Blackpink’s Lisa: ‘I’m Very New in the Fashion World’

The music sensation talks about the ANDAM prize, dressing for the stage, and online vintage shopping.

As a juror for the 2021 ANDAM awards, which are to be presented tonight at a ceremony in Paris, Lalisa Manoban did not only spend hours poring over the portfolios the contenders submitted.

The Thai music sensation, known simply as Lisa to Blackpink’s legion of fans, also combed social media to better understand each fashion designer’s aesthetic and style universe.

Manoban headlines a star-studded list of guest jurors that also includes Chinese singer Chris Lee and fashion designers Kerby Jean-Raymond and Phoebe Philo.

Cédric Charbit, chief executive officer of Balenciaga and the president of this year’s ANDAM jury, decided to fling the door open wide and make this year’s jury more varied, “progressive,” and international, fanning interest in the 32nd edition of the annual design competition, which recently upped the grand prize amount to 300,000 euros from 250,000 euros.

The seven finalists for the main award are GmbH, Wales Bonner, Area, Rokh, Bianca Saunders, Ludovic de Saint-Sernin, and Casablanca. There is also a prize for accessories and another for young French brands.

In an exclusive interview with WWD, Manoban expressed her zeal for the project, helping to choose the winners for a prestigious French fashion prize that has been a springboard for the likes of Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Christophe Lemaire, and Jeremy Scott, to name a few.

Here, she also talks about dressing for daily life and the stage, plus her passion for Paris — and shopping vintage online:

Lisa Manobal
© : wwd Lisa Manobal

Lisa Manoban: First of all, I’m very happy and honored to be able to be part of ANDAM this year. I was very surprised when I first got the invitation as a juror.

Since I’m very new in the fashion world, I thought this could be quite an adventurous and challenging experience for me at first. But at the same time, I thought it would be an exciting experience and I would learn a lot from this opportunity. So I accepted the offer.

L.M.: It was very hard. It took me hours to choose! I wasn’t able to make decisions only by looking at portfolios, so I explored all the artists’ social pages to make the final decision.

The style and characteristics of each artist’s work were distinctively different. So I could easily catch up with who and whose as I went over all the brands. I think that was a very eye-opening experience.

L.M.: I looked at the overall things first, then I looked at the design parts more specifically. I believe every judge uses different criteria and values for evaluation; I evaluated works from my perspective, as a singer and an entertainer.

I would love to wear clothes that are easy to wear for casual occasions, but at the same time, have special features that are also suitable for stage performances. So I can go on stage with them right away. And I chose the brands that fulfill my needs. Some brands were so interesting that I went to their socials to discover more about them.

L.M.: Fashion and culture change consistently as time goes by. I think the role of young fashion designers is to experience and understand the fashion and culture of that generation to the fullest and assimilate it into the era.

There are many talented and well-known fashion designers in this era already, but we should recognize and support those young designers who will lead the future fashion world.

L.M.: I love Paris. I fell in love with Paris on my first visit. And I fall in love more and more every time I visit. The time I visited Paris for the Celine event, I was fortunate to visit a workshop and got to see how artisans work.

I watched artisans embroider on fabric with a very sensitive and delicate touch. Also, thankfully, I got to take pictures with Hedi [Slimane]. It was a very meaningful moment.

L.M.: I’ve always loved to wear and play with clothes ever since I was a child. I think my interest in fashion has grown since the 2019 Paris Fashion Week I attended. Fashion is very attractive and fun.

L.M.: Blackpink style resembles me a lot. Actually, it’s just me. So I’ve never had to think or worry about “what should I do to look more like Blackpink?”

We, Blackpink, are very close to our stylist, so we talk about concepts and style a lot. We share a lot of ideas about different styles to try and what might suit us.

L.M.: I admire and respect all the global brands with a long history. Amongst all, witnessing how Hedi took over Celine and brought bold changes was the most impressive thing for me. The overall style of Celine has become younger, fresh, and easy even for those who are new in fashion.

L.M.: In everyday life, I usually wear comfortable clothes and shoes — mostly tennis shoes. But when I’m on stage, I like clothes that go well with the songs, and clothes that are fancy and bold.