My Favorite Mistake: Steven Tyler
Cutruzzula, Kara, Newsweek
Byline: Steven Tyler
On dressing like a lady.
I've always gotten in trouble for doing what was in my heart. I grew up jumping out of the highest tree and diving off the highest diving board, and every year I climb up a couple more feet to get to the biggest thrill. It has gone from being on roller coasters to being in Aerosmith. Without thinking too much, I just jump.
So I'm very grateful for this favorite mistake: designing clothes with my designer Francine Larnis. All those early clothes in the '70s were her designs and my designs, but that story has never been written.
My style started right in the beginning of the band in 1971 because it was all hippie stuff and I couldn't afford anything. Francine suggested that we go to a fabric store, so I went with her and picked out this fabric and that fabric, and spent like $20 on seven yards of something I could never afford. We didn't have any money at all--we didn't even have money to eat back then. She had a sewing machine, and out of the goodness of her heart, Francine would design clothes for me. When Aerosmith did the next gig, I gave her the money that I made from that.
The clothes you see now started with that girl Francine, by me looking at her and going, Should I do it?, and her going, Why not? Early on, it wasn't Mick Jagger--it was Janis Joplin who was my biggest influence. I always thought that who I am was inspired by Janis. She just was it. I saw her beads and bangles in the '60s when hippies came into play, and I loved it. …