This month, Jeremy Scott, the creative director of Moschino, swapped Milan Fashion Week for New York, showing his spring 2022 collection at Bryant Park a few days before the Met Gala. Here, he explains why and what he has learned in the last year.
Why did you decide to show in New York rather than Italy?
For the last 18 months, I have not been back to Italy or to Europe at all. I have not had a live event of any kind. Since the pandemic started, I’ve been in Los Angeles, like a little farmer in my little bubble just kind of sowing my seeds and trying to grow my plants. But I wanted to come back in part to support my country. New York Fashion Week is in a way like America’s Fashion Week.
And September is, like always, like back to school, like a fresh start. So I thought, come to New York, bring the show. Couple it with the Met Gala and just try to put my arms around everyone is a big giant, metaphoric hug.
Did it feel like a hug?
The Met is like fashion prom — like prom and graduation. That’s really a lovely thing. Unlike actors who have all these award shows all year round and who get to work together on films and projects all the time, I don’t have that many opportunities in the fashion world to bond and say hello, to see people who do my same job.
Did it bring back memories of your first shows?
Well, I went to Pratt, in Brooklyn, and I used to study at the Costume Institute and put on the white cotton gloves and very delicately look at some items. It was a very big part of my personal education because I love vintage clothes.
Do you wear vintage?
I often think, “God, I’m glad I’m not like some super-popular Russian celebrity” because I have things that I still wear from when I was 14. It is kind of amazing that I have the same taste and I can still fit in those things — things that I love, mementos to me and to my heart, like a shirt, which is the shirt from when my first boyfriend kissed me.
My sister and I wore vintage clothes before it was fashionable. I grew up very, very poor. We went to Goodwill out of necessity, not choice. And by the time I was in high school and was able to have a job and my own spending money, I still went there because I loved the unique aspect of it. I thought the only way I could really create my own look was to use vintage to alter things and crop them or put things together in a different way.
Then young Jeremy Scott did internships, all the time. At one point, I had four internships at the same time because I wanted to be a part of things so much. I did a lot of grunt work. That’s why I was able to get out of school, move to Paris and do my own shows myself. The first two shows, I made all the patterns myself, sewed all the garments myself, did the casting, dressed all the models. On the first one, I ended up having to take over the hair and makeup.
Things have changed a lot. During the pandemic, you were making short films instead of shows. Did you enjoy that?
That has just been a creative explosion for my heart. I have been so happy to express myself in that way. My neighbors stopped me and said, “Oh, I watched your film three times, it made me cry.” And, you know, they’ve never stopped me about a fashion show.
Ultimately, yes, I express myself as a fashion designer, and I’m not belittling that term. I’m proud to be a fashion designer. But to be able to express myself through another medium like film, as well as do my fashion work, it’s just been wonderful joy for me.
So should we expect a feature at some point? Are you going to follow in the footsteps of Tom Ford?
The answer is yes. I’ve been working on that more in secret. Everything is much slower in film world than in fashion world — I can make many, many collections in the time that one film is not yet greenlit. But I am definitely going to do that. It’s been a longtime goal, and this has kind of propelled it forward. I’ve had a lot of reaction from the film industry in Los Angeles, with people coming to say, “Whoa, hey, wait, we would love to do more with you.” Now I have to figure out the right story to tell.
This conversation, first aired on Instagram Live, has been edited and condensed.