Singer, raptress, fashion designer…Oakland, California’s Lil’ Debbie does it all. As a former member of the music group White Girl Mob, she performed alongside popular underground female rapper Kreayshawn and has most recently done music with the hip-hop artist Riff Raff. After a cloud of drama in late 2011 left her divided from her group members, Debbie decided to regroup and refocus on her life, rather than lashing out angrily in the way of most outcast musicians (i.e. The Backstreet Boys, New Edition, Destiny’s Child and The Fugees). An underground style icon in the Los Angeles area, she’s turned all 5’4’’ of her energy toward creating a closet niche for herself in urban fashion. After high school, Debbie attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), undeniably with hopes of starting her own fashion business. Her personal style seems to be influenced by the late Amy Winehouse, vintage pin-up queens, and the streets of Compton, while she names model Kate Moss, beer heiress Daphne Guinness, and the late Andy Warhol muse Edie Sedgwick among her personal style icons. She is also a fan of the hard edge of men’s clothes, naming Doc Martens, Jordans, and button-ups as staples in her wardrobe.
While there are already many venues online dedicated to following Lil’ Debbie’s style choices, the fashionista herself is preparing to dabble in a bit of designing, working on lines with UK line F2D Clothing, as well as Los Angeles’ LA Clique. I recently had an opportunity to ask her more about her style, her work, and her own worst fashion moments.
You’ve been through a lot of drama in the past few months, but have come out of it clean and ready to move forward. What are your goals for the rest of 2012?
Yeah, 2011 was really a challenge for me. Talk about high drama! But 2012 is the DO IT ALL year. I’ve got my Debbie’s World series that we do once or twice a month on my LilDebbieTV channel on YouTube, there are some clothing collaborations with F2D in the UK and LA Clique in Los Angeles, some radio spots and interviews, I put out a music video with Riff Raff which was a complete spur of the moment, fun thing, a couple of hosting events and a surprise or two coming as well. I’ve also got some personal goals like quitting cigarettes, getting up earlier and things like that. We’ll see how THAT goes. LOL!!!
How would you describe your personal fashion style as of today?
Fun, wild, comfortable, sometimes girly but usually more unisex. I do love men’s clothes. Like, I’ll wear my Doc Martens with lacy tights, shorts and a men’s button up. And I’ll throw a leather biker jacket on if it’s cold outside. That kind of thing.
I understand you’ve got fashion projects coming up both here in the States and abroad. Can you tell us a little about them?
Well, I’m collaborating with F2D Clothing in the UK; Varsity jackets, some beanies, hoodies. It’s slowly coming out now. And then there’s my sweaters done with LA Clique in Los Angeles that are just hitting the stores now. I’m working together with Miss Wax on some jewelry but I’m not sure when that’ll drop and then I have my own Lil’ Debbie store on my website that has fan merch.
How about your own line of unisex clothing? What’s the concept behind that?
The concept is to bring a bit of a feminine feel to unisex street wear but it’s hard to do because cut and sew is so expensive. High minimums and it’s really expensive to manufacture in this country. We’ll see how it goes!
What influences you on any given day when you’re putting outfits together?
So many things! Sometimes, it’s a pair of new shoes I just gotta wear RIGHT NOW so I build from there. Sometimes it’s the mood I’m in. Other times it’s just the weather! I don’t like to be cold so I’ll layer and bundle up. And of course its all about accessories. LOL! I pile them on sometimes….
What is your go-to outfit?
Yeah, I definitely have a “go to” outfit. Leggings, a button-up (I like plaid so it’s usually a plaid shirt) or a V-neck sweater with J’s or Doc’s or flats.
Did you ever go through a particularly bad style period in your life?
Oh yeah! Most definitely. Especially in middle school. I was NOT the cool kid at school to say the least…LOL! And then one day it all came together and I didn’t care what other people thought and just did ME. You have to be who you are otherwise you’ll be miserable. Seriously.