Less than 10 years after Katy Perry approached Jeremy Scott blind as a singer who some day hoped to release an album and wear his designs, the pair shared the not-to-be-believed billing of the Super Bowl halftime show.
With more than 118.5 million fans watching in 180 countries, the pop star whirled her way through a medley of seven songs and four Jeremy Scott-designed outfits in about 12 minutes. The “Roar” singer’s girl power reputation was just what NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ordered up, after what has been a season pockmarked by domestic violence issues. Perry’s halftime show was the most-watched one to date, topping Bruno Mars’ 2014 performance by more than 3 million. Beyond her girl-next-door good looks, Perry is known to be a shrewd social media marketer and a real idiosyncratic and fashion-minded entertainer. Her Super Bowl XIX extravaganza coincided with her “Prismatic” world tour, which wraps up March 22. Last year she became the first celebrity to break the 50-million Twitter followers mark, which also made the quadra-platinum musician a Guinness Book of World Record holder. As of Sunday night, Perry had 64.3 million followers, a base that no doubt is still climbing.
The Santa Barbara-born star likes to go big. Her “California Gurls” with Snoop Dogg has 3.6 million downloads and her “E.T.” with Kanye West has sold 5.8 million copies. Now she and Scott are flexing their individualistic styles to get fans shopping.
In the lead-up to the Big Game, Perry, an Adidas brand ambassador, posted a close-up of her football-ized pedicure in Adidas slides, Instagram-ed snapshots of her three-stripe wearing self, tweeted the launch of the $150 football jersey dress she whipped up for the NFL, hawked her Claires accessories online and showed off RVN designer Ted Kim’s pigskin-inspired design at an NFL press conference. But at the age of 30, the daughter of ministers who at times relied on food banks for meals hasn’t forgotten her schoolgirl self. The megastar tweeted a childhood photo Sunday with “Today is for this girl, she had the dream, always believed in herself & in her worth. She is the one smiling.”
For the record, Scott is too. He appreciated being part of his and Perry’s only-in-America win.
Scott has a signature line, an Adidas collection and is also creative director for Moschino. Reached in Los Angeles Saturday afternoon, the thirtysomething Kansas City-born designer wasn’t sweating any of the details on the eve of what would be the most mammoth night of his life. Reminiscent of a matryoshka Russian nesting doll, Perry’s four Scott-designed outfits played up flames, beach balls, a hoodie football jersey and a Moschino star-adorned glittery gown.
“Katie puts on a really great show, almost like a Vegas show in that there is a little something for everyone. She is very pop culturally savvy. There are things that people can relate to and iconography that people can really get into. It’s really a perfect halftime show because it’s very inclusive in that way,” he told WWD.
Here, more from Scott on working with Perry and the big day:
WWD: Have things just been insane this week?
Jeremy Scott: That’s a pretty accurate way to describe it.
WWD: You seem remarkably calm right now.
JS: I am calm. All the outfits for Katy are ready. There’s nothing for me to do but to just be there as a friend at this point. As far as that’s concerned, I’m just going for moral support – and to enjoy the show myself. I’ll be wherever she needs me. If she needs me backstage, I’m there. If she needs me in a box watching the show, I’m there. I thought of that earlier today ironically, that we never really talked about what I’ll do. But we’ll talk about it tomorrow [Sunday] as soon as I land. Whatever she needs – I am there for her.
WWD: How did you and Katy first meet?
JS: Before her first album came out, she came up to me at an event in LA and told me that I was her favorite designer. She said that she was a singer and that one day she was going to have an album out, and she hoped that one day she would be able to wear my clothes. She’s more than achieved one of her dreams. That was one of her dreams. We’ve been doing things together ever since. I ended up dressing her for her [first] album release in the end and I’ve been dressing her for red-carpet [appearances], momentous occasions, magazine covers, videos, concerts and now the Super Bowl. So we’ve had a wonderful joyful friendship and creative partnership.
WWD: When would that first meeting have been?
JS: I would have to Google that. I am poor with dates. I’m always like, ‘Wait, what season? What collection?” I think it was 2005 or 2006.
