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Funky U.S. designer pursues distinctive style

July 7, 2011 - 19:14 By Park Min-young
Jeremy Scott. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

We knew sneakers could fly when touched by Jeremy Scott, and now it seems so could jeans and hoodies. In line with the winged sneakers that marked a hit, especially among teenagers here, the U.S. designer added little wings on clothes as well for the 2011 F/W line of adidas Originals by Jeremy Scott.

“There’s an optimistic symbol about it (wings), an uplifting that has such a positive feeling. As it became such a symbol, I try to keep it in different aspects. When I was asked to make jeans, I thought why not put wings on them,” Scott told The Korea Herald at the adidas Originals building in Sinsa-dong, southern Seoul.

Dressed in an impressively-cut bright orange jacket, matching sneakers and sporting his usual distinctive hair style, the Missouri-born designer looked as funky as his designs. He enjoys wearing his clothes, he said.

“The great thing about being a designer is that I could design clothes that don’t exist. I think about the things I would like to wear, what my friends would like to wear, things that are missing from my wardrobe.”

It has been a while since the U.S. designer settled down as one of today’s hottest fashion figures. Recognized for his quirky, fun and pop-art-like collections, he has dressed scores of Hollywood celebrities including Britney Spears, Madonna, Rihanna, Paris Hilton, Gwen Stefani, and even Lady Gaga. On the Korean front, his customers include 2NE1, Big Bang, Lee Hyori and Rain.

After graduating from the Pratt Institute in New York, Scott debuted with his own label collection at the Paris Fashion Week in 1997, shocking the European audience with his sensational styles. He quickly placed his name in the fashion world and garnered enthusiasts as he introduced more eccentric collections through time, like a dress made of dollar bills and Flintstone-esque high heels. Karl Lagerfeld once said that Scott was the only designer who deserved to take his position when he leaves Chanel.

“Whatever ideas and inspirations I have, I guess I design things that are very exciting-looking and more original-looking. My target is young people who love pop culture and its influence,” said the designer.

He was very fashion-conscious as a young kid, he said, and wore things to set himself apart from others. Does he want people who wear his designs to stand out in their groups?

“I think that’s what happens, yes,” he said with a laugh.

“People who love my clothes have distinctive personalities. That’s the thing about it. I think what you are wearing describes what tribe you belong to. This is my tribe and these are my people. This is the music we listen to, the computers we use and websites we like. We link together in that sense,” he said.

Here, Scott became known for his close relationship with 2NE1. After coming across their music videos for “Lollypop” and “Fire” online one day, in which the singers happened to have been wearing his clothes, he told his PR that he would love to meet them on his trip to Korea. When he actually did, it was like love at first sight because they were each “so beautiful, unique, cute and talented.”

“They are not fake, not manufactured. They are not, like wearing things that they are told to wear and not liking it. They love what they wear and they each have their own taste. I love the success of K-pop that has been happening internationally but they kind of draw a line; there’s like K-pop groups (here) and 2NE1 (there),” said Scott. He said that CL, especially, is one of his muses.

The connection to 2NE1 drew him to the Korean pop scene and even landed him as a jury member for the third season of Project Runway Korea.

“The contestants were much better than those in America, much more truly into fashion. I was definitely impressed with all of them as a whole than I was with contestants in America,” he said.

“I think Korean people seem to really embrace fashion, I see lot of different styles and kids totally seem to get it. They are always pushing forward something new. Everyone has, like even older ladies have sophisticated well put together look here.”

For a high-fashion designer like him, doing collaborations is a way to show his diversity and prove that he can also successfully design clothes in mass scale as well. He is currently doing three collaborations with adidas Originals, Swatch and Longchamp, which he said are “three perfect marriages.”

“All three of the brands understand me, love what I can do and want the pure essence of what I do. I am like an all or nothing person and I can only give out my whole heart. So I need to know that the people I am going to work with are not going to take my heart and step on it,” he said.

Designing something a lot of people can wear and afford does not mean he has to lose his unbeatable wit and originality. The animal prints and military camouflages, as well as the claw scratches that cut through the adidas logo immediately shout out that they are by Scott.

“There’s definitely a fashion vocabulary, like a pool, that I work in, from animal prints and camouflages to wings. That way it’s a constant evolution rather than something just drastically different each time,” said Scott, adding that he also wanted to express “appreciation to the brand for accepting that and not feeling too precious with the logo.”

What is fashion to him?

“Everything I live and breathe. It’s the computer you type on, the website you go to, all the choices you make, that’s all it is. It’s a lifestyle,” he said.

By Park Min-young  (

<한글 기사>

2NE1의 씨엘과 함께 프로젝트 런웨이 코리아3에 출연하여 한국인들에게 더욱 친숙해진 미국의 디자이너 제레미 스캇이 이번엔 아디다스 오리지널스의 디자이너 콜라보레이션 라인인 Originals by Jeremy Scott의 올 가을, 겨울 컬렉션으로 돌아왔다.

대학 졸업 후, 1997년 자신의 브랜드로 파리의 패션 위크에서 데뷔 유럽의 관중들을 놀라게 만든 그는 자신과 친구들이 입고 싶어하지만 옷장에서 찾을 수 없는 디자인을 만들어 내는 것이 자신의 디자인 모토라고 코리아헤럴드와의 인터뷰에서 말했다.

팝아트를 연상시키는 그의 컬렉션은 2NE1 이외에 빅뱅, 이효리, 비가 즐겨입으며 그 외에도 그웬 스테파니, 브리트니 스피어스, 마돈나, 패리스 힐톤, 레이디 가가 등의 헐리우드 패셔니스타들의 사랑을 받고있다.

제레미 스캇은 2NE1을 한눈에 독특한 개성과 실력을 갖춘 그룹이라고 느꼈다고 한다. 2NE1은 주어지는 대로 입는 다른 아이돌과는 달리 패션을 사랑하고 각 멤버들이 자신의 취향을 알고 그에 충실히 옷을 입는다고 말한다. 그는  특히 씨엘이 그가 사랑하는 뮤즈중의 하나라며 칭찬을 아끼지 않았다.