The Paradox of Designer Jeremy Scott

The clothes may be eccentric, but the man who makes them is "a very even keel."

Textile, Street fashion, Fur, Sneakers, Fashion model, Fashion design, Natural material, Wrap, Fur clothing, Costume design,

(Image credit: Archive)

Normal" isn't the first word that comes to mind when considering Jeremy Scott's unabashedly exuberant designs, which have most recently included: a minidress embellished with garbage (for Moschino), a chandelier dress (for his eponymous line), Candy Crush–emblazoned swimsuits (as part of a collaboration with the überpopular game), and bedazzled Uggs (part of yet another collaboration), to name a few. Yet that's exactly how the designer describes himself: "I'm a very normal person with a very even keel," he says. Those surprised by that statement may be forgiven, seeing as Scott can more often than not be found in head-to-toe animal print alongside superstars (and friends) like Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry. "I think because of the eccentricity of my work and how I dress, people expect me to be bouncing off the walls," he says. "But that's just not how I am."

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'From left to right: Moschino resort 2018, RileyMontanaandSoo JooPark inspring2017 looks, Jeremy Scott fall 2017'

(Image credit: Courtesy Designer; Middle: Marcus Mam)

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'A signed Polaroid from model, friend, and muse Devon Aoki'

(Image credit: Courtesy of the Designer)

That calm has allowed Scott to stay focused over a prodigious 20-year career that has included helming two major brands, a number of accolades (including an ANDAM Fashion Award early in his career), and countless collaborations, most notably with Adidas. Not that it's always been smooth sailing. "There have been a lot of challenges," he admits, citing initial rejection from the Fashion Institute of Technology (he instead went to Pratt) and critics' mixed reviews over the years. "But I'm still standing on my own, and it's quite an achievement knowing that I own my own business and created my own success through hard work and vision." The latest collection for his namesake label celebrates precisely that. "I've taken a look back at my body of work and tried to deduce an essence, capturing aspects that reoccur," he says. "Reflecting on your own product can be difficult yet enthralling." As for the next two decades, Scott's plan is simple: "I want to keep making cool, fun, and challenging work while having a blast and making people smile!" Sounds like a worthy goal to us.

"I'm naturally curious, and I stay inspired by trying to keep my mind and heart open to what's out there in the world."

This article appears in the September issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands now.

Hayley Phelan

Hayley Phelan is a novelist and journalist. Her work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, Elle, Harper's Bazaar and others. Her book criticism has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, and, as a humorist, her work has been published online at the New Yorker. Her debut novel LIKE ME is now available.