There are the simple, American pleasures — dolls, Saturday cartoons, fast food, Mickey Mouse. And then there’s what Jeremy Scott — trailblazer, rabble-rouser — whips up out of them.
Under his creative direction, the storied fashion house Moschino hasn’t just looked to America’s national icons for entertainment. It has paid tribute to them in cloth and thread; SpongeBob SquarePants embossed onto sweaters, McDonald’s Happy Meals stitched into purses, and even an entire Barbie-themed collection. But the clothes aren’t gimmicks. Madonna is a fan. Scott has dressed Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Miley Cyrus is one of his closest friends. And all over the world, people clamour for Scott’s inimitable blend of kitsch and innovation. This autumn, he’ll give it to them. Scott will launch a unique collaboration with H&M, a chance to deliver his exuberant aesthetic to the masses for the first time. To find out more about the collection, read on.
YOU’RE THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR AT THIS BELOVED LUXURY BRAND, BUT YOU’RE ALSO A MAN OF THE PEOPLE, SOMEONE WHO’S TALKED A LOT ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IT IS THAT FASHION SHOULD BE ACCESSIBLE. WHY DID YOU WANT MOSCHINO TO TAKE ON THIS KIND OF A COLLABORATION?
“The idea came to me in an email. Someone who works with me, but who is also a close friend, gave H&M my email, and I received this note that just said, ‘Are you interested in doing one of our designer collaborations? If so, we’d love to discuss it with you.” I was immediately like, “Yes, let’s talk about it.’ It’s a very prestigious honour, really a huge deal, so I was very flattered and excited.”
“Our teams met and started to get to know each other, and it became clear to me that even though we had our own opinions and visions for our brands, we were very well matched. Everything H&M does, it just aligns with me. I am ‘the people’s designer’, after all. That’s a title that’s been bestowed on me; I think because I believe in the democratisation of fashion, and I’ve found many different ways to reach people.”
“It should feel a little like a greatest hits collection, but I promise it will still be new, still feel fresh…”
“For over a decade, I collaborated with Adidas to make pieces that were affordable and accessible all over the world. I carried those sensibilities to Moschino, with items like phone cases or small leather goods that are more affordable. But I want to reach an even more international audience at a reasonable price. With H&M, Moschino can be all over the world. It’s a thrill for me. And not only for me, but also for fans of the brand. I’m so conscious of the fans. They are so passionate. They are so creative and brilliant. I just want to meet their enthusiasm. That’s what this is about.”
YOU INVOKE THESE ICONIC CULTURAL REFERENCES IN YOUR COLLECTIONS, BUT SOMEHOW THEY NEVER FEEL TIRED OR DATED. HOW DO YOU USE THOSE CHARACTERS AND IDEAS, BUT MAKE SURE THE CLOTHES FEEL FRESH?
“I think there’s a lot of beauty in the past, and there’s something very romantic about it. I love to use that in the clothes. It’s not just about trends or a particular decade. It’s about memories. How did I feel when I got dressed up? What music did we have on? What does it feel like to put on these fabulous clothes and go out and be so fierce and bold? How people feel, the emotions behind clothes are important. That’s what I try to convey in my shows and in my work.”
YOUR COLLECTIONS ARE COLOURFUL, AVANT GARDE, AND FUN, WHICH FEELS VERY TRUE TO WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO WEAR NOW, EVEN THOUGH THE MOOD IN THE WORLD HAS BEEN A LITTLE DARK. DO YOU THINK PEOPLE CRAVE THAT ESCAPE FROM FASHION NOW?
“In this era, there’s so much that is very serious and sad and painful. We have to deal with all that, and that’s important. But I really want fashion to be a reprieve from that. I want to be a bright light in the midst of so much darkness; people need a moment, a break from it. If I can give people a little escape with fashion, even if it’s for a minute when someone scrolls through Instagram, I’ll take it. That’s what I want to give.”
SINCE WE’RE ON THE TOPIC, SOCIAL MEDIA: LOVE IT OR HATE IT?
“For me, fashion is about communication. It’s how I communicate with the world and share what’s on my mind, so social media makes a lot of sense. And I think fans connect with it, because it’s genuine. What inspires me, what puts a smile on my face — I share that stuff because it’s real.”
“I think Instagram was made for fashion, because it’s so much about individualism and colour and shape. It’s a really creative medium. It’s a tool of communication and aspiration, and so I try to use it to share a little bit of my work and a little bit of my world, but not too much. It’s a give and take. Maybe I give a little bit of this, and I hold back a little bit of that. Maybe I post some shots from the studio and then maybe I post some fan art. It’s a little peek inside my mind, what I’m looking at and what I love.”
YOU’VE DRESSED THE LIKES OF KATY PERRY AND MILEY CYRUS. DO THE WOMEN WHO LOVE YOUR CLOTHES HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON?
“Inspiration, that’s what attracted me to them. These women inspire me because they’re real and they’re smart and they have a point of view. I’ve loved Miley since she was on Hannah Montana. I was just drawn to her spark. I saw those movies at the cinema as an adult. When she was old enough to want to wear my clothes, I was honoured. And then we met, and I discovered this incredible friend. She’s become someone that I don’t just love, but look up to. She’s just a great person. Plus, I love her voice. I’m in awe of her talent. It’s just a thrill to collaborate with her, to dress her, to be around her. She and Katy [Perry] and so many of these women send this powerful message, I think. It’s like, don’t try to erase your past; just keep moving forward. Who you once were and who you are now can coexist, even if those people look very different. Be multifaceted. Be complicated. That’s what makes someone beautiful.”
“I’ve been so fortunate to work with these empowered women, and I feel lucky to inspire them and to create clothes that bring their vision into the world.”
WE KNOW YOUR LIPS ARE (MOSTLY) SEALED. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE COLLECTION?
“What I can promise is that, of course, there will be fun and colour and cartoons. Of course, we have to have cartoons! Like all my collections, it’s humour meets haute couture meets the street. That’s been a hallmark of my work for Moschino, and I want to continue to explore that with this collection. For fans of the brand, it should feel a little like a greatest hits collection, but I promise it will still be new, still feel fresh, even as we include some winks, some hints from the past.”
WHO’S YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER FOR THIS COLLECTION?
“Who do I want to see in the collection? Everybody. I want to see all the cool kids that want to wear my clothes, but can’t afford them. I want to see it in Japan, in South Africa. When I met Trevor Noah, whom I’m a huge fan of, he said, ‘Are you the real Jeremy Scott, with the winged shoes?”’ I was like, ‘Trevor! Don’t do this to me. I love you.’ He told me about how people in South Africa really wanted them. With this collection, we’ll be in South Africa. I want people to go out and dance in the collection, have fun, meet the loves of their lives, feel on top of the world, take a million selfies, and keep them forever. I want people to make memories now and then to find them in 2028 or 2038 and put them on again and be like, ‘Oh, this is so great. It’s so 2018!'”
The collection will be available online and in selected stores worldwide from 8 November.
…FAVOURITE CARTOON CHARACTER: “M-i-c-k-e-y M-o-u-s-e. He’s the most iconic. He’s done it all, moments and moods and looks. He’s been all over the world. You see that icon, those ears and you know. It’s Mickey.”
…MOVIE ON REPEAT: “Hannah Montana”.
…FAVOURITE SNACK: “Annie’s Organic Cheddar Snack Mix. I can just devour that.”
…CURRENT CELEBRITY CRUSHES: “Trevor Noah, Cardi B, Amy Schumer.”