NI­COLA FORMICHETTI

IF THERE’S ANY­THING THAT THIS ITAL­IAN-JA­PANESE IS KNOWN FOR, IT’S HIS OVER-THE-TOP FASH­ION STYLING. HIS STATURE AS DIESEL’S ARTIS­TIC DI­REC­TOR TO­DAY SEEMS A FAR CRY FROM HIS DAYS WORK­ING WITH LADY GAGA, AS HE RAVES ABOUT A NEW­FOUND LOVE: DENIM

DA MAN - Style - - Contents -

His stature as Diesel’s artis­tic di­rec­tor to­day seems a far cry from his days work­ing with the one and only Lady Gaga, as this cool kid raves about his new­found love: denim

Where does one be­gin when in­tro­duc­ing Ni­cola Formichetti? He is an artist, stylist, cre­ator, mu­si­cian, so­cial me­dia celebrity and much, much more. He is a con­stant force that stays hun­gry and edgy—in fash­ion and mu­sic, on In­sta­gram and Snapchat, in Tokyo, Mi­lan, New York, etc. More im­por­tantly, he re­mains un­pre­dictably sharp in his ev­ery move. Per­haps, it’s his up­bring­ing that en­gen­ders such a rich per­son­al­ity and di­verse tal­ents.

Born in Tokyo to a Ja­panese ste­wardess and an Ital­ian pi­lot, Formichetti grew up in Rome and spent time liv­ing in Lon­don and New York. He is the epit­ome of a world cit­i­zen, one whose child­hood and ado­les­cent years are col­ored by di­verse cul­tures and lan­guages. While study­ing ar­chi­tec­ture in the cap­i­tal of the U.K., he dove right into the club scene in­stead. He then took up a post at a well-known re­tailer, which even­tu­ally chanced him a meet­ing with vet­eran stylist Katy Eng­land. That’s when he caught the fash­ion styling bug for the first time.

Sev­eral years down the road, fol­low­ing a promis­ing ca­reer in two ma­jor fash­ion mag­a­zine ti­tles, Formichetti met his soon-to-be big­gest col­lab­o­ra­tor, Lady Gaga, dur­ing a photo shoot in 2009. The Haus of Gaga team and he were the ones be­hind the most con­tro­ver­sial and out­ra­geous out­fits of mu­sic’s en­fant

ter­ri­ble. From the provoca­tive cos­tumes in the mu­sic video for “Bad Ro­mance” to the iconic “meat dress,” each ap­pear­ance car­ried the un­mis­tak­able sig­na­tures of this fash­ion ge­nius.

It didn’t take long for ma­jor lux­ury houses to take no­tice. His move to take the helm of Mu­gler—which he boldly re­named from Thierry Mu­gler—in 2011 seemed like a fate­ful de­ci­sion, although in that same year Formichetti and his brother Andrea de­buted their own la­bel called Ni­co­panda. It took another two years for him to leave Mu­gler and take up the post of fash­ion di­rec­tor at Uniqlo, fol­lowed by a few more months be­fore he stepped up as Diesel’s artis­tic di­rec­tor, a po­si­tion he still holds to this very day.

Formichetti’s au­dac­ity and wit quickly re­formed the vet­eran denim brand. He led the #Diesel “re­boot” two years ago, which proved to be a suc­cess­ful cam­paign, piquing the cu­rios­ity of just about ev­ery­one. The 39-year- old topped that feat with this year’s clever on­line ad­ver­tis­ing ideas that, in sum­mary, tack­les these shock­ing top­ics: porn, sex, gen­der and Likes. Diesel even be­came the first ma­jor la­bel to ad­ver­tise in no­to­ri­ous porn sites. Well, be­fore you go on­line to check out more on that, read on to find out what the un­stop­pable Formichetti is plan­ning next.

DA MAN: Diesel to­day has a num­ber of cloth­ing lines and life­style prod­ucts. So what does the po­si­tion of artis­tic di­rec­tor ac­tu­ally en­tail?

Ni­cola Formichetti: I have to overview ev­ery­thing re­lated to Diesel cloth­ing and denim lines, [while] Diesel’s li­cences are headed by the tal­ented Andrea Rosso. On my side, it en­tails overview­ing ev­ery­thing from mar­ket­ing to de­sign, from graph­ics to me­dia strat­egy; it’s re­ally a great op­por­tu­nity for me to use all the ex­pe­ri­ence I have gained over the years in the dif­fer­ent jobs I’ve held so far.

