Jeremy Scott Discusses Design, Music, and Muses
Pop superstars who possess a love for quirky and bold visuals such as Rihanna, Katy Perry and Lil Wayne have all showed their love for the creations by American designer Jeremy Scott. The king of bright colors, humorous prints and sometimes just down right outrageous designs has always managed to make sure his work stands out in just about any crowd. Constantly challenging fashion boundaries and pop culture, Jeremy’s ascent in the fashion stratosphere has been nothing if not remarkable. Here, we find out about the muses of the man.
Life + Times: You obviously receive a lot of love from the music world. How does music inspire your collections?
Jeremy Scott: I do get a lot of love from musicians and I feel blessed about that as many of the people that have been so supportive are also artists that I respect, admire and whose music and art influence me and the culture at large that we live in. It’s a very symbiotic relationship. When I’m working on costumes for Madonna or say Nicki Minaj or Rihanna, I will play their music to evoke their energy around me and like a muse should, their music helps me create and feel their essence. But then with someone like Katy Perry who I know so well and have such a bond with, I don’t even need to play her music because we are so in-sync that it’s second nature to create for her. The artists I dress are muses and friends and ultimately I want to inspire and please them with my designs. I’m not always 100 percent with my visions and daydreams for them, but I feel like I’m always hitting close to target.
L+T: Who would you say your current muses are?
JS: Lana Del Rey is lovely and I want to protect her from the world. She has the effect that I imagine Marilyn Monroe must of had on men. Grimes is someone whose music, personality and beauty has captured my heart and wrapped it around her finger. I feel she is so talented, I even sent Kanye West her music telling him that he needs to work with her. She is the future. Rihanna is like a soulmate and her friendship and love means the world to me. I adore dressing her and creating looks for her tour because she really understands my essence and gets it to the core. The 2NE1 girls are my muses as well. I love their music individually and their way of re-contextualising references and cultures hence rendering them new. I did all their tour costumes for their current world tour just because I simply adore them and I want to see them hit number one on the charts. And from a non-music standpoint. I 100 percent adore [model] Cara Delevingne. She’s so beautiful, so funny, so unique and so genuine and that more than anything wins my heart as I am a very loyal boy. And speaking of boys; I of course have my boy muses. I have had so much support from A$AP Rocky, Lil Wayne and Kanye. I love how each one finds something of themselves in my designs.
L+T: How would you define the signature aesthetic for a Jeremy Scott design?
JS: Crazy. Sexy. Cool.
L+T: Many people say that you need to have a certain confidence to rock a Jeremy Scott design? Would you agree?
JS: I just think that if you wear it then you love it. For me it’s so effortless. I don’t think much about it and that’s the same for most of my friends, so it’s hard for me to imagine that it’s challenging for some people. Too many people live worrying what others will think of them and in effect don’t live. It’s my job to push boundaries, I believe that goes with out saying. And I take my job very seriously.
L+T: Do you ever feel your work is misunderstood?
JS: Yes it has been sometimes. It’s fine as it’s just another view of it and art is open to interpretation. I would hate to box in the viewer and to not let them bring their own feelings, emotions, memories and dreams to the surface when they see my work. But then it has also happened in negative ways, bringing links to subjects I deplore.
L+T: Karl Lagerfeld paid you the ultimate compliment by saying you would be the most suitable successor for Chanel. Is being a creative director for a huge fashion house the ultimate goal?
JS: Well yes that is a great compliment coming from the master himself. Like any red- blooded fashion fan, I love Chanel and that would be a dream job but I hope we have many more years of Karl because I adore him.
L+T: You and Kanye West seem to share a great friendship… When will we finally see you guys working together creatively?
JS: Ah, yes. He’s a real friend, that Kanye. He is so genuine and so passionate and so creative. We have eight hour phone calls talking about everything in the world. When he is in town, he comes to my house as we live down the road from each other and he plays me music and we brainstorm about all kinds of things. We have of course spoken about working together. When the time is right.
L+T: If you could work with one artist on a album project from start to finish. From designing the album cover, to the videos and the tour costumes… who would be the ideal dream?
JS: That’s so hard to say. Wow.
L+T: You have a great partnership with Adidas. Do you have a wish list of other brands you would love to collaborate with?
JS: There are so many great brands that I am into but being American, I would love to collaborate with Levi’s as it is such a iconic American brand and I could imagine reinventing their icons in so many ways.
L+T: Any designers that are inspiring you at the moment? Would you say you are competitive with other designers?
JS: There are many designers who are my friends and who I of course admire but I don’t feel like I have any competition as I have a very singular vision, so no one else is in my line.
L+T: Do you have a career highlight ?
JS: I always cherish my cover of i-D Magazine with Devon as she has been my muse since she was 13 and i-D was the magazine who’s pages I dreamt about. They represented another world of fashion, music and culture, so to get the cover was a childhood dream come true.
L+T: What’s your head space like right now?
JS: Clear as a bell.
L+T: 2012 has been an amazing year for you… What’s to come from Jeremy Scott in 2013 and beyond?
JS: Yes it has been but as the year is coming to a close, I still have one more trick up my sleeve to announce… Stay tuned.
Image: Awol Erizku/Milk Studios