of the coolest parts of my career. I’ll never forget my first fashion show which was for Miu Miu. I was so excited to be in Paris for the first time: I was literally beside myself. I sat down, it started, and boom — it was over in like 10 minutes! I realized that these shows are such big productions and that so much goes into those clothes you see when you look into the windows of your favorite boutiques. I gained so much respect for designers in that moment because the brevity of the show doesn’t equal the work put into everything. Mrs. Prada is someone who has shaped my outlook on fashion and I truly feel like my introduction to the fashion world was through her. I did the brand’s campaign when I was 14, which was unbelievable. I really considered that my introduction to fashion.
AT AGE 14, Hailee Steinfeld burst onto the Hollywood scene in her first feature film role, playing farm girl Mattie Ross in the 2010 western “True Grit.” It earned her an Academy nomination for best supporting actress.
She went on to star in the underrated “Ender’s Game,” the romance drama “Begin Again,” and even lent her voice to the lead character of the Japanese animé “When Marnie Was There.”
Fans recognize her as Barden Bella new recruit Emily Junk in “Pitch Perfect 2,” which yielded the hit song “Flashlight”—Hailee showcasing her singing prowess for the first time.
After dazzling us with her acting chops, Hailee is now poised to occupy playlists with her deput EP, “Haiz.”
We sat down with the part-Pinay actress and singer to discuss her music, her style and what she wants to say to her Filipino fans.
Now that you sing aside from acting, which do you enjoy more?
I honestly don’t know if I could pick. I enjoy them both; they excite me in different ways and for different reasons. That I get to do both is really the dream and the goal.
How has your stay in the Philippines been?
It’s been really great. I’ve wanted to come here for years; it’s so beautiful and it’s been a real great trip. Everybody’s been so welcoming and nice. I really love it here.
What is your personal favorite song from your EP and why?
They’re all very personal, they all mean a lot to me and they represent a different time or situation in my life. “Rock Bottom” is my current favorite. American pop-rock band DNCE is one of my favorite bands and having them on the song is awesome.