CL—arguably one of the fiercest girls to come out of Seoul—is the leader of the mega K-pop sensation, 2NE1. The four-member band consisting of CL, Dara, Minzy, and Bom, first established themselves as a global act after winning MTV Iggy’s Best New Band in the World contest in 2011, voted on bởi fans.

Their music—a motley mix of electronic, hip-hop, pop, and R&B—has since found những người hâm mộ in artists like Will.I.Am, who recently took the girls under his wing. The hip-hop mogul went along to produce a few tracks for them, which was documented in an Intel campaign.

The fashion world has taken notice as well, namely, Jeremy Scott who sees the members of 2NE1 as his muses and dedicated a shoe style to the group.
Scott even designed the group’s ensembles for their first worldwide tour last summer, with some of the styles trickling into his Fall 2013 collection’s runway. The group also recently filmed a commercial for Adidas Originals with Nicki Minaj and Sky Ferreira, which whipped the online community into a frenzy.

CL—on a small vacation stateside—was front row at Scott’s show, sitting tiếp theo to other downtown cool girls like Natalia Kills, Kat Graham, and rapper A$AP Rocky. A couple of days later, she had a bức ảnh shoot with Terry Richardson. Here, she takes a moment with ELLE.com to share what she’s learned about becoming the world’s tiếp theo hàng đầu, đầu trang pop star.

ELLE: Who is CL?
CL: I have an alter ego between CL and Chaerin. I can be the baddest female onstage. As CL I want it to be that way. When it comes to just me, when I’m bởi myself with my family with my best friends, I don’t want to be CL. They know me so well that I can’t be CL. But I want to keep it that way, bạn know? Like Beyoncé and her alter ego Sasha Fierce.

ELLE: What’s your relationship like with Jeremy Scott?
CL: He’s my best friend. He’s like my big brother. He looks out for me. We met each other when he saw the “Fire” video [2NE1’s first single] and flew all the way to Korea to see me. It was actually for a bức ảnh shoot for Adidas. He didn’t have to come but he did. bạn know when bạn meet someone and bạn can connect, that click, we had that.

ELLE: bạn have an empowering song called “Ugly,” about not feeling beautiful. Where did that stem from?
CL: It kinda came from me. I was talking to him in the studio. And no one here understands, but they do back in Korea. bạn know how Koreans are thêm strict and people from around the world think that being different is wrong. I don’t understand, you’re unique. I tình yêu being myself and tình yêu people that are themselves and just, bạn know, “I’m doing me” type of people. I have respect for those people and tình yêu for those people but some people don’t understand that. So for me, I’m seen in public so I’m attacked a lot. I was feeling down one ngày and talking to him. I was like, "You know, maybe I am ugly to those people." So we talked on and on and he wrote that song.

ELLE: In Korea, lots of people get plastic surgery. Do bạn ever feel pressured to get work done as well—especially as a star?
CL: bạn know? YG [2NE1’s record label] told me to. They told me to get plastic surgery before my debut. I stood up for myself and đã đưa ý kiến "No, I’m not doing it." Like I đã đưa ý kiến before, I tình yêu CL, but I still want to be Chaerin. And if I felt like I had to change I would. But I tình yêu the natural way I look. I đã đưa ý kiến no and I’m not planning to.

ELLE: Tell me about the high fashion brands bạn wear. One video has bạn guys wearing all Balmain hoặc all Givenchy, plus vintage Alexander McQueen hoặc even young designers like Mary Katranzou and also Gareth Pugh. How did this come about?
CL: We just tình yêu shopping. I don’t look at the brand, I don’t look at the most pricey outfit. Even if it’s a dollar, I don’t care. That’s why I didn’t really know what I was wearing today because I don’t care. If it looks good it doesn’t matter.

ELLE: Your latest video, “I tình yêu You” was a little thêm mature and looked very Versace-esque.
CL: Exactly. That’s what I was going for. Last năm I was collecting vintage Versace and Chanel, the big medallions. And bạn know, right now everyone is going for that, it’s funny. I started collecting it two years cách đây but they didn’t have any. Now they’re putting it out so much it’s easy to get. bạn know those vintage scarves, the vintage Versace scarves? I was wearing them all the time. I told my stylist "Let’s go for it." In the video for "I tình yêu You" we tried something different as 2NE1. We’re thêm electro-hip-hop. I was like, "We should do something different." There wasn’t an album coming out but we wanted to drop a single for our những người hâm mộ and 2NE1’s career. We went for a very sexy, mature—you got it!—Versace. bạn get my point.

ELLE: Who is your yêu thích designer?
CL: Am I allowed to say Jeremy Scott? Because people will always say anyone other than Jeremy Scott because he’s my friend. I tình yêu Chanel. Everything about her was personal. All of those lions she made, she handmade them. Red and green, they were her yêu thích colors. She kept it personal and real and she was a woman. Everyone loves her. I really like Chrome Hearts, too. I know their family and designers.

ELLE: And Fashion icons?
CL: I tình yêu Grace Jones. She’s everything. I don’t know, There are so many that I don’t want to shout out names. Aaliyah. I’m into '90’s fashion right now. Like wearing those big pants and small tops. I’m really into that right now.

ELLE: Any plans for a 2NE1 album stateside?
CL: Not yet. But we want to do a couple of thêm songs in English. It’s amazing how they can connect to it when it’s in Korean. It’s amazing when you’re onstage and these people are hát in Korean. But in order to do this and understand the lyrics and get into the song I want to make a couple thêm English songs.

ELLE: bạn have such a big gay following. Do bạn know about that?
CL: Actually yeah. And đồng tính nữ too. And drag queens. I tình yêu them! I have so many gay Những người bạn and I tình yêu them so much because they’re fun. bạn know, I can’t be Những người bạn with guys. bạn can girl talk with them. They’re so special and so talented. And they’re so fast with stuff. I can’t ask “do I look good” to my girlfriends but I will ask my gay Những người bạn because they will be honest. They’ll be like, “no girl.” I can’t do that to girls hoặc guys, they won’t be honest. I tình yêu them because of that.