It’s quite a moment for The Simpsons: a 500th episode upcoming, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for series creator Matt Groening. But Bart Simpson’s got another episode himself: he’ll be walking the runway at New York fashion week next week. Avant garde designer Jeremy Scott, who’s based in L.A. but a veteran of the Paris runways, will be smattering Bart’s face across 8 pieces of clothing for men and women.
How did this not-particularly chic cartoon character wind up on designer clothes? The Hollywood Reporter talked to the designer about his inspiration — and what he loves about our boy Bart.
The Hollywood Reporter: How did you get the idea to use Bart Simpson on your clothing designs?
Jeremy Scott: I was just dreaming of things I wanted to wear myself – that’s always the starting point of any of my collections. I came up with a Bart Simpson sweater – then my assistant I wanted one too. Then I decided maybe this isn’t just about me.
THR: So this idea came from you, and not Fox, the network that plays the show?
Scott: Oh, I went knockin’ on the door at Fox. I chased them down like a dog in heat. I fell madly in love with Bart. And I’m not even the diehard every-episode fan. It’s just such a part of pop culture. Bart is a nineties teen icon.
THR: Were the execs at Fox surprised at this request?
Scott: I wasn’t really sure how to go about this. I got someone on the phone and took it from there. And it was kismet, synergy, this was supposed to happen. They totally got it: the way I am, who I am. They seemed very aware of my work and were very enthusiastic.
THR: Your show is next week in New York (mid February). How long did this whole process take?
Scott: I started talking to Fox in December — but the incubation of my idea started six months ago. I want to be seen wearing this. This is following my instincts. Bart feels very right now to me. I think it started when Sarah from Colette (the famous Parisian boutique) gave me a zombie Bart figurine. And I do have a vintage Bart ski cap from the nineties with a om pom on top hanging in my closet. Suddenly all signs were pointing to Bart Simpson, but I didn’t really see it till December.
THR: How much can you tell us about the exact pieces in the collection that are devoted to Bart?
Scott: It was very hard to reproduce the skintone of The Simpsons in knit and yarn. Bart has an exact Pantone yellow! There are 8 pieces, for men and women. I present Bart as teen dream. That’s who he is to me.
THR: What’s the general direction of your fall 2012 collection?
Scott: I can tell you it was inspired by the computer, and the way information is disseminated today. The way ideas are profillierating on the internet. How we use icons to show our emotions. The way the way everything is circling around. I’m into short as a skirt length, but its a new kind of “short long.” You’ll see. My clothes are sold at Opening Ceremony.
THR: Have you met Matt Groening?
Scott: I’ve not met Matt yet – but I’m really looking forward to meeting him. A Fox contingency is coming to see the show, they’re flying in from LA. But Matt will be busy receiving his star on the Walk of Fame.
THR: Perhaps you’ll use The Simpson’s theme song for the models to walk down the runway to?
Scott: No, there’s no Simpsoms theme song planned for my show. But you never know! The dj might get inspired and and mix it into some hot runway tune!