You have declined going on any of the VH1 Divas specials. Why?
Oh no, it would have been incredibly inappropriate. When I called my [first solo] album Diva, it was ironic and self-deprecating. It wasn’t that I thought I was a diva—that would be far too straightforward. To put me alongside Whitney Houston and Aretha—those wonderful divas—[is wrong]. I am not a diva in that strictly diva sense.
Since you are so hands-on with your image, does the notion of having a stylist turn you off?
As a poorer, younger person, I was the stylist. I responded to things that I saw and said, “Yes, that’s it!” I still abhor anyone telling me who I am. By and large, when stylists come to me, it doesn’t really work. I have to guide it because they don’t know me and they don’t know where I am coming from.
Eurythmics has pushed the envelope in pop music for years. Which designers do the same thing in fashion?
I don’t know because I don’t follow fashion. I am kind of informed in my own way, but I am not obsessed with it. I have been given all the offers that you can imagine. Quite a few fashion houses have approached me over the years to be their muse, but I never wanted to take that. I don’t want to represent any particular house or label. Part of me was, like, “Oh, I’d love to,” [but, in the end,] I am not a puppet for the fashion industry—I never was and I never will be. I want my independence. I want my freedom to go against even what I might say from today to tomorrow.