If you know anything about me, it’s that I love nothing more than creativity, and Jeremy Scott truly embodies the definition of this word. On The Zeitgeist, I have covered two of his Los Angeles-based fashion shows and have been blown away by the wit and originality of the designs every single time. Not only is Jeremy an innovative designer, but he is also one of the most kind human beings on the planet. He surprised me at my 18th birthday party earlier this week, and it was the best moment I could have ever hoped for.
The amazing photographer Mark Hunter of The Cobra Snake was there to photograph the event, and he took the featured image in this article. Jeremy and I conducted an impromptu interview at the end of the night, and I wrote down his answers on a napkin from the restaurant. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I loved picking the brain of the most brilliant designer I have ever come across. It is an incredible honor to feature my idol, Jeremy Scott, on The Zeitgeist.
When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
I think I was probably about seventeen or eighteen– right around your age, actually. There was a contest to design some shoes for this band Deee-Lite, and I wanted to Lady Miss Kier so badly. *laughs* If you could design the shoes and win the contest, you could meet her in New York. I started drawing, and after an hour, I had over fifty sketches. I thought to myself, “That was so easy. Maybe I should be doing this for a living!” I didn’t win the contest, but I won the idea that this is what I want to do. I want to design things and have this be a part of my life.
What’s your favorite piece you’ve ever created?
They’re like children! *laughs* It’s hard to pick one because they also represent different moods and times and who I am in a moment, or what I have to say, or what’s going on. So it’s all very contextual in that respect. I will say that the paper doll collection I did a few seasons back for Moschino is one of my favorite shows to date, and I’m still very proud of it.
Where do you find inspiration for all of your collections? They are all so innovative and unlike anything or anyone else.
Inspiration really comes from everything. You just have to be open to what the universe has to offer. It could come from our conversation, it could come from the color of these flowers on the table, it could come from a photo in a book. It could be anything. Inspiration is a grouping of different ideas, things, and thoughts, and they kind of circle around me until something locks in. Then, I suddenly have a vision, and that’s where I go for that season.
Who are some of your professional role models? You’re certainly one of mine!
Thank you! I’ve always been inspired by Rudi Gernreich and Peggy Moffitt. I love them and what they made together. Although it was mainly clothes, she was inspired to create makeup to go with it. There was this whole symbiotic thing going on, and I especially appreciate the fact that they were American and “out there” at that time. There was so much of American fashion that was boring or tried and true Americana, but these two were incredibly forward-thinking with their creative vision.
What piece of advice do you have to offer to aspiring designers?
I would always say follow your heart. You’re always going to feel the happiest and most fulfilled if you’re speaking your own truth and doing what feels right for you as an individual. The true meaning of success is happiness, and I firmly believe that the universe is going to open up to you if you’re doing what you’re meant to do.
What’s something that someone would be surprised to learn about you?
That I speak Japanese! I studied Japanese when I was sixteen, and I don’t get to use it very much, so I don’t think many people know I speak the language! *laughs* My best friend growing up was half Japanese and half American, and her mom spoke to her and her brother in Japanese all the time. One summer, my friend called me from Japan and asked if I wanted to go shopping with her over there, and I was like, “Yeah! I do!” So I got myself over there and started learning the language by hearing it at first. Then, when I got home, I started taking classes. While I was in high school, I’d go to college at night and study Japanese.
What’s next for you? Fashion week?
Well that’s the very next thing! *laughs* I’m leaving for New York in a few days! But there are a lot of things I aspire to do outside of fashion. I’d love to do film work; I’d love to direct or do costumes if it were the right film. I love the posterity of film. What we do is so ephemeral in fashion, and film is so different in that regard. It lasts for generations!