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Exclusive: ELLE talks to Crystal Renn

By Emma Sells

Model Crystal Renn is the new face of Urban Outfitters’ sister line, Free People – and we can bring you an exclusive first look at the campaign.

Following in the footsteps of Karlie Kloss, Freja Beha Erichsen and Sasha Pivovarova, the American beauty is the face of the brand’s Dolce Vita line, donning a series of crocheted and ruffled summer dresses – and looking seriously incredible while she’s at it. And as the pics – and the collection – are released, we caught up with her for a chat.

Tell us about Free People…
What I love most is the energy of the brand. You often go on set and you’re playing a character and you’re wearing things that you would never dream of wearing, but with Free People I felt like I was more in my natural element, being more myself. It was like meeting up with a bunch of friends and creating art. A really great experience.

Describe your style…
I like a mix, structured lines with a flowy piece, interesting textures to layer with and one-of-a-kind items. I believe that when you dress, it’s self expression so I like to play with that.

What is there too much of in your wardrobe?
Definitely way too much black, which is a great thing actually because everything goes together. It’s also great for someone like me who travels a lot, because I need to grab things and stuff them in my suitcase and hope they work.

What is the last new label you discovered?
I would say Rad Hourani except that I’ve known him for many years and he’s doing fashion in a really interesting way. His designs are going to be the future.

Where do you shop that no-one else knows about?
I’m definitely not afraid of shopping in Goodwill [charity shops]. Some of my best pieces have been found in Goodwill - a Chanel bag in Miami, a Dior coat and vintage Louis Vuitton from the 90s hiding in the back of a thrift store in Miami. It’s all in the search!

What are your go-to labels?
Rick Owens, Free People and Helmut Lang.

Most treasured possession in your wardrobe?
My rings, because I like an eclectic mix. Every ring I have has real meaning to me, so every time I look down at my hands I’m reminded of who gave them to me or an experience that I’ve had.

Do you plan your outfits or throw on whatever's to hand?
It can go either way. I wake up and see where I am that day and ask myself how do I feel, who do I want to be, where am I going?

Whose wardrobe would you love to steal?
Tilda Swinton, Abbey Lee or Daphne Guinness.

Where do you look for inspiration?
Working as a model, it’s probably from the shoots I do. You get inspired because you’re wearing pieces that you don’t own and objects that you haven’t explored.

Shop the collection at www.freepeople.co.uk

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