Avril Lavigne shares the story behind her 'Let Go' album cover in new interview

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 23: Avril Lavigne performs during the 2022 When We Were Young Festival at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on October 23, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/FilmMagic)
Avril Lavigne spoke about her "Let Go" album cover with ELLE Magazine. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/FilmMagic) (Tim Mosenfelder via Getty Images)

Avril Lavigne is giving fans a blast from the past.

In an interview with Elle published on Tuesday, the pop-punk singer opened up about her most iconic album cover look, 20 years later.

The interview was part of Elle's series Clothes of Our Lives, which looks at the "sartorial choices made by powerful women, exploring how fashion can be used as a tool for communication."

Although the 38-year-old came onto the scene in the early 2000s, she has remained one of fashion and music's most beloved style icons — which all began with her 2002 debut album "Let Go."

For the cover shot, the Canadian posed on the street with her arms folded in Manhattan's SoHo neighbourhood. She wore a long black cardigan with matching cargo pants and skater shoes, topped off with her signature black eyeliner.

In the past, Lavigne has been vocal about her sense of style and even debuted a signature collection with Killstar. However, the "Complicated" songstress revealed that it was "Let Go" that truly sparked her love for fashion.

"It started everything for me. It connected me with a fan base that has now followed me for 20 years. I wouldn’t change anything about it," she explained. "The album cover was one of my first photoshoots...We were originally shooting inside, but my gut told me to walk outside and explore what the city had to offer."

At the time, Lavigne had recently moved to New York and loved exploring her new neighbourhood. As such, she knew there were "a lot of things to play with on the street" in order to get the perfect backdrop for her album.

As the singer was still "living out of a suitcase," she revealed that everything she wore on the cover was from her existing wardrobe.

"The black sweater was a gift from my co-writer, Lauren Christy...The shoes were those fat Osiris skate shoes. I wore them in high school and brought with me to New York when I left to make my album. The shirt, belt, and pants all were pieces I had that I threw together that morning," she shared.

Lavigne added that the final look was a true representation of her style at the time, which was her just wanting "to be comfortable" and feel like herself.

"I didn’t follow trends, and the only place I shopped at were skate stores in Canada," she said.

When it came to the actual photoshoot, the "Girlfriend" singer revealed that it was very impromptu.

"We really didn’t have a plan for where we were going to shoot that day...The spot on Canal Street just felt right," she explained. "I didn’t have much time to take the picture, because we were shooting on an active street with people going about their everyday lives. I just struck a pose that felt comfortable to me in that moment."

Despite how fast the shot happened, Lavigne was impressed with how well the image fit the vibe of the album.

"We all saw that one and knew it was the one. I will always have a deep love and connection to my debut album," she added.

Two decades later, the Belleville, Ont.-native's style "has changed" to include everything "from tomboy skate to rock glam," which she mixes with high fashion items.

"I still stay true to my skate style, and I like to wear what is comfortable. I love wearing oversized hoodies, Dr. Martens, plaid skirts, and corsets," she shared. "For style inspiration, I have been looking to high fashion and designers like Vivienne Westwood and Versace."

In today's world, Lavigne noted the resurgence of artists taking inspiration from pop-punk, such as Olivia Rodrigo and Willow Smith, who have put their own spin on the style.

"I am so excited about the direction the genre is heading. I love being a part of pop-punk’s past—and also a part of its future," she said.

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