I have a necklace that my choreographer gave me. It's a little ice cream cone and I love it. I wear it with everything and it seems to match everything I have.
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Perched front row at the Chanel couture show in July, Ayo proved a convincing ambassador for her just-released debut album, "Joyful." Decked out in a tropical bandana and a canary yellow cardigan dress from Chanel's Paris-Monte Carlo collection, the leggy 26-year-old songstress greeted cameras with a sunny grin rarely seen among runway regulars. The German-born singer, whose real name is Joy Ogunmakin, was raised in both Germany and Paris by her Nigerian father and Romanian mother. Fusing soul, R&B, folk and Afrobeat, Ayo has already gone platinum in France and opened for Joss Stone. Now Karl Lagerfeld is said to be creating a guitar strap for the stylish star.
— Katya Foreman and Emilie Marsh
How has your cultural background influenced your sound?
My dad was a DJ in the Seventies. I grew up with Afrobeat and reggae music, so those colors and layers are in my music. And my mother is a gypsy. She was gone a lot, always on the run. My mother's influence is as important as my father's, just in different ways.
How would you describe your style?
It's a mix of different things, just as I am a mix of things. My style can be bohemian in a way, yet still be classy at the same time.
Who are your favorite designers?
I really love Chanel. I like Dolce & Gabbana as well, but I always find my own way to wear things. For example, there was a dress from Chanel that I wore back-to-front.
What would you never wear?
I'm not a big fan of showing too much skin. Plus, I have very long legs. When I wear something even slightly short, I'm already showing enough skin.