GOING GAGA FOR NICOPANDA: “Have you seen the toilet yet downstairs?” asked Nicola Formichetti at his Nicopanda presentation Sunday. “It’s genderless, with boys and girls using it at the same time. It’s pretty insane.”
His all-are-welcome approach to fashion extended beyond the Down Town Association’s restroom and Nicopanda’s $100 to $500 price range. In a season when the shows finally were opened to the masses, Formichetti joined the likes of Givenchy and Rag & Bone by offering some freebie invites to his 1.1 million Twitter followers.
“For me, fashion needs to be inclusive. I’m not a big fan of exclusive or this kind of façade of we do our own thing and you can’t touch us,” he said. “Even yesterday I tweeted if you send us a selfie we’ll let you in. For me, it’s just normal – being genderless, ageless and just whatever. But I love the fact that everyone’s talking about it now, which is great.”
Formichetti, who also works as Diesel’s artistic director and as a stylist for Brooke Candy, among others, was reunited with Lady Gaga at the presentation. “It was very emotional,” he said. “We’ve been talking and stuff properly. We both started crying. She was so proud of me doing this.”
Their travel schedules have kept them from actually seeing each other for several years, he said. “Since I’ve started at Diesel, it’s been quite hectic. I’m in Italy all the time. That’s why I kept Nicopanda in New York so that I just do New York and Italy,” Formichetti said. “She was like, ‘I want that one, that one and that one.’ And I was like, ‘OK, I need to sell them first and then I’ll give them to you.'”
The “Artpop” musician wasn’t the only character who guests were flipping for. Some of the eagle-eyed Japanese attendees spotted Formichetti’s tattoo on his right shoulder of Chibi Maruko and Nicopanda. Momoko Sakura, the creator of the anime character, actually drew it for him, which floored some of his guests. (The Japanese illustrator has written the screenplay for a Chibi Maruko-chan movie that is due out in December in Japan.)
Another one of his tattoos is a Hello Kitty-Nicopanda combo. “I’m going after Hello Kitty with Nicopanda. I want to create a punk Hello Kitty, so it’s kind of like a character brand with fashion in it. That’s where I want to take it,” Formichetti said. “Next season we’ll have to have a bigger place and probably do a fashion show. Oh my God, I just said that.”