Woo Ah! It's a motto, a lifestyle and also the first thing many associate with Kim Petras. The short, two syllable-phrase has become like a battle cry for Bunheads, the ubiquitous name for Petras' biggest stans, as the rising pop princess wields a rhinestone sword in her quest to make the world a more glamorous, playful place through clubby bubblegum bops.
Now, Petras is blossoming further into mainstream, having recently signed to Republic Records. And her catapult toward music's upper echelon has already comes with perks: Massive marketing promotions, glitzy music videos and established appearances, most notably at the 2021 VMAs' pre-show performing her single, "Future Starts Now."
Underneath all the bleach blonde extensions and acrylic tips is a girl who just wants to have fun, which Petras explains from her hotel room as she hops from city to city. The singer's new shoot with UGG highlights this, as Petras elevates classic Y2K staples— the UGG boot, shearling jacket and more — into high fashion fall looks.
Beyond Petras, UGG's campaign also stars Parris Goebel, Maye Musk, Duckie Thot and Fernanda Ly all flaunting their own interpretations of the cult-classic label. Despite having a legacy based in footwear, UGG has found itself at the center of a cultural renaissance, transforming what it means to be an UGG lover today.
"I feel like it's a real staple in people's lives," Petras tells PAPER. "My stylist [Matthew Mazur], who's also a DJ, always wears UGG boots to the club with pretty much everything. You will definitely find me in clubs, sometimes with anything UGG on because it's the most comfortable thing to wear."
Below, Kim Petras sat down with PAPER to discuss her new music, love of fashion and the future.
It's been such a crazy year for you. How are you feeling as we re-enter this new world?
Right now, I feel great just because I've been waiting forever to put any music out. I really wanted the main lockdown to be done, so I can perform and see people in person because that's such a big part of my life that I love. It's been incredible to put out music, to do choreography for the first time because I've been training since the beginning of this year for that. In the beginning of lockdown, I felt really devastated, as everyone did. I had been rehearsing for Coachella for months and that got canceled. I had this tour that I was gonna go on and that got cancelled, too. But I'm honestly happy now that I got to take this much time to make an album that I'm proud of. I don't think I've ever spent more time in the studio because that's the only thing there was to do.
Your looks in the UGG shoot are so cozy, comfy and, most importantly, you. What's the feeling you get in clothing and accessories that fit your personal style and identity so well?
That's always what I'm trying to do no matter what. It's important to me to dress as crazy as I want to and as crazy as I feel because I know how it feels to be a kid looking up to pop stars. Pop stars were kind of my heroes. Where I'm from, which is the middle of nowhere in Germany, if you wear anything even kind of weird people would be like, "Ugh, that's strange." They have no idea about fashion at all. It's a big joy for me that I get to dress up, experiment and go all out. That's important for me to do because I know there's probably kids looking at me that are like, "Oh, Kim can wear this and I can wear crazy stuff to school or anywhere." So much happiness in my life is because of fashion. I obsess over it. I'm constantly thinking about it. I watch runway shows all the time.
What's your favorite piece from the collection?
I love the long shearling coat because it reminded me so much of Almost Famous and Kate Hudson in that, especially with the corset that we paired it with. It really gave off '70s rock n' roll vibes. It was so comfortable, even the pockets were soft. Everything was so cute, though. I loved the leopard-print sherpa jacket, too.
UGG has been having a major moment these last few years, between those mini Y2K booties and all the different collabs. Did you ever have a pair growing up?
I did. I had fake UGG boots because I was pretty broke. But then I remember I found UGG boots at the secondhand store and they were legit, and I bought them and they were so much more comfortable and the fake ones would always fall apart. But once I had the real ones I was wearing, I felt so cool.
You just signed to Republic Records after being independent for so long and released your new album's lead single, "Future Starts now." What do you want this next chapter to look like for you?
Republic was really incredible. My main concern with signing with a major label was always my creative control and making the music I wanted to because I write my songs with my friends and they're important to me. When Republic came along, it was very different than any major label experience I've had and they were like, "We love what you do creatively, but we want to help you just get it to more people. We're here to fully support you." They've been such champions for me already, and this release has gotten way more waves than anything I've ever done.
You're back to performing live again, which must be exciting after so many months staying at home. What's going through your mind when you're up on stage in front of all of your fans?
What always goes through my mind right before I go on stage, no matter how crazy it is, is just to have fun and feel like you're in your bathroom singing a song. It's that feeling when you're getting ready in your bathroom and you just have to dance and perform it to the mirror, even though no one's there. It's very cheesy, but that's what I think about. I remember the important thing, which is to have fun, because if you don't have fun, why are you doing it?
Your nails in the campaign are such a fur fantasy! A full bush moment.
Nail bush. [Laughs] Well, I was thinking about UGG, shearling, lamb fur, that kind of vibe. I was like, 'Can we do furry nails?" And I called up my nail girl, Britney Tokyo, she's incredible and she pulled it together. They were the star of the shoot. You couldn't do anything with them, it was impossible, but it looks so cool. I feel the same way about nails that I do about fashion and makeup. I love going crazy and experimenting, and I'm lucky I get to do that because in real life those nails would probably suck. I get to do it because I'm at a shoot, but I can't take them off if I need to go to the restroom or take a shower, things like that. That's what's so cool about being a pop star and why I go for things like that.
How was the energy on set with all the fashion girls?
I'm a huge fan of every single one of the girlies, so it was really dreamy and really incredible. And like, they all look fucking incredible.
In 2019 you tweeted, "So this is what an UGG boot must feel like…" What does an UGG boot feel like to you?
Good, comforted and pampered. I was going through my chill phase and I was probably, I don't know, eating some kind of comfort food, being glued to my couch. That's what UGG feels like.
Do you have any exciting plans on the horizon you can't wait to share?
I filmed a music video for "Future Starts Now," which I'm so excited for. I was watching a lot of anime during lockdown, watching Japan Sinks on Netflix and that really inspired this video. It's definitely the best video I've made and I feel over the moon to share it soon. And that's all the tea I'm going to spill today.
Photos courtesy of UGG
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