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Style File: Icona Pop

If there are two girls who can seamlessly combine music and fashion, it’s Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt of the Swedish electro-pop outfit Icona Pop. The pair, who met through mutual friends in the Stockholm club scene, can often be seen dancing around onstage to their thumping, bass-heavy beats dressed in all-black ensembles made of sheer and leather (they love to mix and match fabrics). Fresh off the release of their new EP, Iconic, featuring this summer’s catchy dance track “I Love It”, the stylish set is currently touring stops across North America and is slated to support Welsh songstress Marina and the Diamonds on the Lonely Hearts Club Tour next month.

We caught up with Aino and Caroline in L.A., and talked to them about their personal style, their favorite places to tour, and the things they can’t leave home without.

When you go on the road, what is a must-have item you pack in your suitcase?

Caroline: We love shoes, cute jackets—our leather jackets—and some very high, high heels. We try to have stuff in our bag that we can mix and match in different combinations, and then we of course always leave some room in case we find nice vintage shops so we can find some new stuff. We love sheer because it doesn’t weigh anything and because it creates layers and shades, and it’s so good to have in your suitcase because it doesn’t take up much space.

Where are your favorite places to visit on tour?

Aino: We love Paris. Paris means a lot to us, but then we also love New York and L.A. [Every place] is special in its own way, you can always find something you like. But I think New York… there’s something about it. Paris and New York. But we’ve never been to Australia.

Caroline: [Every place] has its own charm.

How would you describe your personal style?

Aino: Mixing stuff. We love to mix feminine and masculine, like the tuxedo-inspired Gavin Pant or the baseball-style Leah Top with the glam Flipped Jet CZ & Pave Bib necklace.

Caroline: And contrast. Very hard stuff [and] maybe play it off with something a little bit more feminine. We never ever had any money to buy clothes, [so] that makes you very creative. We started cutting and sewing stuff and old T-shirts and maybe exchanging with friends and stuff like that, and I think that makes you very creative with what you’ve got in your suitcase. You can always mix and match with something new out of old stuff.

Do you two ever swap clothes?

Caroline: We always borrow clothes from each other, it’s fun. We love clothes and we love to express ourselves through clothes, but when it comes to borrowing trends… we see [fashion] as a way of expressing ourselves. It’s a lot about wearing [things] with self-confidence and feeling comfortable in what you’re wearing. I think that’s the sexiest thing.

What do you like to wear onstage? Do you like performing in those high, high heels?

Aino: I like to take them off onstage, but on some days [I] feel very good in the high heels.

Caroline: Some weeks and months I just walk around in high heels and feel very fierce, and then some days I feel like I need to be here sitting on the ground.

You’re touring now, but your first full-length album is due out in 2013. Are you recording while on tour?

Aino: We’re recording constantly. We always have our microphones with us and we always want to write new stuff with people… we can set up a microphone anywhere.

Credits: Photo by Fredrik Etoall