A group of writers went around a circle introducing themselves and the publications they came from until we arrived at the guest of honor: a petite woman with a super-high, nearly body-length ponytail. She was wearing a Reebok sweatshirt so oversize that she skipped pants altogether and simply paired it with scrunched socks and sneakers. “I’m Ariana,” she chimed in, “from… I don’t know… Earth!” This was how I met Ariana Grande, one of the world’s major pop stars.
It’s clear right off the bat that there’s a lot more to Grande than meets the eye. After all, her small stature is no indication of her incredibly powerful vocals. Her sweet persona—accented with years of lush pigtails and ponytails that have established her signature 'do—has never stopped her from shutting down misogyny in its tracks. And as the new ambassador for Reebok, Grande’s officially taking her stereotype-breaking mission to a much bigger scale.
“I don’t like stereotypes in general. Boxing people in, labeling, it’s all just really unnecessary. People are so many things,” she tells us at a press event in Hong Kong just one day before she wrapped up her Dangerous Woman tour. “I love being able to talk about it because when we see it—people [stereotyping] on social media or in general—it only makes it okay for the reader or the kids in school to do the same thing.”
Grande with Law Roach
And seeing as Grande’s new position with Reebok aligns her mission with the brand’s—to advocate for self-expression and encourage people to embrace their uniqueness, for starters—it’s only fitting that it’s here she shakes up some of her own misconceptions, as well. Starting with her style.
“I don’t really believe clothing has any gender,” she says of her shopping habits. “I feel like Law’s one of the first people that I’ve ever worked with that’s allowed me to love menswear the way I love menswear.” Law, of course, is Law Roach, Grande’s stylist whose clientele also includes Zendaya and Celine Dion. “I want to shop in the boys’ section and Law’s like, ‘Great, let’s go to the boys’ section.’”
Grande with Scott (left) and Brian Nicholson (right)
But while genderless shopping is not a new concept and is slowly becoming the norm for many, I learned that nearly all of Grande’s style influences are men. “I draw a lot of inspiration from my friends,” she told the group, specifically referencing her choreographer and close friend, Brian Nicholson. “I love his style because he doesn’t give a fuck—like mix and matches all the coolest things. I love people with super-distinct style who don’t follow any type of rules.” Other influences include Law, who she calls the most fabulous person she knows, as well as Pharrell Williams. “We’ve been working together a lot lately. I’ll see him wearing something, and I’ll be like, ‘Just so you know, I’m wearing that tomorrow.’ He’s like Regina George.”
Don't worry—the Mean Girls references end there. In fact, becoming a part of the Reebok family is pretty much a step in the opposite direction of “you can't sit with us” for the oft press-shy star.
“I don’t do a lot of things like this, so this is really exciting for me. There’s a personal attachment. I really love what Reebok stands for as a brand, as a huge advocate of self-expression and encouraging people to embrace who they are and the things that are different about them.” Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that Grande’s a bit of a super fan of fitness gear, as well. “I love athleisure. Looking cute while you do things that make you feel good is very important, as well, and I want to help Reebok inspire people to define fitness on their own terms, be healthy, and start from the inside. It all connects from there.”
Below, see and shop some of the pieces available today from Ariana Grande’s new—and ongoing—Reebok partnership.
Up next, take a look at the trends celebrities currently love to wear with leggings.