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French crooner (and Chanel favorite) Izia.
Even in the age of Maori hip hop and country music from Japan, you’d be forgiven for snickering at the idea of French rock. But that just means you haven’t yet heard Izia. The 20-year-old daughter of crooner Jacques Higelin has so far kept a low profile in the U.S., making her head-turning debut at the opening of Chanel’s boutique in New York’s SoHo last September. The unabashed rocker, who has been compared with Janis Joplin and PJ Harvey, started her set while a roomful of fashion VIPs—including Courtney Love, her personal idol—ate dinner. Awkward! But soon “everyone was dancing and having a great time,” says Izia. Despite gaining virtually no support from mainstream French radio, her 2009 debut, Izia, went gold last year, earning her two Victoires de la Musique, the French equivalent of the Grammys. (She accepted them wearing Chanel, which sparked the Lagerfeld lovefest: He invited her to his Chanel show, and she started popping by his studio on rue Cambon.) While Izia—who has appeared in ads for Petit Bateau—waits for her “more minimalist, darker” second album to come out in September, she is also dipping her motorcycle boot–clad toes into acting, starring in the film Mauvaise Fille, based on the novel by Justine Lévy.