Recycled style comes naturally to Jillian Hervey, 25, and Lucas Goodman, 26, who make up neo-soul duo Lion Babe. As kids, singer-songwriter Hervey raided the closest of her mother, actress-singer Vanessa Williams, while producer-instrumentalist Goodman borrowed Stussy hoodies and streetwear from dad Ray Goodman, who co-founded New York’s punk retail institution Trash and Vaudeville.
“One of my favorite things from my mom is a chocolate brown three-piece Chanel outfit,” says Hervey. “I had it tailored because she taught me the importance of fit.” Adds Goodman: “I cop everything about my dad’s style, especially his shoes.”
Since releasing its self-titled debut EP on Interscope in December, the New York-based act has been working on a full-length album that, like the duo’s edgy, throwback style, channels a pastiche of influences. “We’re ’90s kids, so it’s hip-hop,” says Hervey. “I grew up listening to Miles Davis with my parents, and we have ’60s and ’70s soul influences.”
Though buzz around the album has been heightened by the names involved (Pharrell Williams produced “Wonder Woman”; TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek lent his talents to an untitled track), Lion Babe also is capturing the fashion world’s attention: The pair played a show to fete Fendi’s collaboration with Thierry Lasry in March and opened the Brooklyn Museum’s Basquiat exhibit in early April.
At L Train Vintage, which the duo calls an East Village “staple” (Beyoncé and Drew Barrymore have also shopped there), Goodman gravitates toward the leather jackets. “They’re one of my favorite vintage buys because they’re worn-in — that’s a lot of work to do yourself,” he says as Hervey eyes what she calls “Penny Lane” shearling jackets.
“When I met Lucas, he was always in the same outfit,” says Hervey, who studied dance at New York’s New School. “Jeans and band T-shirts, but he takes more risks now.” Goodman, however, hasn’t had to egg on Hervey: “She has always owned how she wants to present herself,” he says while she playfully stacks hats on top of his head. “And that’s style.”