Photo by Nicholas Ong, styled by Nicola Formichetti

July 26, 2011

Nicola Formichetti came through Milk Studios to shoot some shots for Vogue Homme Japan last week and took some time out of his ridiculously busy schedule to answer a few of our questions.

MILK MADEYou’re currently working with a new photographer, Brian Jankic. Tell me about working with him.

NICOLA FORMICHETTI: Actually, his name is Branislav Jankic. He is Serbian, so for some people it’s hard to pronounce, they call him Brian instead. Branislav sounds cool though, so raw and tough! He told me, he used to call himself Brian to hide his roots.. I guess, I’m kind of the same. I used to hate my name, I always thought, Nicola sounds a lot like a girl..And Formichetti is just weird.. kind of like Spaghetti! I always wanted to change it to Nick, and my surname to Williams.. or Smith.. Nick Smith. I always got embarrassed at Starbucks, when they asked my name..I said its Nick..didnt want them to make weird faces. I guess I got used to it now. People started telling me that it sounds kind of cool and different so I started to change the way I look at it. I should be proud of who I am and where I come from; my parents and my routes. Well, Branislav and I are kind of similar. Living in a foreign country and having to adapt and adjust. Now we are both ready and able to face where we come from and be proud of it. I love creating with him. He is very pure and passionate. Also, we love similar things, similar references like CaravaggioPasolini, leather,.. its crazy to think that we only started working together 2 months ago and we’ve done so much already; the Mugler film and the photos, GQ Style, Vogue Homme Japan, China Modern Weekly, and a few secret projects coming up…very exciting.

MM: You’re known for finding creative new talents and pushing them into rising stars. What qualities in particular do you look for in new talents?

NF: Well, for me it feels very natural to work with new talents, I get so inspired from their energy, it keeps me motivated. I like people that are doing their own thing. I suppose, I always see beauty in underdogs. Because I was one, and I always had people that helped me rise. I love working with big photographers like Steven Klein, Nick Knight, Inez and Vinoodh… I actually can’t even believe that I’m collaborating with those people, it’s like a dream come true! They are so inspirational. These creators can make your dream come true, so I want to do the same for other people.

MM: What direction do you see Mugler taking in the future?

NF: I want Mugler to become a digital global brand. I want to create a new kind of fashion brand, a new way of looking at fashion and take a step into digital communication. A kind of brand that hasn’t been seen before, something new for our next generation. We need to take fashion to the next level! Its needed right now. It’s just a start…

MM: What were the inspirations for this issue’s photo shoot?

NF: Milk Studio was so kind to let us use the studio for our shoot for Vogue Hommes Japan and China Modern Weekly. These pictures are just a backstage memory of the shoots and I think it’s great that I get to use it on your site as a little preview! Otherwise it would just end up on my Facebook page..haha. I can’t show you what I did for my stories, you’ll have to wait till it comes out in September But I can tell you this, the theme for Vogue Hommes Japan was freedom fighters, Greek gods meet boxers, and for Modern China Weekly I wanted to present 12 young designers from China, which I will be showcasing in my pop-up store NICOLA’s in New York from September 8 – 21 on 57 walker street in Tribeca. I will have cool stuff from Japan, young designers, Uniqlo, a performance space. As well as creations that I did for Mugler, Lady Gaga, etc.. Also I’m launching my own brand next year, so there will be a sneak preview of what’s coming up in the future for that. So please come and visit me. I will be in and out of the store all the time.

MM: You’ve talked a lot about how important it is for your brand to go digital, and it seems the fashion industry is following suit. What do you think the future is for fashion magazines and the industry as a whole?

NF: For me, the digital approach is very important, it’s the future. But we should not forget about our reality, the physical world. We always need to embrace new things, but never be dependent on them. There will be fashion magazines on paper and on-line. The fashion industry as a whole will shift towards digitalism too. I don’t really know how, but it’ll be great! I love change!

MM: How many pages do you have in your passport?

NF: HAHA! I’m on my second one this year!

–Mike Abu