One might imagine that having the world’s biggest pop star for an older sister is either the coolest thing on earth or a kind of Jan Bradyish nightmare. In the case of 19-year-old Natali Germanotta, being kid sister to Lady Gaga is almost always a very cool thing. “I was in high school back when she was playing places like the Knitting Factory,” says Germanotta. “I remember me and my dad helping her pack up her stuff and walk down flights of stairs carrying her big electric piano. It might get annoying sometimes, but the pride I feel for her really outweighs all that stuff.” Germanotta might not be following in her sister’s musical footsteps, but the two definitely share one abiding passion—fashion. Now in her second year at Parsons, the native New Yorker is cultivating her own aesthetic, which doesn’t include meat dresses or latex space-egg loungewear. “I would like to make things that are extremely affordable,” she says. “I also want the process and production of the clothes to involve recycling. I’d like to have a store where people can buy things but also rent specific pieces if they can’t afford to purchase them.” As for what this collection would look like, Germanotta is quick to acknowledge her pet lizard as a constant source of inspiration. “His name is Phinneas. He sits on my shoulder while I do my homework.”
Photo: Natali Germanotta in New York, October 2011. Shirt: Zadig & Voltaire. Overalls: G-Star Raw.