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Recycled style comes naturally to Jillian Hervey, 25, and Lucas Goodman, 26, who make up neo-soul duo Lion Babe. As kids, singer-songwriter Hervey raided the closest of her mother, actress-singer Vanessa Williams, while producer-instrumentalist Goodman borrowed Stussy hoodies and streetwear from dad Ray Goodman, who founded New York’s punk retail institution Trash and Vaudeville.
“One of my favorite things from my mom is a chocolate brown three-piece Chanel outfit,” says Hervey. “I had it tailored because she taught me the importance of fit.” Adds Goodman: “I cop every thing about my dad’s style, especially his shoes.”
Since releasing its self-titled debut EP on Interscope in December, the New York-based act has been working on a full-length album that, like the duo’s edgy, throwback style, channels a pastiche of influences. “We’re ’90s kids, so it’s hip-hop,” says Hervey. “I grew up listening to Miles Davis with my parents, and we have ’60s and ’70s soul influences.”
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Though buzz around the album has been heightened by the names involved (Pharrell Williams produced “Wonder Woman”; TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek lent his talents to an untitled track), Lion Babe also is capturing the fashion world’s attention: the pair played a show to fete Fendi’s collaboration with Thierry Lasry in march and opened the Brooklyn Museum’s Basquiat exhibit in early April.
At l train Vintage, which the duo calls an east Village “staple” (Beyoncé and Drew Barrymore have also shopped there), Goodman gravitates toward the leather jackets. “They’re one of my favorite vintage buys because they’re worn-in — that’s a lot of work to do yourself,” he says as Hervey eyes what she calls “Penny lane” shearling jackets.
“When I met Lucas, he was always in the same outfit,” says Hervey, who studied dance at New York’s New School. “Jeans and band t-shirts, but he takes more risks now.” Goodman, however, hasn’t had to egg on Hervey: “She has always owned how she wants to present herself,” he says while she playfully stacks hats on top of his head. “And that’s style.”
Where Lion Babe Scores the Best Thrift Store Finds
L Train Vintage
“My absolute favorite thing I got here was a crocheted dress that people always ask me about when I wear it,” says Hervey. “But I never tell them where I found it.” 111 E. Seventh St.; ltrainvintage.com
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New York Vintage
“The regular store is downstairs, but upstairs is where you’ll find amazing couture,” says Hervey of the high-end boutique that even Michelle Obama has hit. “I’ll go there when we’re doing shows because they have amazing headpieces and corsets.” 117 W. 25th St.; newyorkvintage.com
The former flea-market?stand specializes in vintage sportswear, sneakers and video games. Says Hervey, “They had a Space Jam jacket that I really wanted to get my brother.” Adds Goodman: “They even have old Super Nintendo games, which I’m all about.” 428 E. Ninth St.; mrthrowback.com
“My sister and I got our first Chanel blazers here,” Hervey says of the Parisian store that Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen have also shopped. “There’s this one woman who has worked there her whole life, which I love.” 3 Rue Chambiges, 75008 Paris
This story originally appeared in the April 18 issue of Billboard magazine.
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