Jeremy Scott sat with WWD in the new Moschino space on Monday afternoon to share the latest news, from Katy Perry’s Super Bowl looks to the petty crime that led him to sign the retail lease.
WWD: Welcome back to Los Angeles. You got here just in time for the opening. What were the last few days like?
Jeremy Scott: I landed in L.A. from Milan Sunday night, had a teeth cleaning Monday morning — I go every three months — went to SoulCycle, then had breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien and got here to the store early. But before Milan, I was in London, first for the Moschino men’s show on Sunday, then for the red carpet premiere of “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” Arianne Phillips did costumes for it, and I have pieces from my Adidas collaboration on the main character, Taron Egerton.
WWD: How was the movie? Thumbs-up or down?
J.S.: It was really entertaining. It was clever and there were things in there that were unexpected. Like when people shouldn’t die, people died! I like that it didn’t follow movie conventions. There was also a nod to all the James Bond stuff.
WWD: This is the first Moschino store in the world under your creative direction. How did it become a reality?
J.S.: I came to look at the space several years ago when a real estate agent brought me when I was looking for a new studio. I was like, “This place looks beautiful but it’s certainly out of my price range for my studio. We’re not even going in.” So this is a funny story: someone had stolen the taillights off my G-Wagen and I was like, “I can’t drive around like this” so I went to Mercedes-Benz Beverly Hills because it’s on my way home from SoulCycle — I swear I could be SoulCycle’s publicist, but I don’t get to spin for free — and from there is where I spotted this space again with new eyes, five years later. I was like, “I need a store! That beautiful place.” I got on it, scooped it up, then we started having at it.
WWD: How would you describe the concept?
J.S.: I wanted something that would be beautiful in the sense that it could be an open kind of canvas for the collections. The clothes have so much personality already. I also wanted to take the art of window display, which is something that I love and that Moschino is famous for, and kind of make a canvas that could resize and restructure and be anything it wants to be for whichever collection and inspiration.
WWD: Why Beverly Boulevard?
J.S.: I looked at Rodeo [Drive], which I drive down nearly every day to go to SoulCycle. But I drive down it and I see people, and I see people taking pictures, but I do not see shopping bags. And I don’t want to have a store that’s just for people to…I mean, I want it to be very photogenic and I want people to come in and do selfies in it…but I don’t want it to just be this dead entity. I want people to come in and live in it and I just don’t feel like, as a Los Angeleno, I don’t go shopping [on Rodeo Drive]. I would go somewhere else if I wanted something from that mecca of things. I know it’s a real status-y thing, I get that, but it just seems kind of empty. I’m happy to have tourists come in, but that seems like only tourists. I love how [café chain] Lemonade is nearby and how people actually do walk around here. For Los Angeles, it’s a difficult task, but there’s a little bit of, ‘I could go do this and this’ in this area. This feels like it could have that energy that I would love for it to have. I love all the Italian design and furniture stores that are here. They are stores I’ve always loved and went to and bought things from, so for me that felt very at home.”
WWD: How would you describe the last 15 months, or even the last 15 hours?
J.S.: Is there a word that’s like, whirlwind times a hundred? I definitely realize now I’m constantly on the go, and that’s not just my Moschino world. I have my own line, my Adidas world, my Katy Perry Super Bowl world.
WWD: So what can you tell us about Katy’s Super Bowl look?
J.S.: I’m not telling nothing. It’s going to be a challenge, that’s for sure, but I’m super excited about it. I’m honored that she asked me because she’s such a sweet, good friend, but also such a wonderful ambassador of all my designs since the beginning. It’s such a pinnacle for her career, too, so to include me in that is so flattering.
WWD: Not even a little hint?
J.S.: The fitting is tonight. It’s like making a Russian Doll. I have to make everything fit together perfectly because she has to keep revealing and revealing. We’ll see at 6 p.m. when I do my first fitting with a portion of it to see if things can kind of [mimes fitting pieces together].
WWD: Why is it so important for you to remain based in L.A.?
J.S.: I’m happy here, that’s the thing. You do your best work where you are happiest. It works pretty well because I can communicate my ideas and send sketches and take pictures from my iPhone and literally e-mail it away. We do moments where we powwow together and ruminate over things and get it going.
WWD: You’re one of the most connected designers out there, technically speaking, with more than 1.4 million social followers.
J.S.: It’s very important. What I love about Instagram and Twitter is the interaction. You kind of bond and get a feeling and it’s exciting. The thing that I can’t get over is the fan art. Yesterday I saw this girl from Japan who made a whole book of the first Moschino collection, from the first exit to the last. She drew and colored them all and she has a video where she’s flipping through it and it’s all moments from the show that she’s redrawn [he picks up his pink Barbie phone-shaped cell phone case and shows the video and still shot that he posted on his Instagram page]. That kind of crazy love and dedication, that just blows me away. I feel so lucky that I have such a strong fan base that is so passionate.
WWD: Do the fans drive you to be better?
J.S.: I feel like I have such a unique connection with them and that’s different from other designers. It’s like the fuel that fires me. When I see that I want to be better for them and work harder for them and have a cooler everything for them. I don’t want to let them down. I want them to keep sketching and keep being inspired.
WWD: There was a good amount of fur in the pre-fall collection. What will you do about the West Hollywood fur ban?
J.S.: We will soon be opening our New York store. And there’s a large amount of fake fur in the collection. I mixed real and fake but the majority is a lot of things people would be surprised are fake.
WWD: What is the rest of the week like for you?
J.S.: Saturday I am going to Sundance, where I am Frances Bean’s date for the premiere of the documentary she produced about her father [“Montage of Heck”]. Then I am going to Phoenix for the Super Bowl to be with Katy for the actual performance. Then I come back to L.A. and finish preparations for my New York Fashion Week show on Feb. 18, and I get on a flight the next evening for Milan to prep for the Moschino women’s show on Feb. 26.
WWD: Will you throw an opening party for this store?
J.S.: We were thinking of doing an event between the two weekends of Coachella in April. But I think I am going to not do my [Adidas Coachella] party this year. Suzy Menkes asked me to go to Florence to do a speaking event with her for the new condenast.com thing. She said we can talk about whatever I want, so maybe a Q&A. But it’s around that time in April. I know bits and pieces of my schedule because now I have to be more organized and plan ahead. I can’t be as fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants as I used to.