Blige, a friend who has attended many of the designer’s fashion shows over the years, was the right choice for a number of reasons, he said. “The world of music is always strong, but it seems stronger than ever. She’s a modern-day woman, extremely talented, very beautiful and she represents a powerful woman,” Basso said. “I just like who she is and what she stands for. Being part of the music industry is also exciting.”
“Very involved with orchestrating the feeling and the look” of the shoot, the designer was on location when Bernard Hunt photographed Blige for the new campaign. “For someone who performs in front of tens of thousands of people, it was very cute to see her focused on getting it right. She was not Mary J. the singer. She was Mary J. the singer, who is now the high fashion model,” Basso said. “She is a very kind, humble woman. I like that about her.”
Blige, who just released a new single “Only Love,” was photographed wearing eveningwear and furs. The first image was featured in Harrods’ magazine and others will be used for luxury magazines’ holiday issues. “We have found that it is much more effective to be a little deeper into the season,” the designer said. (Last season Hilary Rhoda headlined his ads.)
With stylists always searching online for resources for their celebrity clients, that practice paid off in a big way for Basso. Lopez wears one of his hooded lynx coats in her new music video, “Dinero,” and on the single’s cover. Basso said, “We had exactly what fit the bill. She looks amazing. She looks gorgeous and the fur looks gorgeous.”
The designer has a reputation for dressing some powerful performers such as Natalie Cole and Diana Ross. “All of these women have their own particular style. It’s hard to compare one to the other. You have to absorb yourself in that particular style of song and style of performance. That’s what makes each of them unique.”
Referring to Blige and Lopez, he said, “It was fun recently dressing both of them, because they are so much a part of what’s going on today.”
At work on his next collection, Basso has locked up Cipriani 42nd Street for the location of his Sept. 10 show. “I love that space. I had my 20th anniversary show there 15 years ago, so time goes by,” he said.