Fashion

Alana, Este, and Danielle Haim of Haim, the Grammy-nominated California-cool girl rock trio, may have the hit song “Summer Girl” under their belt, but make no mistake: the band lives for fall. For the sisters, the season is synonymous with spontaneous drives up the Pacific Coast Highway, Joni Mitchell on repeat, and haunted hay rides. Lucky for us, Haim also sources autumnal inspiration for new music. “We’ve written a lot of our music in fall and winter,” Danielle says. “It feels very creative.”

As the leaves begin to change, and coffee orders change from cold brews to pumpkin spiced lattes, ELLE.com caught up with the Haim sisters via Zoom to talk about their North Face partnership as part of its new brand campaign “It’s More Than A Jacket,” what makes fall the best season for writing music, and why they feel “very open to what the universe is going to bring our way.”

How did your collaboration with The North Face come about?

Este: We’ve been such huge fans of the brand, basically since we were in middle school. There were kids at school that had North Face jackets, and I always thought they looked so cool. When this opportunity came up, we jumped at the chance, because the brand is so classic.

Danielle: I’ve had my North Face jacket since high school. I got it on a trip to San Francisco with my friends at this vintage store. It popped out at me, and I was like, “I need to have this jacket.” It kind of chose me. Ever since that day, it has always been around, because it always needed to be around. The last thing I do before I leave the house is put on my North Face jacket, because I don’t really know what adventures I’m about to go on. It’s bright blue, so you can really pick me out in the crowd and you can always see it in my house, draped over something or on the couch. If you open up my jacket, there are so many passes from going to festivals and tours. It’s had a whole crazy life of its own.

Alana: Our North Face jackets have really saved us on tour. So [the partnership] felt like a perfect fit.

When I think North Face, I think fall weather. Do you have any fall family traditions you’re looking forward to?

Este: Halloween.

Danielle: My sisters took me on a haunted hayride once, but I will never ever do that again in my life. I don’t like being spooked or surprised or scared. It’s not my thing, but my sisters love it.

Este: Love it. I love scary movies. I love Halloween. I love everything about Halloween. I love dressing up. I love getting scared. I love going to the Hollywood Forever cemetery. Give me gory, bloody, scary shit, and I’m there. Danielle, not so much.

Alana: We want to be terrified.

Danielle: Me, no. I’m not doing it.

Alana: Me and Este will probably go to the haunted hayride and Danielle will leave.

Este: I want to go to the Universal Studios Halloween night. All that shit. All the haunted mazes. I don’t know what that says about me, I really have to unpack that.

haim sisters posing in north face

Danielle, Este, and Alana Haim.

Courtesy North Face

How about travel plans?

Danielle: We do a trip up north whenever we can. And by north, I mean San Francisco. A couple of years ago, we went to Seattle to play a show and stayed a couple extra days.

Este: That was so much fun. We went hiking, and we are not hikers, let me tell you. But that was us being adventurous.

Danielle: The Pacific Northwest is such a magical place.

Alana: People don’t believe that we are always together. But when we’re done with this Zoom call, I’m definitely driving over to Danielle’s house, because we’re just constantly together. We love taking spontaneous trips anywhere that we can. Right now it’s hard to travel, but Este’s an incredible driver.

Este: I know, I’m a great driver.

Alana: The amount of times we’ve woken up and been like, “Fuck it, let’s just drive somewhere,” and we’ll go anywhere. We’ll just drive in the car… well, Este will drive. Este is the perfect older sister. She’s spontaneous and down for any kind of adventure. There’s been many times when we’ve spontaneously woken up and gone somewhere. I’m sure there will definitely be a spontaneous Haim road trip this fall.

Este: That’s actually not a bad idea to do a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway.

Alana: Let’s do it. You’ve inspired us now!

What’s your go-to song to play on a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway?

Danielle: I would say “River” by Joni Mitchell.

Alana: I was literally going to says “River” too, Danielle.

Danielle: It’s pretty well documented how much Joni has been such a constant in all of our lives, but “River” to me is… I feel like I can already smell the mist in the air on an early morning, you know what I mean? The leaves changing and it’s all about Christmas. Even though we’re Jewish, I always dreamed we could celebrate Christmas. But yeah, Joni… Joni in general, just her vibes, are very fall. I’m excited for fall. I’m ready.

Which season most inspires your songwriting?

Danielle: Fall. I’m very much getting into the back to school mentality, even though I’m not going to school. We’ve written a lot of our music in fall and winter, because for some reason it feels very creative.

Este: You’ve got to hit the books.

Danielle: I can’t tell if it’s that back to school mentality, but we wrote a lot of our last album in the fall and winter of 2019.

Este: There’s definitely a feeling of once the summer hits, I’m off. No more teachers, no more books. What is the rhyme? No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks. You don’t know that rhyme?

Alana: No.

Danielle: No. [Laughs.]

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Are you guys working on new stuff right now?

Danielle: We’re always trying to write. This last year has been so crazy. We’re starting to settle down and write some new stuff. It’s exciting. It’s a lot of pressure.

You’ve worked with some amazing artists, including Taylor Swift. Do you have a dream collab?

Alana: Chaka Khan.

Danielle: Chaka Khan and André 3000. A girl can dream!

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Alana, congratulations on your Hollywood debut in Licorice Pizza. Is acting something all the Haim sisters are interested in?

Alana: The thing that I love about me and my sisters is that we’re very much up for anything. I’m very lucky to have very supportive sisters who love trying new things and pushing boundaries.

Danielle: The last couple of years has made us be like, “You know what? Just go for it.” It’s made us feel like any kind of thing that we’re interested in, just fully go for it. Jump in. That’s also how we started our third album. It’s been a theme in the last couple of years. Especially [during the pandemic], it made us feel like “Why not?” Just go for it, work hard, and collaborate with different artists. We never had a lot of artists on our own albums, but we love to collaborate. So we asked our friends. We feel so lucky that we can try different things. We’re always learning, and we’re always interested in doing different things that are creative. I think that’s something good that has come out of this really intense couple of years. We feel like very open to what the universe is going to bring our way.

Este: Right now, we’re focused on our tour, which is actually happening. It’s coming. We’re really excited to go on tour next year. We’re going to do a very long, fun, exciting tour.

haim sisters standing in north face jackets

Danielle, Este, and Alana Haim.

Courtesy North Face

Will your North face jackets go on tour with you?

Alana: Of course. We’re really excited to be the road. We had a show the other day in Santa Barbara and that was the first time we played a lot of our songs. It felt like I was awake again. It was like, “Oh my gosh, this is what it felt like. I remember what playing live feels like.”

Este: I miss live shows so much.

Danielle: We started our careers playing anywhere we could. We were playing clubs in L.A. for six years trying to get signed before we did. Such a big part of our lives has been playing live and playing together and rehearsing. We feel so lucky now that we get to do that for a big crowd. Recorded music is amazing and we love it, but I think playing live and having that experience in front of people and sharing that in the moment with a crowd, there’s nothing like it. It’s our favorite part about being in a band.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

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