WWD: It’s such an American story, right? She started out singing on the streets of Santa Barbara for maybe $20 and avocado.
JS: She’s part of the American dream that’s for sure.
WWD: You both spend a lot of time in LA. How much does your nationalism or patriotism play into all this, with the Super Bowl being such an American thing?
JS: It is an iconic American occasion and a very important one for our vernacular here. Katy really took that into consideration with her ideas for the show and all the elements. I think for her that’s why we were the perfect match. Not only have we had a long history, a shared sense of humor and cultural iconography, but we’re also kind of like a brother-and-sister American team.
WWD: What’s been the trickiest part about all this? It must be massive to pull together.
JS: Making it manageable to get her into four looks in about 10 minutes without her ever leaving the stage has been the trickiest part. The concept is kind of like a Russian nesting doll where you have things on top of things, and then you put something else on before you take something else off. It’s been more of a math and science lesson about layering, how to hide and to have her have big reveals. I don’t think anyone has taken on four costume changes for a Super Bowl performance ever. I really have to give it to Katy for rising to the occasion. We were originally only going to do three and I actually encouraged her to do a fourth.
WWD: Will people watching at home know that her finale dress is Moschino?
JS: Her finale dress I designed for Moschino but there will be no visceral aspect.
WWD: You’ve collaborated with Miley Cyrus and done some pretty amazing events and show over thee years. How does this compare?
JS: The Super Bowl is the kind of thing that fashion can only be a part of if it’s invited to this game. There’s no other way to be a part of this. To do a show, an event or red carpet, fashion is already ingrained in that. The Super Bowl is not necessarily that kind of venue, but at the same time it’s the world’s largest most viewed program. The audience is astounding. It is more than the Oscars.
WWD: Are you a football fan? Did you play sports growing up?
JS: Not at all – I’m a halftime fan and I’m a Katy Perry fan. I’ve never been particularly sports-oriented. I’ve always been kind of artistically inclined…I am a fan of the pomp and circumstance of these things that are pop culture, iconic moments.
WWD: Did you ever think, “Oh, this is nuts. What did I get myself into?”
JS: Well, it is a lot of work, that’s for sure. It’s true when you’re juggling your own line, my Adidas line, and Moschino, there’s definitely a lot going on. But I absolutely adore her, and love her and she’s like family to me. So I would go to the ends of the earth, to the moon and back and beyond for her. Nothing could ever stretch that to snap like a rubber band. Even if I felt challenged at times to try to keep all my work going and keeping proper care, the main thing is to follow your heart.
WWD: Did anything outrageous or funny happen with the planning?
JS: Nothing out-and-out hysterical. Things have gone pretty smooth sailing. Katy has a great sense of humor. Working with her is always very fun and easy. She is very precise, detailed and she comes in with a really great vision. It’s been fun to hear from her how some of the things I have done have inspired her creative process. Some elements have nudged me to think about things I’ve done in a new way. Her flame look for the opening was inspired by my flame handle Adidas sneakers. We were talking about wings and things, and she said, “Why don’t you do this?” She was very conscientious that she wanted the looks to be very Jeremy Scott. The halftime show is a very iconic Katy Perry moment but she felt that we created iconic moments together so she wanted to capture both of those elements. Wings are also featured in part of my new Rizzoli book [“Jeremy”] that just came out and my new Adidas fragrance that comes out in two weeks has a bottle shaped like my [Adidas] wing shoe. We kind of bantered back and forth about how to do the right thing for the right moment.
WWD: Will you be compensated in any way? I had read that she is not being compensated.
JS: I didn’t ask to be compensated. I did it as a gift out of friendship. I never asked her about that [her compensation]. I never even really thought about how that works if you’re paying for the halftime show or if you’re not paying.
WWD: Will Cotton’s portrait of Katy hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. What inspires Katy’s fashion as an artist?
JS: Definitely pop culture and humor. Her fashion can be tongue-and-cheek. She loves pin-ups, and the Fifties glamorous kind of sexiness at the same time. Her signature is being one of the few people who can fuse humor with that kind of sexiness to create a playful wittiness with wink. But at the same time she looks really gorgeous and kind of sexy. Katy is kind of the All-American girl-next-door but she has a little bit more of a punch and humor. It’s not that she’s meek in that way but she kind of has that apple pie, true Americana sense to her looks. And she has that edge that just pushes her over-the-top.
