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Elle Varner Admits to Being Teased for Having No Swag

Elle Varner
John W. Ferguson, Getty Images

R&B newbie Elle Varner is making a big splash on the web with her retro hip-hop-infused video ‘Only Wanna Give It to You.’ The clip has so far amassed over 1 million views on YouTube. Not bad for a girl who used to be a coat-check clerk at the swanky New York club Santos.


One of the most unique aspects of the 22-year-old songbird is her colorful sense of style. Verner cites Rihanna as her fashion muse when it comes to developing her own unique style. “Even if I don’t take from their style I appreciate [them for] being courageous and trying different things,” she explains to The Boombox. “I’m very much inspired by ‘regular’ fashion but taking it up a little step. Like I’m not a big high-fashion person, I’m not a big name person. I just like to find cute stuff that works.”

Despite being such a fashionable singer, Verner admits to having no swag in her teens. “I think people would be surprised to know that I was such a loser growing up [laughs],” she says. “It blows my mind on a daily basis when I see people on Twitter like, ‘Man, she’s got swag.’ And I just crack up.”

“I spent so much time with my dad and he didn’t really know how to dress a girl. He would buy me these sweatsuits … And he was very strict on what I wore to school. I used to come home crying to my mom like, ‘Everybody hates me. They’re so mean.’ They always told me, ‘You can’t dress’ [and] ‘You’re a nerd.’ I think over time I internalized that and it gave me such a drive to prove people wrong and here I am now.”

Look at her now … She’s getting paper.

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