Since we met Icona Pop in 2011, the nuclear Swedish electropop duo has grown to command international attention. Now, on the momentum of their breakthrough summer single “I Love It” (known to many as the theme of Snooki and JWoww), they’re about to start a daunting run of Fashion’s Night Out engagements. Aino Neneh Jawo and Caroline Hjelt juggle four events tomorrow: an early DJ gig at Helmut Lang, a live performance at Urban Outfitters and private parties for All Saints and the Mondrian Hotel’s Mr. H.
As the pair explained to Rolling Stone, they are plotting a move to Brooklyn in the near future, making this New York Fashion Week something of an auspicious arrival party.
What are your plans for Fashion’s Night Out?
First of all: to watch all of the lovely street styles and then to dance at a lot of parties, DJ and have fun. We love the vibe in the city during Fashion’s Night Out. It’s electric.
What is your perception of New York Fashion Week? What does it represent to you as Europeans?
It’s huge. People dress up and express themselves. Some people live for this week and people give it all. Then after, they go back and start to prepare for the next one.
Describe your past New York Fashion Week experiences.
Crazy. Last spring was our first New York Fashion Week. We didn’t know what we got ourselves into. Red carpets, front row together with our friend, [editor] Andrew Bevan, closing the clubs with the best dancer in the world, [designer] Phillip Lim, getting to know our new extended family members at Milk Studios. And that was just a couple of the things that happened. This time we are prepared – you better watch out!
How does New York and Stockholm fashion differ, in general?
Stockholm Fashion Week is fun and has a lot of great designers, but it’s much smaller than New York Fashion Week. [In New York] it feels like people travel from all over the world to be a part of it, express themselves, get a glimpse of it and feel the vibe.
You have a love of Helmut Lang clothes, and you’re DJing the label’s Fashion’s Night Out party. What speaks to you about Lang and his design legacy?
We have always been in love with Helmut Lang. He is very good at creating nice shapes and sexy silhouettes. It’s very flattering for your body. They way he mixes the masculine with the feminine is perfect. The fabrics and textures always feel very luxurious. We feel so honored to DJ at their Fashion’s Night Out.
Which New York designers do you like best overall?
There are a lot of good designers, but our top three are Helmut Lang, Phillip Lim and Alexander Wang.
Would you ever do a collaboration on a clothing line or special Icona Pop style accessory if you had the chance?
Yes, we would love to but first we have to find the right people to do it with.
Watch Icona Pop’s “I Love It”:
How do you typically prepare for a DJ set?
We are very bad at preparing; we always like to feel the crowd.
What is your preparation for a live show like?
Before every show, we have to have a moment for ourselves so we can create our own little world and shut everyone else out.
You’re going to be moving to NYC. What made you want to move here?
We are so excited. We just signed to Atlantic BigBeat and we feel like now is the right time for us to be here. We’ve been here a lot to New York the past year and we feel very home here.
Now that “I Love It” is a dark summer smash, do you find yourselves being recognized more by onlookers?
Yes; they don’t know how much that means to us. Some people have been coming to our gigs standing outside the venue just to say hello because they are underage, some have been stopping us on the street just to take a picture. Last time when we had a mini-tour, some people followed us to all the cities. We have the best and most supportive fans in the world!
What about that song do you think makes it resonate so well with so many types of people?
The lyrics are very simple and everyone can relate to love and drama.
I saw on your Facebook page that a very dedicated fan got an “I’m a ’90s Bitch” tattoo – how did that make you feel?
Our question was: is it a real one? We wanna meet her.
What should American listeners be looking out for on your debut album?
Well, we have just started, but it’s gonna be a hell of a lot more galloping drums and twisted synthesizers!
Icona Pop also play a full-length live show at Santos Party House on September 12th.