How woud you describe the perfume? What is its identity ?
I would think it’s fresh and spicy at the same time,
Maurice Roucel and Philippe Roques created your fragrance for Adidas Originals. Can you tell me more about these two worlds ?
I started with Adidas because I wanted to take my iconic shoe and create this bottle so I said to them I wanted to do the fragrance and they put me all off with Coty to do this kind of project. So I’ve been started working on the scent itself and started to figure out what would make it feel unique. So I tried to think about what these notes and what these feelings would be, kind of a personal feeling. I’m a visual person obviously. I start with ideas and give them to him and have him try to translate these emotions. I don’t even know how he does that. To me, it’s amazing and magic. It’s a wonderful talent. And then he has to transfer them into an aroma. It’s still a mystery to me how he does that.
Did you give instructions for the perfume ? What were you looking for ?
No. I think I just tried to find personal things. I just give them personal ideas but not like “this is the goal”. I said “I like the idea of fresh white towels or a clothes line on a summer day in the country”. It would be something like that. I tried to combine a bunch of different elements.
Why did you choose your sneakers as the design for the bottle ?
They are such an icon, I wanted to create a glass version of them. I fell like there are so many things created in this world now, I would love to make a thing that would last forever. Something like, even if the fragrance is gone, you still want to keep the object. You can keep them on your desk as a paper weigh or an your shelf. How to make something unique and beautiful that you don’t want to throw away ?
Why did you decide to create a perfume ?
Isn’t that every designer’s dream? I might be a very untraditional designer but there are some things that are just tradition. And designers make fragrance.
In fashion there is less and less boundaries between women & men’s wardrobe.
Why is your fragrance unisex?
It’s really by chance. As I was wearing the samples, trying to see how I felt about it, I would get stopped by different people, in an elevator going to an appointment, at the Starbucks, at the gym and people were like “I love that smell, what is that scent?”, and I realized it was gender neutral. Women and men both reacted to it and were questioning what it was and were interested in it without it ever be something they thought was unisex. Everyone thought it was their own. So I thought it could be unisex.
What led you to design a collection for Adidas Originals ?
The excitement of doing a collection for Adidas was just their global distribution, their manufacturing possibilities and the fact that they let me be me and do exciting things and challenging designs. I like the idea that it was something accessible, I like the democracy of that. So much of high fashion is exclusive. There are so much people out there that want something different and new. It doesn’t have to be their month rent.
Do you have a complete independence in the collection you are designing for them?
Absolutely. In anything I do, I have to have that or I just can’t. I would never go with a partner that I don’t feel has that trust in me. I can’t create my best work unless I have trust.
Jeremy Scott, Adidas, Moschino. Isn’t it not too hard ?
I love what I’m doing, I love design and I love when my work can touch people lives. I’m just enjoying those aspects of it. Sometimes, it’s a little bit tight deadlines of course but for the time being, I’m enjoying it.
You are the quintessence of pop culture. Is that important for you to interpret it ?
It’s natural for me to interpret it. So yes it’s important but it’s because it’s a natural extension of who I am.
How did you end up in fashion, growing up in Missouri ?
I still ask myself this a lot. I don’t really know, I think it was just a burning desire to communicate with people and I have this affection for clothes and the way the clothes change your mood and how you can evolve in different things within it. It fell on to me like my medium for communicating.
You were an intern in Moschino. Were you honoured to come back in this prestigious house as the creative director?
I don’t know about the revenge. I was not like The Devil wears Prada, it’s was not this evil thing. It is like a fairy tale. I agree with you. It is like one of those things in life that is mind-blowing. When I got the call and when I got the job, it was an experience. And I’m still working with the same people. It was not even like the people have changed ! The president of the company in the USA or Italy is still the same. It is a very unlikely and unusual thing that happen to me.
You made a Fast food / Fast fashion collection. Do you think fashion go in the direction of homogenization? Do you want things to go the other way ?
Yes and yes. Very easy answer! I do think fashion goes very homogeneous and I try in everything I do to create something that can stop people in their tracks. You do have to think about it and you do have to digest it and process it. So much of fashion is become boring and it makes me sad. I don’t say it in a mean way. I say it in a sad way. I want fashion to be fun and exciting. I want fashion to be experimental in all directions. What I don’t appreciate is mediocrity. I think fashion role is to provoke. It doesn’t have to be shocking in a negative way but fashion should bring you somewhere, and all different kind of style not just my own style. But I don’t think there not so much of that anymore.
What are the solutions ?
The root of all evil is money. Too much of it becomes too corporate, too big business and too concerned about the bottom line. All these tests to know what people will respond to that and that is much more about a formula.
Is it still possible to link creativity and business ?
Absolutely. It’s what I’m trying to do. It is a tight road between the two. How can I make something that is commercial but still challenging and exciting and that is where the fragrance bottle is and what I have been doing with Adidas or Moschino. Especially when I work for a company that do manufacture on a global scale and do large production, it is even more important to me to try to capture the essence of that. You ask me earlier about Adidas, and that is really that ! How can I make something that is experimental, inspirational and unique ? I feel like it is what I am doing as well at Moschino. There is a large structure that was already there, a large global distribution and how can I come in and change that ? With that, you have the possibilities to change pop culture. These objects are getting to people, they are part of people lives and ultimately, for me as a designer, the greatest compliment is to be part of someone life, in their wardrobe, on their table, in their photos on Instagram via the clothes they are wearing when they are out with their friends. Being part of people real lives without having to compromise my designs. In a way, I can do things that are quotidian as I’m complaining about but I’m doing something I find aspiring that can still go on to everyday life instead of being just another thing in your closet.
Barbie, Mily Cyrus. Which role play sex in your collections ?
That’s part of fashion in general. People get dressed to get undressed. Lot of what people wear is to attract other people. A part of it is to try to mark the tribe that we are part of. This is the kind of thing that I believe in, this kind of groups or thoughts I have and a part of that is sex and is always a large part of fashion and fragrance.
LA is an important city for you. You work in Milan, New York, Paris. Why LA is it not a fashion city ? and do you believe Paris is still a fashion capital ?
Paris will always be a fashion capital. There is a history you cannot escape. Even if a certain times Paris is less exciting or more or more dull, it’s still have that lineage. That is something you cannot take away from it. Now the way has become so global and so connected like LA for instance, you see fashion has a different importance. It has this history of creation in fashion in one sense but one thing it does have is Hollywood, which is part of fashion forever. If you go back to gowns, 30’s, Gene Harlow, those shape fashion even though it was through cinema. And even you think about the 80’s, I don’t know if it was Mugler or Montana whose shoulder pads were dominating mainstream fashion or was it all the costumes for Dynasty ? That’s what’s affected more how people dressed. There is an importance with pop culture in cinema and television that is finally part of LA. You can try to discount it but it does not change the fact that there is a huge effect.
Is ‘who comes to your show’ important for you ?
In general, it’s kind of the same people going to the shows, as far as the industry, and I guess I don’t really think about it. And of course there is always a surprise guest now and then, my friends…
What’s next ? Any other collaborations ?
So many new things… One exciting thing I can talk about is that I’ve been filmed for a documentary, which is going to be released this year in cinema, by The Vladar group. They did a documentary, 2 years ago, on bodybuilders with Mickey Rourke. It’s about my work, my life…
Interview Autore Hennion
Photo Yulya Shadrinsky