Remember Lady Gaga’s controversial meat dress, worn at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards?
Designer-stylist Nicola Formichetti was the mastermind behind it (along with many of the pop star’s other iconic fashion moments). Prior to being at Diesel, the Italian-Japanese creative revived the French house of Mugler as its artistic director. He’s also introduced his own clothing line, Nicopanda, in collaboration with his brother Andrea Formichetti.
Now, as artistic director for Diesel, the ambitious creative whiz is truly pumping up his game. Ahead, we try to fathom what goes on in that warped yet genius mind...
#1 Did you ever think your career was going to get so progressive and huge?
No, I knew I wanted to do something in fashion but not like this. Opportunities presented themselves to me and I was quick enough to grab them and always learn… And I think I can use all this experience and learn from all my mistakes and put all the knowledge into my work for Diesel.
#2 What's your working relationship like with Renzo Rosso (founder of Diesel’s parent company, OTG Group) and the rest of your team?
Renzo is like my father figure, and the Diesel team is a group of fun-loving people. Working together is really amazing and we all learn from each other. We also share the same passion for breaking the rules.
#3 What sets Diesel apart from other designer jeans makers in the market?
Innovation is the word. We are the first to always push the frontier on denim. It was a revolution with the JoggJeans (a fabric that combines the techniques of denim and jersey) and a huge success. We will continue to launch amazing innovations.
#4 Tell us about your favourite Diesel collection?
I feel that “next season” is always my best collection. It’s about looking to the future and not so much into the recent past.
#5 What are some of your upcoming plans for the brand?
Lots of collaborations coming up this year: We are preparing to launch special projects in Japan and China but I can’t tell you more right now — it’s still a secret!
#6 What’s the best thing about designing ready-to-wear at Diesel?
That I’m designing for global consumer. That’s very exciting because one collection needs to be adaptable for the entire population. It requires us to open our minds and be constantly researching and feeling the vibes of all our different markets from Japan to Columbia, USA to Singapore, Australia to Korea — such a large spectrum of cultures.
#7 What do you think of Lady Gaga’s current stylist, Brandon Maxwell?
He used to be my assistant for long time, and I’m so proud of him! He has made such a great achievement with Gaga and with his own eponymous label, too.
#8 With the fashion cycle speeding up, do you believe in the power of fashion influencers today?
Influencers are like the new magazine editors – it totally makes sense that they are where they are now. It’s about sharing a personal take on fashion and helping the world discover new talents or shed a different light on existing talents.
Read more on Nicola Formichetti in the October 2016 issue of ELLE Singapore!