WWD: Did you have any reservations in light of the domestic violence issues the NFL has faced this year? There’s also SCRUFF’s billboard campaign outside of Phoenix encouraging the acceptance of gay professional football players.
JS: I don’t think that Katy performing or my dressing her for the halftime show does anything to diminish the plight of women and domestic violence and the issues that they face. [Perry had traveled to Madagascar as a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador] and her “Firework” video was dedicated to the “It Gets Better” [campaign.] Not participating would probably maybe be even more of a reason keeping gays from being open in the NFL versus not being open. It’s like if you’re not going to make an environment that has these elements that are gay-friendly, like the halftime show perhaps, you’re kind of distancing yourself. I would think that participating is probably the better element to do that.
WWD: Does Katy still work with Adidas? You dressed the back-up dancers for Madonna’s halftime show in Adidas.
JS: She’s still a brand ambassador and she’s been in several commercials with me for Adidas. That’s true –Madonna’s dancers wore Adidas track suits three Super Bowls ago and last year Anthony Kiedis [of the Red Hot Chili Peppers] wore leggings from my own line for his portion with Bruno Mars. So I’ve had a little bit of the Super Bowl but this one is a whole new game of course.
WWD: What would people be surprised to learn about Katy?
JS: She is such a funny, wonderful friend, a wonderful sister. She’s just a great person who is very present, genuine and attentive. She is not at all flighty and she’s not someone who is very self-centered. She’s very concerned, caring and loyal. Those are a lot of things. But if she cares about you, she will do anything for you.
WWD: What’s the story with the Taylor Swift Twitter feud
JS: I don’t know anything about that. I think the media loves to make up stories.
WWD: How are you managing with the rest that you have to do?
JS: I hope that I’m managing well. I love to create, to design and to try to dream up new worlds that lead to new creations and new ideas. So I’m trying to put finishing touches on my show for New York [this month], just dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s for Moschino to make sure all of that is going forward. Actually, I’m already starting to design resort for Moschino because that is the next thing up, so just gotta keep chugging along.
WWD: You fly to Phoenix Sunday. Did you speak with Katy on Saturday to see how everything is shaping up?
JS: No, actually I’ve been dealing with my own collection today. I knew that she had all her stuff and she was settled. We have a lot of mutual friends who are there with her so I’m kind of letting her just enjoy herself. I know that nothing is awry or in disarray.
WWD: What will you and she do to celebrate?
JS: [Laughter] I’m sure we’ll have a big celebration once it’s over – absolutely. She’s been dying to have a box of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. She plans to dive purely and fairly forcibly into one pretty quickly after this is over. She’s the type to keep her regimen so that she can be in top form. She has a trainer who travels with her on tour. I’m sure there will be a Thin Mint cookie party as soon as the show is over.
WWD: What were one or two of your favorite elements?
JS: I love that she has these very cartoon, iconic elements dolls and sharks and all these kinds of ocean and beach elements that are rendered in such fun and playful ways that it’s actually quite cute. Of course, her entrance is going to be epic and something for the history books. To come in on a giant articulated lion that is like a puppet is something that people will be surprised and mesmerized by.
WWD: Your own collection is known to be so individualistic and you tend to attract independent thinkers to your shows. Is it your individualism that brings that out in others or are free spirits just attracted to your work?
JS: You want people to know it’s Jeremy Scott without it being marked or noted. I always start deep into my archives but my ideas have to evolve. With every collection, I try to stretch an idea to encapsulate something new. The challenge is to retain your core DNA
WWD: What’s been the best part of all this?
JS: For me, I’m just a fan of pop culture and it doesn’t matter that I am not a fan of football. I am very honored and flattered that Katy thought I am the only person in the world who could capture her essence on stage, to elevate it and kind of catapult it into the stratosphere. It’s very humbling because I do love and appreciate her as a person and as an artist.