A LOT CAN happen in a couple of years. Just ask Tate McRae, who went from a high school student uploading videos of herself to YouTube to full-fledged recording star, with songs like the multi-platinum smash “You Broke Me First” and the new single “10:35” with Tiesto.
Now, the double threat (McRae was also famously on So You Think You Can Dance), is adding fashion muse to her list of credits, with a new campaign with MCM.
A partnership between the German luxury fashion house, McRae and Sony Music Entertainment’s FILTR music platform, the campaign finds the singer performing stripped-down versions of her hit songs, “She’s All I Wanna Be” and “Uh Oh,” while showing off some of the latest looks from MCM’s spring/summer 2023 collection.
For McRae, landing an MCM campaign as her first foray into the fashion world was almost serendipitous. “I’m a huge fan of MCM,” she told Rolling Stone, at a private party held inside the brand’s Rodeo Drive boutique last week. “My first bag that I ever got was an MCM bag, and I still wear it to this day. I got it for Christmas, and it’s the one object I own that I know I’ll keep forever.”
McRae says the chance to sing and perform her own songs for the campaign made it a no-brainer to partner with MCM. Though the brand is best-known for their monogrammed apparel and accessories, MCM’s roots trace back to the company’s founding in 1976, during the height of Germany’s discotheque and rock era.
“The exciting part about this being my first real big campaign is that I was able to be a singer, doing what I love to do,” McRae says. “This just feels so organic and authentic to me.”
McRae worked with MCM to come up with the creative concepts behind the videos and helped select the outfits in the accompanying campaign photos. “Like MCM, I’m very feminine in my fashion but I also like tomboy touches,” she explains, of her favorite pieces in the collection. “And I feel like that’s what it’s all about for MCM — it can be for anyone.”
McRae says that while singing and dancing are her biggest passions, she’s enjoyed learning more about the fashion industry and how to develop her personal style.
“Honestly, I’ve never really been into shopping or anything about my looks,” she admits. “And as a dancer, all I wanted to do was just cover my body up and wear big, baggy, crazy clothes.”
“But then as I started to get older, I was like, ‘The only thing that makes me feel cool and makes me feel myself is if I’m dressed the right way,” she says. “And honestly, the last two years is where I’ve definitely developed a whole self-image and sense of personal style,” she explains. “[Now], I want to show myself off and walk into a room feeling confident and show that feminine side to me. Because if I’m not comfortable or if I don’t feel sexy in it, then I’m not going to perform my best and feel my best.”
The past couple of years haven’t just been about finding her sense of style — McRae says she’s also been documenting all the changes in her life for her upcoming album. In addition to graduating high school, the 19-year-old recently moved out of her parents’ house in Canada and into her own place in LA. Calling it a “whole mindset change,” the singer says she has no shortage of inspiration to write about.
“I was doing [The Tonight Show With] Jimmy Fallon while I was still living at home when I was still in grade 11,” she says, “but moving to LA it was like, ‘Okay, this is all on me now;’ the pressure’s all on me. I’ve gone through so many different identity crises just figuring out who I am, who I want to be friends with and what I want to do [and] I feel like I’ve never really stopped and been like, ‘Okay, what do I want to say and what kind of impact do I want to leave?’
“So I’ve been in the studio over the last month, and really taking the time to find a body of work that I’m truly obsessed with,” she explains, “and figuring out exactly what I want to say and the message behind the whole album.”
Though McRae is still working on finding that message, she guarantees it’ll be a Tate McRae you haven’t seen — or heard from — before: “I feel like my perception of life has evolved so much in the last year.”