French couturier Manfred Thierry Mugler has long been celebrated for his creations that are dramatic in every sense of the word. By dressing supermodels and actors likes Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, and Demi Moore, Mugler has created some of the world’s most iconic sartorial moments. Although, what shines through Mugler’s 40-year career is his work with American entrepreneur and reality TV queen Kim Kardashian West. As a fan of the couturier, Kardashian West never misses a chance to revisit the Mugler archives for internet-breaking pieces. One of them was the star’s infamous “wet dress” for the Met Gala 2019, which took more than eight months to make and was the designer’s first creation for the House of Mugler in 20 years.
Starring on the cover of Vogue Arabia’s September 2019 issue, Kardashian West stands tall in Mugler’s vintage archive pieces, with the designer himself leading the art direction. We caught up with Mugler to hear his thoughts on the world-exclusive production.
How did you start collaborating with Kim Kardashian West?
Kim contacted me when she heard that the Met’s new exhibition would be about camp. She really wanted me to think about her look for that special night and we ended up doing two amazing couture/concept dresses. My first ones in 20 years!
How was the experience of working with Vogue Arabia and Kim Kardashian West on this project and why did you decide to take part?
I love working with Kim. She is so cool and brilliant. I am interested in every “tool” to bring beauty to the world. When Vogue Arabia proposed me to take part, I was really thrilled to have the opportunity to portray Kim in a new vision. It has been great teamwork and I am honored everyone got into my world to make it happen! I appreciate the excellent work of this young magazine (Vogue Arabia). I’ve always been inspired by Arabia.
What did you want to visually achieve with this shoot?
I guess people have a pretty narrow vision of what Kim is. In my mind, there are endless possibilities with her, and I wanted to portray her in a more edgy way, in a bit of a surrealistic outdoor couture mood mixed with an antique hint.
In what way is the essence of your style reflected in the pictures?
The pictures are strong, surprising, and true, and empower Kim. They reveal a deeper and more elegant facet of her. All those are my Mugler signatures.
What is your favorite shot of the story?
The white fringe dress with the hat. It’s strong, beautiful, and mysterious. I love the columns: these visuals link modernity and antiquity. I always thought of Kim as an iconic goddess.