Alexa Chung jet-sets for a living. “I do a lot of jetting and setting,” she said in her husky English accent. It was a recent morning in October and the former TV personality turned fashion It girl and, yes, designer of her namesake brand, was in Berlin to talk about a new project with Ugg boots. She had arrived straight from Paris, where she’d taken a few shows during fashion week, like Miu Miu, and made a cameo appearance at a party for Longchamp, a brand for which she’s long been an ambassador. Before that, she’d taken in shows during New York and London fashion weeks. Not that she sees herself as much of a jet-setter, though. “Who do you think are the people on the planet who travel the most? To me it’s Derek Blasberg,” she said playfully as ever. Though she has a base in New York, after Berlin Chung would be returning to London, where the studio for her upcoming fashion label is headquartered, to hermit herself as she prepares for the launch next May.
What is your go to travel outfit? It depends how caught up I am in it. For example, if I’m going to L.A., I already want to get in the mood, I’m already in hot pants. I’ve got this Saint Laurent blazer that I wear. It’s black velvet, pretty plain but I realize I wear it every time I’m on a plane. Then, I’ve also been into vintage denim recently, but I realize it’s hugely unflattering on my bum. I hate taking off the raincoat when you have to go through security because whoever’s behind will be going through a terrible time.
This might seem like a questioned tailored to this Ugg collaboration, but it’s not; we ask it often. What is the best travel shoe? [Deadpan] I really like Ugg boots. [Laughs] They’re f**king comfy! Have you ever put one on your foot? It’s like crack. It’s like shoe crack.
Who’s the best person you’ve ever been seated to on a plane? I can tell you this. He may not be the best I’ve been seated next to in recent memory, but it’s the one that stands out the most in my lifespan. When I was 13, I flew to Arizona with a friend because my father lived there. We we re visiting on the Easter holidays and we were flying on our own and they bumped us to first class, which is the most ridiculous thing to do to a 13-year-old because I don’t think 13-year-olds should fly in that fashion so early on. We stayed off the booze, mind you. But I was next to Seal, as in “Kiss from a Rose” Seal and he was the first famous person I’d ever seen in my entire life. I’m from Hampshire, which you must understand is Jane Austen, landlocked territory. And I was literally screaming and I remember that now whenever I think kids are being annoying and screaming, “Oh my gawd!” That’s exactly how I reacted when I was seated next to Seal, whom I wasn’t necessarily a fan of. I was just shocked by seeing a famous person in real life. I don’t even know if he had the opportunity to be polite because we were screaming. Another one was when I was flying from London to New York and I was sat opposite Rashida Jones and we became friends on the flight. And, we’re still friends! We’d never met before and by the end of the flight we were having a drink.
And the worst person you’ve ever sat next to on a flight? Sometimes I have horrific premonitions that one day I’m going to get on a flight and I’m going to be sandwiched between ex-boyfriends. No, I actually have been! I flew back from L.A. once and an ex of mine was seated next to me. But it was really nice because we hadn’t seen each other in a while so obviously we got on really well.
What’s your preference, window or aisle? Window. I just always ask for it because I don’t like feeling the pressure of having to let someone out. I’m better at holding pee in than other passengers so I don’t want to be the one who has to be constantly letting people out.
What’s your preference, city or beach? Genuinely city, I think. Beach for a break but I get bored easily because I’ve got a low attention span. Once you’ve done a couple of books and too much tanning, I very much need to be stimulated by social interaction. Sometimes if I’m on my own for too long I’ll go to a coffee shop and make nonsensical conversation with someone because I need that, or just some attention actually.
What’s beauty products are regularly in your suitcase? I’m terrible. I always forget a razor, I always forget a toothbrush. I went to the Ling Spa in New York once and the facialist was like, ‘Very dry skin, driest I’ve ever seen!’ So she gave me this serum that has something acid, so I travel with that that. Some kind of moisturizer. I’m terrible at beauty products.
What’s the best souvenir you’ve ever picked up on a trip? People always say my boyfriend to that question, don’t they? I’ve read these before and they’re always like, ‘My boyfriend Diego. I found him in Cuba’ and you’re like shut up.
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