See the Early '90s Movie That Inspired Empire Costume Designer Paolo Nieddu to Go Into Fashion
Sure, Paolo Nieddu grew up being meticulous about his clothes ("I can't wear jeans to school—it's not dressy enough!" he recalls), but it wasn't until he saw Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead around age 10 or 11 that he realized he could make a career out of his love for fashion. "Growing up in Michigan, there's not people with jobs in fashion," Empire's costume designer says in the video above. "That was probably the first introduction I had into what I thought that world was like."
In the 1991 film, teenager Sue Ellen (Christina Applegate) is forced to grow up fast after the elderly babysitter left to care for the 17-year-old and her four siblings while mom is away in Australia unexpectedly dies. In an effort to get some cash to pay the bills, Sue Ellen lies about her age and experience to land a job at the fictional General Apparel West. "When I walk out of this film, I feel inspired by taking a chance," Nieddu says, who joins other style setters for a glam edition of Fandango's fun web series, "I Love Movies," where notables talk about the films that affected them most.
Though on the surface, the movie is a lighthearted comedy, for Nieddu, it holds a deeper meaning. "It showed that there's not always a direct path to find something you love," he says. "Watching movies and seeing—particularly in this film—this sort of path, it definitely made me know that I wanted to pursue something in fashion." And we have to say Nieddu, legions of Empire fans are so glad that you did.