Ever since breaking out with their 2018 debut album Treehouse, Sofi Tukker have pushed beyond trendy Brooklyn-based electronic music duo expectations.
Consisting of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, the Grammy-nominated pair’s signature sound combines intoxicating house-based stylings with Hawley-Weld’s airy vocals and jungle-pop motif. And when translated live? An uproarious dance party inevitably ensues.
Influenced by the colorful music they produce and globe-trotting lifestyle, the duo is usually decked out in either all-white with pops of vibrant neon hues or in vivid head-to-toe ensembles befit an electrifying live performance.
Since the start of 2020, Sofi Tukker have appeared on February’s Birds of Prey soundtrack with “Feeling Good,” and 2018 single “Good Time Girl” was revitalized for HBO series The New Pope‘s opening credits in January. And in the midst of the current coronavirus pandemic, the pair still wants fans to keep dancing. While practicing social distancing, you can tune into to their Facebook and Instagram DJ sets, which are live streaming daily at 1:00 p.m. EST.
Here, Billboard Style speaks to Sofi Tukker about their fashion must-haves, along with what influences their creativity while on the road.
Billboard Style: How has your music career helped open your love for fashion?
Sophie: I didn’t know very much about fashion and it wasn’t a big part of my world until we started making music. Then, the kind of colorful, vibrant vibe of our music really inspired me to be more curious about it. Fashion was the trickle effect of the vibe we were creating.
Tucker: I’ve always loved fashion, actually. I thought about studying fashion design [in college], but I couldn’t because my basketball schedule didn’t let me take classes at that time. I’ve always been a little eccentric and loud with my taste. Even if it was in bad taste, I always went loud with it.
How do your travels play a role in your style?
Sophie: Travel is the ultimate inspiration. We go to all these places and see these people dress in different ways we would have never thought to. We see colors we would never think to put together. It’s been huge for our music and for every aspect of our creativity.
Tucker: Going to an H&M in Moscow compared to New York, London, or Spain, the way the shirts are made are different because the shapes of people are different. I’m 6’7’’, sort of slim, so shopping in a place where people are my shape helps me. I didn’t even know that existed until I was in the Netherlands. The real exciting stuff is seeing more native clothing — it’s just beautiful and colorful.
What determines what you’ll actually bring with you on tour and what outfits you’ll wear?
Tucker: It’s actually really tough because we usually have only one big suitcase each. A lot of times, parts of the tour was in winter and summer [due to the] different continents. We really only have so many pieces we can bring.
I always like to bring a couple pair of shoes because I love sneakers. My shoe size is a 14, so that takes an entire half of my suitcase, so I really don’t have that much space for clothes. I try to bring stuff you can dress up or dress down and that can work in any scenario. I’m usually extremely colorful. If you open up my suitcase, you’d end up blinded.
What about you, Sophie?
Sophie: I really struggle with the weather. My stage clothes are all white and I make the clothes myself. I bring them to a tailor and make some neon pieces in my white outfits. I’ll get a bunch of different bodysuits, sports bras and white flowy pants. Then, I’ll go to the [New York City] Fashion District to pick out some neon fabric. Then, I go to a tailor and have them put in my designs or however I want them on the clothes.
Other than that, I’ll make sure I have a tracksuit or a sweat suit for travel and something to work out in. I often end up in a place and I’m like, “Aw man, I forgot socks,” or “I forgot any pairs of pants.” [laughs]
What determines which sneakers will make the cut to join you on tour?
Tucker: Usually the newest thing is the most exciting. I have this one pair of shoes that I wear to special events. They’re a Nike collaboration with a designer called Fear of God. Each [sneaker] has their own plastic bag to keep them clean. I also have these Nike Air Forces that are a collaboration with [this year’s NBA All-Star Game in Chicago]. I’m very hyped about them.
What’s the one piece of style advice you’d give your fans?
Tucker: I think I would say it’s the same advice I would give to someone making music: Wear what you love and what you’re most comfortable in that represents you. If you’re doing you and just being comfortable really owning it, then I think it doesn’t really matter what it is. It’s gonna look cool. And if someone doesn’t think so, f–k them.
Sophie: Our first EP, Soft Animals [in 2016], was named after this [poet] Mary Oliver’s quote that says [paraphrasing]: “You don’t have to be good; you just have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” That’s kind of been our guiding principle for everything. Even with fashion, you put something on, and you get confidence and people think you look good. If it doesn’t make the soft animal of your body feel right and it loves with it loves, it’s wrong. You don’t have to look for anyone else. How you feel is ultimately what is translated.
I definitely agree. It’s all about how you carry yourself.
Tucker: I’m very for risks. You may look back on it in a year and think, “What the f–k was I doing?” That’s more fun living life that way in my opinion than wearing boring a– s–t every day.
Sophie: This is all a process. So if you wear something and it surprises you, you find out more who you are.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.