Nicola Formichetti just presented his Sophomore outing as Creative Director of Mugler -- but the cult label is far from the only thing on Formichetti’s plate these days.
He launched a pop-up store with BOFFO in New York City during fashion week with an online store in the works, there are upcoming collaborations with Uniqlo and MAC Cosmetics, and of course all of his duties dressing Lady Gaga (someone has to keep her outfitted in meat dresses and egg cocoons after all).
We caught up with the fashion jack of trades when he was in New York during Fashion Week and he told us, “I don’t just do one thing, which is always a challenge. I spend a lot of time on planes.”
While the reviews for the Spring 2012 Mugler collection were lukewarm, Formichetti appears to have the confidence of his partners at the label. “I am so lucky to be working with the owners who understand me and who are very open to suggestions,” he said. “So when I come up with a crazy idea they are like, ‘Ok, let’s talk about it and then you can go for it.’ That’s why it has been really successful on our end visually and also we have sold a lot. I really think it’s because my partners have always had an understanding of what I wanted to do. We wanted to start really small, but we are growing, which is really exciting.”
Formichetti is part of a new breed of designers who have developed particularly close relationships with their fans thanks to platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, which might explain why Formichetti seems less than concerned with fashion critics.
"I was a late starter with social media," says Formichetti. "When e-mail came out, I said, ‘That’s going to be gone in a few years.’ But I really am fascinated by technology. Now I have friends who are bloggers, and it’s really interesting to have this direct communication with people online. When people love something they love it and they tell me. I really listen because these are the people that love my stuff. When they tell me its not so cool I listen. It’s like your best friend telling you something isn't’t cool. And because of it I have a really great friendship with my followers."
Formichetti has also been known to use social media in unique ways -- he found two of his assistants via Facebook, and one of his muses, Rick Genest, via Tumblr. He also boasts more than 95,000 Twitter followers.
Now the self-proclaimed late-starter is the innovator. “When I was in China recently I joined Weibo, which is the Chinese version of Twitter, and it’s incredible,” he said. “I can read Chinese because I speak Japanese, I can’t type it but I can read it. It’s a great way to get new friends out there.”
As for how Formichetti stays sane he said, “yoga and meditation helps.”