On the Scene: The Gaga Factor

Six months ago, the Thierry Mugler name caused barely a flicker on the fashion radar.

Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Collections issue 03/21/2011

Six months ago, the Thierry Mugler name—while powerful in perfume—caused barely a flicker on the fashion radar. Today, the needle is practically buried, thanks to the combustible combination of Lady Gaga and her superstylist Nicola Formichetti, co-conspirators in the reinvention of the iconic Eighties brand.

This story first appeared in the March 21, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.


Before the show, Gaga tweeted, “I have a monster fashion announcement are your paws up? I’m so excited I might give birth to a machine gun. I’m making my debut as a runway model, walking in the MUGLER PARIS FASHIONSHOW 3/2. I directed the show music, previewing Government Hooker.”


The night of Formichetti’s women’s wear debut in Paris, Mugler was the number-one trending topic on Twitter, according to Joël Palix, president of Clarins Fragrance Group and director general of the Mugler company. “We also doubled our number of Facebook fans overnight,” he enthused.


No wonder. The runway show featured a new Gaga track from her forthcoming album, Born This Way, and the pop priestess herself strutting the catwalk: puffing on a cigarette, flicking her giant blonde ponytails or flailing a long stole. More than standard runway show, it was fashion converging with entertainment, celebrity and the burgeoning digital universe. There was live-streaming of all the action, from the backstage melee to models vamping it up on a cathedral-like set in skintight, glossy dresses and catsuits transported from some fierce fantasy fashion planet of Formichetti’s invention. Palix reported a strong sales campaign, with retailers gravitating toward Gaga’s two runway exits and “the most sophisticated, avant-garde pieces.”


Close to 100 doors will feature the spring collection, including the likes of Barneys New York, Jeffrey, Opening Ceremony, Joyce, Dover Street Market, Harvey Nichols, The Bay and Tsum.