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When it’s midnight in Los Angeles and Alana Haim finds herself about to purchase something impulsively online — a pair of Acne pistol boots or a maybe a piece from the new Chloe collection — she never makes a final decision without first texting Brooklyn-based stylist Rebecca Grice.
“The time difference can be bad, because it will be 3 a.m. her time,” says Alana, 23. “But I definitely won’t buy anything expensive without her approval.”
For the past two years, starting with the album cover for Haim’s 2013 Days Are Gone, Grice, 33, has been the quiet force behind the indie power-pop band’s ’70s-inspired aesthetic, which all at once channels Stevie Nicks’ gypsy spirit and Debbie Harry’s badass attitude. In the process, she has become, as bassist Este Haim, 29, puts it, “the fourth Haim sister.”
Over iced coffee at The West Brooklyn, Grice is coy about how she came to style one of music’s most enviably cool female-fronted bands — or even what exactly led her to a career in fashion. On the record, though, is her stint as an assistant to Mel Ottenberg, Rihanna’s stylist.
“I was there for Mel’s first job with her, and it was just on,” recalls Grice, who traveled the world as part of their creative team. Three years ago she spent her 30th birthday, for instance, karaoking with the star in Tokyo after the premiere of the pic Battleship wrapped. “I’m not one to really publicize my birthday,” notes Grice. “But it accidentally slipped out.”
SISTER, SISTER: Danielle Haim, Alana Haim, Rebecca Grice and Este Haim were photographed July 7 at Root NYC in New York.
Unlike contemporaries, who despite toiling behind the scenes have found their own way into the spotlight (Rachel Zoe, Kate Young and Ilaria Urbinati, to name a few), Grice has no desire to be “known” and prefers instead to focus on her relationship with “the girls.” From her perspective, she’s just there to help them tell their stories — in between “bro-ing down and talking about boys” during fittings.
The band Haim, which earlier this year opened for pal Taylor Swift’s 1989 Tour, was Grice’s first solo client, and it was through the group that she was introduced to Lorde, for whom she styled the 2013 “Team” video and has worked with ever since. “She loves a good suit, something a little bit wicked and a bit evil,” says Grice, who upped the ante on Lorde’s tour with a series of custom looks by Alexander Wang and Chloé, which creative director Clare Waight Keller notes “channeled Lorde’s strength and power onstage, but at the same time evoked a sensual femininity.”
“I can’t emphasize enough how it’s a collaboration,” says Grice, who grew up in Southern California. “Because if I was a musician and played in front of a million people, I’d want to wear what I want, but a doper version of that.”
Lead vocalist/guitarist Danielle Haim, 26, also points to the harmonious quality of their relationship: “We grew up loving fashion and following it. When we started working with Rebecca, it was like, ‘Oh! That makes sense.’ We have the same sensibilities.”
At the 2015 Grammy Awards, for which Haim was nominated for best new artist, the band wore a mix of Chloé and Stella McCartney in a crisp black-and-white palette (see above). “There was a sense of ease,” says Grice. “They looked clean and cool and chic.”
Alana recalls the event as one of the most epic experiences of her life. “I felt super beautiful that day,” she says. “It’s weird to say you feel beautiful, but I actually felt like I was going to prom again. It was how I guess I might feel on my wedding day … one day.”
This story appeared in the Dec. 12 issue of Billboard magazine.
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