Coming to an Urban Outfitters Near You
by LUKE LEITCH
Nicola Formichetti’s get-up-and-go dynamism has driven his rise from shop assistant to creative director of Diesel, via a memorable stint as right-hand man to Lady Gaga. Now the ever-versatile stylist-designer can add another category to his hyphenate: photographer. Formichetti has shot his first-ever lookbook for a special capsule collection produced by Nicopanda, the labor-of-love brand that he runs alongside his duties at Diesel. The 10-piece collection is an exclusive for Urban Outfitters; it has just dropped online, and next week will be featured in Formichetti-masterminded window and store displays in Manhattan outlets of the multi-brand store. We caught up with Formichetti in Cape Town, where he’s working on the Spring ’18 campaign for Diesel.
Your last Nicopanda show was a collaboration with Amazon Prime, so now you’re pivoting from digital?
I always want to try different things with Nicopanda; to have fun, experiment, and be free. The Amazon project was amazing; it was almost scary how rapidly they were able to deliver the collection, even for someone who lives in digital like me. This is something else. Urban Outfitters is very active on digital and social, too, but I’ve always been a big fan of its stores. They’re cool, with a great energy. And physical stores give you something you don’t get online.
How would you categorize the capsule collection?
A holiday collection! Our classic puffer and sweats, easy and comfy, but with attitude from colorful camouflage, and some strong dresses. This capsule is priced lower than we usually go, too. I’m excited about finding a new audience.
And now you’re becoming a photographer?
Well, I’m not a professional, that’s for sure, but I started taking pictures recently. I was always in front of the models and directing photographers anyway, so it makes sense. We did this shoot at my studio in Tribeca. I live upstairs—no excuse ever to be late!—and it was a fun process.
Does Renzo Rosso (Diesel founder and owner of Marni and Maison Margiela) have any interest in Nicopanda?
No, Nicopanda is my baby. But I see a lot of Renzo and the family, and he teaches me a lot about the back end. He’s fan of Nicopanda, and I’m a fan of Renzo!