Jeremy Scott has done it all. He’s brought fun back to the house of Moschino since taking over as Creative Director in 2013. He’s dressed the world’s biggest pop stars. He’s even turned SpongeBob into haute couture. Now, on September 18, the Missouri-born farm boy takes you behind the scenes of his very serious humorous life with a new documentary, Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer. Scott and the film’s director, Vlad Yudin, chatted with InStyle about the film, which details everything from the designer’s humble upbringing in Kansas City to his current fashion reign that spans the world.
“I’ve always been very, very positive and believed in having a vision,” Scott said. “It really doesn’t matter what the reality is of what’s going on around me. It’s the vision that keeps me going.” His vision is humor—and he takes it really seriously, as you can see in Moschino's Fall 2015 Looney Tunes-inspired collection and the label's unforgettable McDonald's theme, in 2014 to name just a couple. “It’s easy to be dismissive of humor,” said Scott. “Look at actors. People who do comedy for years get an Oscar for their first serious role. This is how it works. For me, there is so much strife in this world already. If what I do can lift your spirits, then I have achieved my goal.”
It's that vision that attracts the biggest pop stars in the world to wear his designs, including Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Rihanna, Rita Ora, and the queen of his "little angels," Katy Perry. "She's a muse. She came up to me before her first album dropped and said she hoped I’d dress her one day. Now we collaborate all the time, from that initial record release to the Super Bowl.”
What we found while talking with Scott and Yudin is that the documentary is an underdog story about reaching goals and living dreams. "It's fascinating that he's become a prominent figure in the fashion world, because he's been through so many obstacles," said Yudin. And now that he's at the top, Scott is experiencing the full effects of fame. "The cameras followed me into SoulCycle when we were filming," he said. "I was so embarrassed to be walking in with the crew around me. It didn't make it in the film, but I felt like a Kardashian. That was embarrassing."
Below, a breakdown of the elements that will draw you in the most.
The inspiration is transformation.
Jeremy Scott: "When they approached me about doing this film, it had not been public about me accepting the role in Moschino. So I knew the secret that they didn’t know. I thought it would be so magical to capture this transition and this journey."
Vlad Yudin: "Jeremy is a truly visionary designer. I think that he’s somebody who creates trends and in some way, there’s nobody out there now that’s like that. He has such a diverse fan base. It was interesting how he crosses over into so many different demographics. For Jeremy to come from a farm in Missouri and to achieve what he’s achieved, I wanted to learn about his story."
The farm is where it all began.
Scott: "It was important to me to visit where I grew up and show people that. I hadn’t been to the farm in over a decade. It felt magical to me. There were wonderful memories I had from growing up there."
Yudin: "At one point in the film, he was going through a pile of materials that were abandoned at his grandmother's house, telling a story about how she used to make quilts. That really inspired him and his first Moschino collection, which was basically packaging different brands and foods—almost like recycling—into these beautiful dresses. That was my favorite moment because you can draw parallels between that moment when he was little and where he is now."
The family is always by his side.
Scott: "[My family is] so supportive, and they were more than happy to sit down and to talk about our journey because they’re very much a part of who I am and how I am here today—even probably way more than I think is captured in the film. My sister bought my first sewing machine for me when I lived in Paris so I could make the first collection. And my mom put a second mortgage on the house to help me stay in Paris once things were starting to get going. She realized that I had a vision and I had to do something, because it was burning inside me in that respect. They never, ever wavered once I started on this real journey. I’m very blessed."
Yudin: "You don't see the designer's beginnings in most fashion films, but the family part is such a major part of this. It was important to show the environment where he grew up, because it helped develop his imagination. So we open the film with shots from the farm to give an idea of the world he experienced while growing up."
The fashion has no limits.
Scott: "I love when people are excited about fashion and have fun with it, because that’s the way it should be. It is frivolity. And it is ultimately not a necessity for physical needs. It’s a necessity for your heart. It lifts your spirit. It should hopefully bring you to something else or making you feel something else and bring you to another place in that way, in another mood and enlightened state. I take apart and re-contextualize things in fashion and pop culture, but it’s not something I do with a plan—it’s just my nature. It’s passion and it's trying to make the world a more exciting place."
Yudin: "I think for him there are no rules. He considers himself the people’s designer, even though some people have issues because he breaks the rules of fashion, which makes him a rebel in the fashion world in a way. But the people are what made him successful. The people have supported him and worn his designs, from sneakers to high-end pieces. That’s what really makes him the people’s designer—the people’s support."
The haters can keep on hating.
Scott: "I didn't mind talking about the critics and how I ignore them. I love that people get so passionate about my work. If they weren’t so strongly passionate, I wouldn’t have haters. And I wouldn’t trade the fans and the love just to not hear someone b—h about something. But I do wish that people would think about being a little bit kinder before they comment about other people in general."
Yudin: "People can always relate to someone who’s misunderstood and overcome something to achieve success. When he was growing up, people looked at him like he was insane for the way that he dressed. His high school even complained to his parents, but his family completely supported him."
The takeaway is inspiring.
Scott: "I want to instill a sense of hope in young people. It doesn’t matter if you were born dirt-poor with no family connections. I started by going to Paris with $100 in my pocket. I knew no one. I had no place to live. If you have a dream and you believe in something and you’re passionate about it and you work hard—then it really could be possible. It’s not the impossible dream."
Yudin: "The Jeremy Scott story is a true story of an underdog. His whole life, he was basically doing what he what he wanted to do and not caring about the pressure around him. But he’s doing what he’s doing and he’s successful at that because of people who supported him. The main concept of the film is that you have to believe in yourself and never give up. I feel like that’s a universal theme that maybe you wouldn’t expect in fashion, but in Jeremy Scott’s case, that’s the story of his life."
Watch the trailer for the documentary, out September 18, below.