“MY GOAL IS TO MAKE DIESEL THE COOLEST OF THE BIG­GEST BRANDS ON THE PLANET! WE ARE ABOUT TO LAUNCH A BIG EVENT TO CEL­E­BRATE 30 YEARS OF DIESEL IN JA­PAN”

DA: Two years ago you had Diesel “re­booted” and wanted to make the brand much more per­sonal. How is Diesel now?

NF: Diesel is great! My goal is to make Diesel the coolest of the big­gest brands on the planet! We have up­dated the col­lec­tions and re­leased amaz­ing ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paigns, and now we have re­cently launched a big event to cel­e­brate 30 years of Diesel in Ja­pan this year.

DA: Back then Diesel was very much known for its dis­tressed jeans and re­bel­lious at­ti­tude. In your own view, what’s Diesel’s sig­na­ture to­day?

NF: Denim is def­i­nitely what we are still known for and where we are the best, be­cause we al­ways push the bound­aries of denim in­no­va­tion, like with Jogg Jeans, which is a global suc­cess.

DA: As many de­sign­ers are de­part­ing from this par­tic­u­lar trend, what’s your take on skinny jeans?

NF: I think trends are very over­rated. At Diesel, we de­sign for peo­ple to re­ally be who they are. It’s not about fol­low­ing trends; it’s about be­ing your­self and feel­ing good about it.

DA: A very hot topic in the in­dus­try is the “see now, buy now” ap­proach. Will Diesel, or per­haps specif­i­cally Diesel Black Gold, take this route?

NF: We are now go­ing to do a big fash­ion show in Tokyo in Septem­ber with our fall/win­ter ’16/’17

col­lec­tion, and you will be able to buy the pieces you see on the cat­walk im­me­di­ately in store and on­line.

DA: On a per­sonal level, what made you de­cide to join Diesel in the first place?

NF: I have al­ways ad­mired Diesel, and I have a huge ad­mi­ra­tion for Renzo Rosso. We are very sim­i­lar in the way we like to push bound­aries and break the rules, so the de­ci­sion was pretty easy to make.

DA: Most peo­ple know you from your work with Lady Gaga. Did you have to com­pro­mise your per­sonal style when you moved to Diesel?

NF: Those are two com­pletely dif­fer­ent mis­sions. With Lady Gaga, it was all about stage and cos­tume. With Diesel, it’s about propos­ing amaz­ing col­lec­tions that can be worn by so many dif­fer­ent peo­ple all around the word—this is very ex­cit­ing.

DA: You’re now col­lab­o­rat­ing with rap­per Brooke Candy. How did the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­gin?

NF: Brooke Candy is amaz­ing. She per­formed at our big Diesel show in Venice in 2014, and I have worked with her on her videos. Her new al­bum is com­ing out very soon, and it’s go­ing to be a hit. Stay tuned and watch out for her!

DA: In terms of fash­ion and styling, who in­spired you the most? And whom do you look up to when seek­ing for fash­ion-re­lated ad­vice?

NF: When I started styling, it was for Dazed [mag­a­zine], be­cause stylist Katy Eng­land gave me the

“I THINK TRENDS ARE VERY OVER­RATED. WE DE­SIGN FOR PEO­PLE TO RE­ALLY BE WHO THEY ARE. IT’S ABOUT BE­ING YOUR­SELF AND FEEL­ING GOOD ABOUT IT”

op­por­tu­nity. She was the one giv­ing me ad­vice and di­rec­tions, and I still look up to her.

DA: You over­see more than one big fash­ion brand; you’re in­volved in ma­jor pub­li­ca­tions; and you have your own brand. What’s next for you?

NF: There are a lot more things I can do, but for now I am fully ded­i­cated to Diesel and the projects I’m in­volved, so I don’t re­ally think about what’s next, I’m more of the now!

“WE HAVE RE­CENTLY DONE A BIG FASH­ION SHOW IN TOKYO IN SEPTEM­BER WITH OUR FALL/ WIN­TER COL­LEC­TION, AND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO BUY THE PIECES YOU SEE ON THE CAT­WALK IM­ME­DI­ATELY IN STORE AND ON­LINE”

The va­ri­ety of denim styles and washes for the sea­son op­po­site page A look from the pre-fall col­lec­tion

from left Color patches and lines are ap­par­ent in the sea­son’s col­lec­tion op­po­site page A pair­ing of biker jacket and Jog­gJeans

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