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Rita Ora Takes Toronto
“I haven’t actually tried this on,” Rita Ora says, peeking out of the change room at Toronto boutique Bridge + Bardot as she slips into a pair of mint green 3.1 Phillip Lim overalls she brought for our photo shoot today, which she pairs with a ’90s-inspired Cavalli crop top. “I don’t know if my bum fits in.” Kosovo-born, British-raised Ora, 22, has nothing to worry about—her curves are perfectly showcased by the piece. The singer, and latest protege of Jay-Z, is in Canada promoting her debut album, Ora, an upbeat party soundtrack that skips through dance, pop and ’90s-inspired hip-hop. Ora is true to its buoyant vibe in person, as we learned during an afternoon of shopping in Toronto’s micro-chic Dundas and Ossington neighbourhood, dotted with local, slow-paced coffee joints, key restaurants and curated boutiques. As our entourage blasted rap anthems from an old-school boom box, Ora party-hopped the hood, alighting at vintage boutique Bridge + Bardot, classic-cool bar The Saint Tavern and gallery space Milk Glass Co.—leaving the neighbourhood hipsters grinning ear to ear.
Rihanna, make room. Much like that of her Roc Nation label mate, Rita Ora’s debut album dutifully checks off radio-ready anthems (“How We Do”), stadium slow jams (“Shine Ya Light”) and hip-hop collabs (including “R.I.P.,” which Drake originally wrote for—you guessed it—Riri). With slick work by super-producers Diplo, The Dream and Will.i.am, Ora’s more than just a first record—it’s a big-budget bid for superstardom.