It’s the middle of May and I’m sitting on the rooftop of the Soho House in Berlin. I’ve just walked up a few flights of stairs to the scene of hordes of beautiful bikini-clad women and handsome hipster boys lounging and bronzing themselves by a pool so small it would be better referred to as a large bathtub. For some reason, thousands and thousands of cotton balls are flying throughout the air, littering the entire floor, the atmosphere, and even one’s hair. It almost feels manufactured; as if they are coming out of a wind machine. No one in Berlin can explain this phenomenon to me, but it does create a vibe so hipster and so eerily romantic that you almost feel like you’ve walked onto a movie set.
The subject of my interview, up-and-coming “It” Girl Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor, clearly feels at ease in the city. She has the kind of effortless and laidback demeanor that just belongs in a city like Berlin, due much in part to her upbringing as the daughter of rock ‘n’ roll legend John Taylor, the bass guitarist and co-founder of new wave band Duran Duran. As I get to know her better over a long lunch of salads and Diet Coke, I realize why she’s being the touted as the fashion world’s next big thing and why MyTheresa.com has selected her as the new subject of their popular “Woman” series. Here, we talk family, fashion, and funny tweets.
Atlanta, the first thing I realize about you is that you don’t have your parents’ accent at all. [She speaks with a strong American accent while her mother and father speak in an eloquent British accent.]
Ha! I know. I wish I did. I guess it’s a result of living in the US all my life. I’m based in New York now but was raised in Los Angeles.
I actually spotted you and your father at a restaurant last night.
You did? It’s so nice to be in Berlin with him because I haven’t seen him in quite a while. It’s the first time that I’ve invited him somewhere. Obviously he always takes me to great places, but this time I asked him to be my plus one.
So we’re both here in Berlin with MyTheresa.com for their dinner tonight with Jimmy Choo. Are you excited?
I am, I am. I hear my childhood friend Daisy Lowe is going to be at the dinner as well, so it is fun to be here and celebrate. Jimmy Choo is obviously a great and classic brand, but I think it’s getting a bit funkier, which is cool. I always grew up learning about two big shoe brands: Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo. It is obviously an iconic brand that I grew up knowing about.
And you’re a huge MyTheresa.com fan, from what I hear.
I’m addicted. Since I found out about it, my online shopping has increased so much, because they have so many things that you typically can’t find online, and there are just so many more designers. The amount of Miu Miu on their site is really something else. They have been my saviors, my fairy godmothers, in finding some incredible Miu Miu dresses!
I hear whispers that you are the next MyTheresa “Woman”.
I am. We shot the series a few months ago in New York. I am really excited to see the photos come out. I have seen them on set obviously, but I am really excited. It was so much fun with super easy, fun vibes. The photographer and I were getting along really well, plus it was really fun with Chloé being involved.
So what are your first impressions of Berlin? It’s your first time here; mine as well…
The first impression that I had was “Oh, so many babes on bikes. And all these cute art boys.” [Laughs] It’s got a really cool vibe but then you take advantage of the fact that living in New York, you would not see buildings that are built in the 17th and 18th century. I love that. It is really cool. So far, I like it a lot.
I love the combination of black jeans, studded red boots, a ripped-up t-shirt, and a leather jacket, but I also really love a ladylike dress.
Let’s talk a little bit about your style. I am sure your upbringing as the child of a music legend, going backstage to your dad’s concerts, really influenced your look.
It did, in every way possible. I kind of have that super rocky vibe. I love the combination of black jeans, studded red boots, a ripped-up t-shirt, and a leather jacket, but I also really love a ladylike dress. I am either really boyish or super ladylike. Nothing in between. As for beauty, I only wear tinted moisturizer and maybe sometimes a red lipstick, if the outfit calls for it. I never get my eyebrows done and I don’t like to go to the hair salon ever. I cut my hair myself till I was 17, because I got a terrible haircut when I was younger. My hair is something that I take seriously. When I talk to my hairdresser, I say I want it to look exactly how it is, just a little shorter. I need to learn how to do my hair, but it is really hard to duplicate. But I like to look like myself.
I love shoes. I have a lot of great shoes. But I am also very concerned with comfort. You know, I still want to be comfortable at the end of the day. I am more of a boot girl and I can go as high as 10 centimeters. I am not a stiletto girl. That is difficult for me. I am getting better though – practice makes perfect. I own a lot of really amazing heels, I just don’t wear them that much.
Speaking of parents, your mom [former actress and photographer Amanda de Cadenet] is such an inspiration. I love her show [Amanda is the host of interview series The Conversation].
Yeah, she is an amazing woman. Such an inspiration.
Any aspirations to follow in your parents’ footsteps? I know you’re DJing quite a bit these days.
I have been DJing quite a bit. It’s fun. I have always obviously loved music, growing up around it. It sort of came naturally to me.
What would the Duran Duran soundtrack to your life be, if you had to choose only one song?
Obviously Girls on Film is a classic, but I think my favorite Duran song is actually The Chauffeur. I am not supposed to play Duran if my dad is in the room, though. I have sworn not to embarrass him like that!
My favorite by far is Come Undone.
Such a classic.
You tweeted something recently… That you’d rather be a Pippa than a Kate.
Oh yeah, I am kind of funny on Twitter. It’s true. Kate has too much responsibility for me. I would much rather be her sister. Pippa cut her hair off recently and everyone was like “Oh, good for Pippa!” When Kate cut her hair off, everyone said she didn’t look like a “princess” anymore.
Pippa’s a name you don’t hear very often. So is Atlanta. What is the story behind your name? Were you conceived in Atlanta perhaps?
My whole life, I’ve asked my parents, but they both give me different answers. And my middle name is ‘Noo’. That was their nickname for each other. They were crazy. People think that ‘de Cadenet’ is my middle name, but really there is a middle name in there – Noo! I never met another Atlanta and I hope I never will. Maybe you can use your investigative skills on my dad tonight and try to get the real story from him?
Later that evening, over dinner with Mr. Taylor, I pressed him for the real story behind Atlanta’s name. He shared with me that there was a “cheesy” soap opera on TV at the time, with a character named Atlanta. It worked perfectly since he and Amanda had decided their baby’s name would begin with an ‘A’.