The arrival of her son, Radek, 11 months ago has made style infinitely more fun for Santi “Santigold” White, 38, who has collaborated with everyone from Jay Z to Karen O. Though the songwriter-producer (who cites Alexander Wang and Opening Ceremony as favorite designers) first became a fashion plate after her 2008 debut album, Santogold, she now lives to shop for tot togs.
“It’s my favorite,” she says, holding up a pint-size parka by Mini Rodini that features a playful mice and cheese print. “There’s so much good stuff, you go crazy! I have to say, ‘OK, he’s got enough.’ ” Her biggest weakness? Miniature cotton shirts with quirky patterns that are “fun, functional and something I’d wear myself.”
Motherhood has done little, though, to alter White’s own wardrobe. Despite the wild stage get-ups, “I’ve always been a comfort dresser,” she says of the Grace Jones T-shirt and Frame denim jeans she wears while reclining on the floor of the historic Bedford-Stuyvesant townhouse she and husband Trevor Andrew, 35, a musician and snowboarder, purchased five years ago in Brooklyn. On the antique floral-paper-covered walls hangs a massive portrait of White painted by Kehinde Wiley for the cover of her 2012 album, Master of My Make-Believe, which hit No. 21 on the Billboard 200. The eclectic aesthetic that White strives for in both her look and surroundings also reflects her “collage” sound. “I grab all of the things that stimulate me and then throw them together,” she says.
The Philadelphia native is at work on her new album, set for a summer release, which will mark a return to music after three years away. It’s a spell that she says has served her well, noting, “It’s great to step outside of your comfort zone and exercise a different part of your brain.” When White hits the road with this album, one thing’s for sure: An eager new member of the crew will be onboard. Radek has already accompanied her to Brazil (her first concert since his birth) and to Los Angeles, where he crawled for the first time and single-handedly transformed the recording studio atmosphere. “Oh, my God, it’s like having a ‘happy’ drug with you at all times that you can just look at to feel its effects,” White gushes. “It’s like being in the presence of pure joy … at least so far!”
Get Santi and Radek’s Mommy and Me Look
“This is my husband’s Hotel Pigalle hat. I think he got it in Paris. He’s probably going to be mad that I wore it in a shoot!” $79; RSVPGallery.com
“It’s one of my favorites,” White says of the Deer Dana hand-printed Grace Jones tee that the singer Miguel collaborated on. Bruce Springsteen shirt, $60; deerdana.com
“I like to shop at Babesta.com, where I got his sweatpants, and MiniRodini.com, where his shirt [above] is from. They have clothes that are creative and cool.” Mini Rodini crocodile sweatshirt, $61; thumbeline.com
This story first appeared in the March 21 issue of Billboard Magazine.