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Two years since being named the artistic director of Diesel, Nicola Formichetti has paid respect to the Italian denim label through his capsule collections, aptly named Diesel Tribute. His latest 45-piece range, called “Aquahollic,” features ’90s-inspired bright pieces made from neoprene, mesh and Lycra (priced between $100 to $650) that are made for the sporty-cool babe and dude in mind (Rita Ora has already sported the designs).
In celebration of the collection’s debut at H. Lorenzo on Robertson Blvd. — the exclusive retailer for the West Coast — Formichetti himself hosted a public party at the avant-garde designer boutique on Friday evening. In between welcoming all his fashion friends (stylist to the stars Johnny Wujek, actor Sterling Beaumon and R&B singer-songwriter Jesse Boykins III included) to the in-store bash and recording his entire evening’s experience on Meerkat, the app that has recently taken over Hollywood after its debut at SXSW, we caught up with the 37-year-old designer about his current capsule collection and all those “boring” Snapchats he’s been getting.
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Pret-a-Reporter: So, you’re recording this interview on Meerkat. Did you first learn about the app at SXSW?
Nicola Formichetti: Yeah, my friend told me about it and I just tried it. You can have your own reality show. It’s cool. I just got this at Diesel [shows the black iPhone pouch case], which I was looking for the other day. It’s perfect. I just put it here, and I don’t even tell anyone. Well, I’m telling you — but I’m not telling anyone that I’m live.
You also just signed up for Snapchat too. How’s that experience been?
It’s been weird. I’ve only been getting dick pics. It’s not cute. I’m like, “Can you send me some other stuff?”
What would you prefer to see?
I don’t know — other people’s lives, all this other stuff that’s happening around the world. Not just dick pics. That’s just boring.
What do you send on Snapchat?
My life, like yesterday when I was in Malibu and Venice. I love the California life. I would move straightaway, but I just signed a long contract with Diesel and it’s in Venice … (pauses) Italy. (Laughs.)
Since you’ve mentioned your love for California, what made you want to design a collection exclusively for H. Lorenzo?
Diesel Tribute is my homage to the ’90s Diesel, what Renzo did in the ’90s. For me, it is such an exciting thing. It was all about sports taking on casual wear, and I love that, so I made a mini capsule. I took the old archives and slightly changed the material to make it more today. The sports trend is everywhere today. I feel like, for the main collection we do at Diesel, it’s more about denim and leather, so it was perfect to do a small capsule collection for this. And what an honor to be at H. Lorenzo because it’s so cool to have incredible store supporting it. I’m super, super happy.
What type of person did you have in mind when designing the latest collection?
Just the people who would go to H. Lorenzo — the kind of people who like to explore new things and aren’t scared of trying new things. Some of these pieces aren’t easy to wear. You have to be confident. I feel like people that shop at H. Lorenzo are very confident, so I like that. A Diesel girl needs to be confident.
When did you first discover H. Lorenzo?
My hotel is near the other H. Lorenzo [on Sunset Blvd.], so that’s how I know [about this one]. The other one is all black, very Belgium, but this one is very funky and cool. (Points to Robertson Blvd. location.) It’s perfect for Diesel.
We know you’re very much involved in music. What kind of playlist did you have while designing the collection?
’90s rave, for sure. And the music that I’m listening to now, well, I’m actually working with Brooke Candy. She’s launching her album in a couple of months — it’s so good. Brooke is an amazing talent; she’s going to be a huge star.
How did you first meet her?
I think both me and Sia approached her around the same time, like two years ago. I saw her in a Grimes video. I was like, ‘Who is this crazy creature?’
That meat dress you made for Lady Gaga is something that people still remember. What do you envision as Brooke Candy’s style?
I just feel creativity is endless and what I did for Gaga was perfect at that time. It felt like we created history and it was such a beautiful moment. Brooke is completely different. She’s a rapper. Of course, her image is very important, but she likes to be a bit more casual. We’re still going to do crazy stuff, but it’s going to be a completely different take. It’s really interesting because we’re going to play with this duality — this soft side and the hard side. She has a bit of Eminem in her; she’s an amazing rapper. Super exciting.
How much longer are you in LA?
I leave on Monday morning. I’m shooting the Diesel underwear campaign tomorrow and I’m shooting another Diesel thing tomorrow — this new denim that we’re promoting … which is denim for yoga, perfect for LA girls. (Laughs.)
What have been your favorite LA spots so far?
I love the nature, all the hills, Malibu, the beach. I went to Mustache Mondays, and that was super sweet in Downtown. I have so many friends here, so I just chill, drive around and just chill. I love walking down Melrose, looking at vintage stores. It’s great for research. Not this time, but normally I go to the Rose Bowl.
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