“What I love about the Powerpuff Girls is how they work together. That’s what life is about: everyone around you finding what they’re good at and lifting each other up!” Jeremy Scott said this when I asked what the Powerpuff Girls are like in person, since everyone knows Jeremy is an IRL cartoon who hangs with other cartoons. Making alliances in any job is important, but finding friends in fashion is hard. An “IT” name comes and ghosts before you trade your stilettos in for lace-up ballerinas and sell those for sneakers.The industry thrives on anticipating change at all costs. To survive in fashion, one must embrace the unknown and uncomfortable. But survival isn’t the ultimate goal; sticking around is! How can you manage that? By selling your soul to Anna Dello Russo? I can’t legally disclose that! But I can say that staying true to your ideals and being cosy with coworkers may help you keep a grip on this moda world, spinning faster than a drag queen at Le Bain.
Jeremy Scott is a household name, the couture prince of America and Italy! While every Jeremy Scott and Moschino collection he creates is wildly unalike — his love of pop culture, irony and bringing glory to mundane objects (like a bag of potato chips) shine through. He’s kept his principles close and his colleagues closer. Like, who?
True “supermodels” don’t adapt to fashion; they’re a fundamental part of its metamorphosis — like Devon Aoki. She’s starred in every campaign anyone could want, as well as iconic music videos and Hollywood films (she got her driver’s license on the set of 2 Fast 2 Furious, FYI). Aoki has said that putting the word “super” in front of anything is silly. I think she was trying to cover up the fact that Aoki, supermodel, and Scott, superdesigner (we’re coining that term), are superheroes who use their friendship to create superworks. For years (decades!) they’ve joined forces on the sickest runways and shoots, including this one! Here, they chat Pictionary, pendulum swings and bullying whole milk drinkers with Chrissy Teigen.
Wonderland: What inspired this shoot?
Jeremy Scott: I got to shoot my muse, long-time friend, confidant and baby mama — who I adore — Devon Aoki! My fashion show was her first show, when she was 13.We’ve had such a long relationship that it feels like when twins have telepathy… So I started thinking about this as a twin story!
W: Devon, what are your top memories with Jeremy?
Devon Aoki: Thanksgiving dinner and our epic Pictionary battles. His shows: the pink show; the shell show and the money show. Opening the white show was the first time we met, and I felt at home with him right away! Shooting with Jeremy and Karl Lagerfeld — bringing the two most important people in my life together for the first time, there were bound to be fireworks! Finding each other at the Cinderella Ball in Italy with Alessandro Dell’Acqua, Björk and my mother.
W: Jeremy, you grew up in Kansas and have noted how your isolation inspired you. We all love the internet, but do you think that instant gratification can hinder young creatives from exploring themselves?
JS: I’m sure that in some way, there will be a backlash. What that will be, I don’t know! But every pendulum swings, there’s always a yin to the yang… All the skills that we hone and create from being alive and from our personal interactions are what help us pull forward. So if you’re not experiencing that, there will be some kind of deficit. Says the old person.
W: By now, we all know Devon got discovered at a Rancid show (and will receive infinite street cred until the end of time). In the early noughts, I had to sneak into concerts or steal CDs to get to the punk songs I wanted. What are your thoughts on kids today being able to hear any song or watch any concert or music video at any time online?
DA: I think music discovery and culture has not been negatively affected by technology. I believe it’s actually been improved. People still go out to see shows and discover artists.Technology has been an amazing tool for discovery, which means that more people get to experience different types of music then ever before. More artists are touring because of that exposure, so there’s a lot more opportunity to see artists that you never would have discovered — in person. My brother Steve Aoki is a perfect example of a life on tour, the desire to connect with everyone globally and that punk rock attitude!
W: Devon, you were in Fergie’s “M.I.L.F.$” video. Who did you hit it off with on set? Were y’all using real milk? Spill!
DA: All kinds of milk was used! Chrissy Teigen and I were laughing, because we were the only two girls that chose whole milk! We blamed it on being Asian! I gotta say, it was great hanging with Gemma Ward. I’ve wanted to meet her for so long. And Fergie is just such a nice person — down to earth and a real girl’s girl.
W: Has becoming a mother affected your view on the fashion and film industries, and how young talents are treated? Would you let your kids land a deal aged 13, like you did?
DA: If you are working with people you trust and have agents that are family, I think it’s an easy choice. I never want to push my kids to do something that they don’t want to do. I only want to support their own goals and dreams. Who knows what those dreams will be, but I’ll be there to support them.
W: Jeremy, your NETFLIX documentary is called The People’s Designer. The name is perfect — you’ve always wanted to make fashion accessible. In the doc, A$AP Rocky says you changed his life, when everyone in Harlem had your winged Adidas shoes. Often, fashion is excessively exclusive. Why are designers afraid of connecting with the masses?
JS: For me, it’s such a natural thing to want to see people wearing your clothes! I want to dress as many people as possible in my designs.That’s why the Adidas job was so great, I got to make my designs available while maintaining superb quality. I fundamentally believe that people do want fun fashion. People do want exciting things — something doesn’t have to be exclusive to be exciting. It can’t always be that you spent two months’ rent to get a pair of shoes — that’s not fair.
W: Speaking of unfair, I went to fashion school and was horrible at sewing and pattern making. This kept me from designing what I wanted. I’d ask my professors: “If the architecture students don’t have to build their own buildings, why should I have to sew my own clothes?” Should construction be a requirement for all fashion students?
JS: You’ve got a good point, there are going to be people who are talented but can’t do everything themselves, so they could articulate those ideas to someone else. For me, it was great to learn those skills. I had a near breakdown freshman year, thinking: “I can’t do this, I won’t survive!” Then I just picked myself up and pushed through it. Those techniques were the building blocks which gave me the idea to see, imagine and construct things differently.
W: Pretty please, Jeremy, give us a hint — what will you do next?
JS: It’s like a Christmas present, you don’t want to peek so you don’t ruin the surprise! New York [fashion week] will be exciting… A homage to New York City, I can tell you that much. New York is the muse.