JACK OF ALL TRADES: Nicola Formichetti made a personal appearance at Paris department store Printemps on Thursday night to celebrate the launch of the first full-fledged collection for his label Nicopanda.
The line of accessibly priced unisex pieces is sold at the Maria Luisa store at the retailer’s Boulevard Haussmann flagship. In the U.K., it has made its debut as part of Selfridges’ gender neutral shopping space Agender.
“Everyone around me just wears boys’ and girls’ and just mixes it up. Now it’s going to be more mainstream, I’m super happy. The whole sexuality thing is all blurring, lots of trans people are in the spotlight. I love all of that stuff,” said Formichetti, who is also artistic director of Diesel.
The line features bows and ruffles inspired by Tokyo street style. “This is the side I don’t explore at Diesel, which is more my Japanese side,” the Italian-Japanese designer explained. “I love Harajuku. That’s where my spirit is, and Nicopanda was born in Harajuku, via London and New York, so it’s always inside me.”
Formichetti was heading next to the South by Southwest festival in Austin for a talk on Tuesday with Zing Tseng, digital news editor at Dazed magazine, about how he uses social media to crowdsource ideas, which is how Nicopanda was born.
“It all started from this Tumblr community. I asked people to redesign logos and things like that, so it was very organic,” he noted.
Formichetti will also launch his first project as an ambassador for Pepsi Challenge at Art Basel Hong Kong. He has designed a sculpture as part of a drive to bring light solutions to poor communities across the world, which will be unveiled by social media star Jérôme Jarre, a fellow Pepsi Challenge ambassador.