Avril Lavigne sings in Beijing during the Pinggu Peach Blossom Music Festival. Zhu Hongyu / For China Daily
While singing What the Hell at the Pinggu Peach Blossom Music Festival in Beijing in late April, Avril Lavigne took off her leather jacket, shouted, "Who wants my jacket there?" and threw it into her screaming fans.
By "my jacket" Lavigne actually meant a jacket created by her.
The 27-year-old rock star is determined to make a big buzz in the fashion industry.
In 2011 and 2012, Lavigne will join hands with Italian sportswear label Lotto to launch the Avril x Lotto Collection across the Chinese mainland.
China's post-80s generation received their first exposure to Western pop music and culture through Lavigne, along with Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears, in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Unlike Aguilera and Spears though, Lavigne wrote her own music, sang rock, and never attracted gossip.
Her trademark style was clearly evident at her press meeting where she turned up with hair partly dyed green, in a bright-pink hoodie with an oversized cap, black fishnet stockings and a pair of leather boots.
"They are all my creations. There is even my name on the jacket," Lavigne said.
In keeping with the rock look, motorbike jackets and T-shirts with designs of skeletons, rivets and stars dominate her collection. But Lavigne is less restricted when it comes to colors, experimenting with bright pink, light yellow and fluorescent green.
"'Sweet Rock' is my style. The message (of the collection), as always, is have fun, believe in yourself and be yourself," Lavigne says.
While some pieces of her Avril x Lotto collection - clothing, shoes and accessories for men and women - have already been released, more will be out in July and October.
One of her favorite pieces in the collection is a beautiful drape dress that she wore while shooting an ad for Lotto in the United States.
"(It has) an asymmetrical design and a sexy leopard pattern. Its cool skeleton and metal rivets form a striking contrast and leave much room for innovation," she says.
The new collection's style is like that of Abbey Dawn, a label launched and designed by Lavigne in 2008.
In 2009, she released her first fragrance, Black Star, featuring notes of pink hibiscus, black plum and black chocolate.
But they were only available in Europe, Canada and the US, much to disappointment of her Chinese fans.
Avril x Lotto's launch was held in Beijing's Image Base, a spacious venue developed from an old factory, "the best place to rock 'n' roll".
"What is enticing about fashion is it is a path to reality, freshness, fun and expression," Lavigne says, sitting backstage, with her fans screaming her name outside.
The performer-turned-designer says she is mulling over plans to hold her first show in Beijing shortly, as part of her Black Star world tour, which has begin in China.
"Every time I played a concert in China, it was so much fun. People are so passionate about my music, so I guess they will also be interested in a style that goes with this rock music."
When a reporter asks, "For many of your Chinese fans, you are a bit rebellious. Is that the way you treat your boyfriend?", Lavigne bursts out laughing.
Few Chinese know that she is already married.
"Sure," Lavigne answers without explaining. She pauses, and then adds: "I am a free spirit, and I have fun in my life - first music, and now, fashion."
(China Daily 05/07/2011 page11)