Priyanka Chopra Jonas, one half of one of Hollywood’s best dressed couples, does not recommend forcing your partner to get dressed up if that’s not their thing. No, not even for Valentine’s Day. Because love isn’t about being beautiful and impeccably dressed together; it’s about truly loving and accepting the other.
“Everyone has a different way of showing love, and I feel like changing the person you love is not the right way of letting yourself feel validated that that person has done something for you,” the actress told ELLE.com in a phone interview this week. “I think it’s very important to let the people you love be themselves, and be absolutely comfortable. And love them for that. So, I think more than being dressed up, and trying to get your boyfriend who probably doesn’t like a suit to wear one, I think more than that, it would be important to spend time with each other and figure out what is it that the two of you would like to do together. What is it that both of you would enjoy together, and that would make for an amazing Valentine’s Day and an amazing life.”
Priyanka just happens to have a husband who likes dressing up. But long before Nick Jonas entered the picture, Priyanka was passionate about fashion, along with humanitarian work. Today, she’s been announced as Crocs’ newest face and star of its Come As You Are campaign. Priyanka and Crocs, a surprise pairing to some, came together in the most philanthropic of ways. Priyanka and the company arranged to donate 50,000 pairs of Croc Classic clogs to children in Belize through UNICEF. (Priyanka has been an UNICEF ambassador for over a decade.)
Here, she talks to ELLE.com about how that humanitarian work changed her, why she loves Crocs, and how her and Nick’s couple dressing actually happens. (Hint: It’s nowhere near as deliberate as it looks.)
How did you get involved with Crocs?
The relationship sort of happened very organically, I have to say. I have been a fan and a user of Crocs for a very, very long time…[and have been] working with UNICEF for a really long time. So, I remember I was doing a UNICEF trip one time, and I saw all of these kids with no shoes or rundown shoes. And I remember saying at that point that I wear Crocs so often, that Crocs would be a better shoe that would last, look good; kids would have comfort.
And that conversation started with Crocs. And we partnered with UNICEF and Crocs, and delivered about 50,000 shoes to kids in need [in Belize]. We decided to come together for this campaign because again the campaign is very organic to me.
Did you get to see the kids’ reactions to receiving the donation?
I saw videos. I wasn’t there, but it was just—you have to see that video made, it’s like just seeing their faces and [that] just made such a difference. It was unbelievable to see how grateful they were. Amazing.
How has working with UNICEF changed the way you look at life?
When you go into the field and see people who are so underserved, and children who have no access to anything—forget a choice in their life, education, the ability to even dream about a future—it just give me as a person living the life that I do, a sense of purpose, that I can use my platform and all the blessings that I have been bestowed upon for good use. And now being with UNICEF for almost like 12, 13 years—more than a decade—it just feels like I have a sense of purpose and everything within that I do. Because I know that eventually, I can be a platform, or an advocate, or a voice for so many people and so many kids specifically around the world, who don’t have the right[s] that they should.
Can you tell me what are your favorite pair of Crocs shoes? I feel like people don’t necessarily see it as the most red carpet brand, but I know they’ve made so many cool shoes lately.
Of course. And that’s understandable. Not every shoe needs to be that. But to me, why Crocs works is I’ve worn Crocs at a ranch with like a silk skirt and a camel t-shirt. And I’ve thought that looked amazing. And so, I wear the sandals; the sandals are super comfortable, really, really stylish. The classic slides obviously, everyone knows about. But, you can do so much fun stuff with it. And it’s such a great everyday shoe. There are slides with fur in them, which are like super comfortable and feels like that it hugs your feet. So, I’m a little bit of a fan.
If you were to wear Crocs like on a red carpet, how would you style them?
If I were to wear Crocs on a red carpet, I would read the Crocs sandal because it has a heel. And I would wear that with a dress that had a slit, so that you can see one side of the leg and it would add length to it. I would probably choose a black pair, and have like a really cool pedicure as well, with the slide, so the leg would look really amazing. I think you made me just make up my own red carpet Crocs from it.
It’d go viral, I’m sure. Have you gotten your husband, Nick, to wear a pair?
Yeah, he’s worn Crocs. He wore them at a holiday [trip] we were recently.
You and Nick are both really stylish people. Are you inspired by his own style when you’re dressing or choosing outfits for yourself?
We have a lot of individuality when it comes to what we decide each on ourselves and, and we are very individualist people as well, in our professions. We come together in our lives in a big way and yes, that is majorly intertwined. So, if I choose an outfit, I guess I’d be like what do you think? And he’d be like what do you think? But we predominantly let each other have a very individual style. So, there’s unity about what we want to wear.