As Vogue.me reviews the year of 2017 in fashion’s fast lane, we recount the impactful interview with Moschino’s Jeremy Scott as the brand unveiled its fresh boutique in The Dubai Mall for Fall. Read on to hit refresh on your fashion IQ and to decode how the Italian house stays at the zeitgeist in the Middle East and beyond.
Jeremy Scott’s OOTD – outfit of the day – is typically urban with a dollop of provocation. His black hoodie is printed with his own picture alongside that of model Devon Aoki, his leather biker pants are comfortably beat up, while George Cox shoes are stark white and pointy. Gesturing to his sweatshirt, Scott shares with a hint of nostalgia, “Devon is my longest and most cherished muse. This is a piece from my new capsule collection to commemorate my 20th anniversary this year.” Indeed, over the past two decades, the 42-year-old American designer, who hails from a farm in Midwest Missouri, has made Sponge Bob-esque leaps and bounds into the hearts and wardrobes of millennials and more with his eponymous brand. However, it is when he was appointed creative director of Italian house Moschino in 2011 that his notoriety skyrocketed.
The house was founded in 1983 by Franco Moschino and instantly made satire its signature. Picture designs like a matador jacket labeled “Bull Chic” and clothes embroidered with quotes reading, “This is a Waist of Money.” When the irreverent designer passed in 1994, at only 44, Moschino went into an almost 20-year slumber until Jeremy Scott, the man who put wings on Adidas sneakers, was asked to take the helm in 2013. In a few short years he propelled Moschino to its original standing and beyond and has built an impassioned following, including Madonna, Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Miley Cyrus, along with new model Kaia Gerber.
“I think I have a way of showing things that people are familiar with but in an unfamiliar and unexpected way,” says Scott, who made his Moschino debut with McDonald’s logo-print dresses before unveiling a saccharine pink collection made for today’s Barbie girls (and snapped up by socialite Paris Hilton). Recently, he showcased cardboard couture complete with shipping tape and bubble-wrap dresses for Moschino Fall 2017. Why is he the only kid on the block with such tongue-in-cheek gusto? “I don’t know, but all I can say is that they are missing out!” he laughs. The collection will fill the new Moschino boutique in The Dubai Mall, designed by Scott like a blank canvas to be outfitted to the guise of each season. The 180 sqm space, the second Moschino UAE store following Abu Dhabi, is featured in the luxury wing and is designed with chrome and stone displays, and hanging detachable units and light installations ready to be adapted to the designer’s whim.
Ask Scott from where the foundation of his off-the-grid ideas stems and he references the 1982 sci-fi film Blade Runner. “It’s the mix of future and past, modern and ancient, and the realization that we mix all of these moments together at the same time. It created a visual language for me, inspired by the juxtaposition of diverse origins.” Just don’t expect Scott to get too caught up in yesteryear. “I spent some time looking back while preparing for my 20-year Jeremy Scott collection. Memory lane is a nice place for a short visit, but it’s not a place to live.” The book Maybe The Moon by Armistead Maupin also impacted him: “It made me realize that feeling or longing to belong and fit in is universal and to never judge a book by its cover.” Scott’s rise to the top and, particularly, his search for a family of like-minded souls, with which he surrounds himself in his adopted home of Los Angeles, has not been evident or easy. In his Netflix documentary Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer (2015), he is often strolling through his hometown grassy farm, surrounded by cows, reflecting on his difficult youth, miserable high school years, and how he slept on a floor in Paris in an effort to “make it” in fashion. “I look back at the past with affection, but never with the longing to revisit it. I am so very happy with who I am today and where I am going.”
It is no stretch to say that fashion design saved Scott’s life, and in return, he breathed new life into Moschino. At the Milan headquarters, Scott sits at a vintage glass and gold leaf table, sliced in half – a recreation of a design of Moschino’s founder. Of the late Italian designer, Scott reflects, “I’d like to think that Franco feels vindicated about the way I’ve brought the brand back to the mainstream fashion and cultural conversation – and, of course, I’d love to hear him say that there is no better person to have continued in his name than I.”
Mad for Moschino is originally published in the October 2018 issue of Vogue Arabia.