Beyond her undeniable stature as a musician, Siouxsie Sioux was a style icon in her own right, and for our joint Shabba/Siouxsie icon issue we spoke to a broad sweep of folks influenced by the British siren, including Opening Ceremony‘s Humberto Leon. After the jump read the full Q&A with Leon as he reminisces on the first time her heard “Hong Kong Garden” and talks about the immaculate new wave looks he flaunted in the 5th grade.
What did you think of Siouxsie Sioux the first time you heard or saw her?
I was always into new wave music growing up because of my older sisters. I grew up loving everyone from Depeche Mode, Erasure, OMD, Pet Shop Boys, Camouflage, Modern Talking, CC Catch and various other music that match my 5th grade trench coat attire. Siouxsie was introduced to me at this same time period. “Hong Kong Garden” is my first intro to her. It was scratchy track on a mixed CD that had been copied about twenty times recorded off the radio. The first time I saw her was at the first Lollapalooza.
Is there an album or song that sticks out from her discography?
There are so many! “Hong Kong Garden” for sure, “Peek-a-Boo,” “Dear Prudence,” “Thread of Love,” I love the Peel Sessions edition.
Do you play her music in the store?
We play her music all the time, it fits perfectly in our mix.
What was your experience of punk/new wave growing up? What were you wearing?
I would wear dress shirts with those add-on metal tops, bolo ties, baggy black pants, baggy trench coats, white socks, pointy shoes. I only wore pointy dress shoes through 5th and 6th grade and my hair was so high people would say, “catch a wave.”
What is it about the style of Siouxsie Sioux that is so iconic, and why do you think her style continues to be referenced by designers?
It is very classic and very genuine. Her style was signature and not many people can have such a strong signature.
Have you ever designed with her in mind and when?
Not her per se, but definitely her genre. This genre is very meaningful to me because it speaks to a time in life before computers and anything foreign in the suburbs seems to feel really special and discovered.