SEOUL — When the news emerged on Tuesday that Jeremy Scott had stepped down as the creative director of the Italian designer label Moschino after 10 years, he was busy settling into his latest destination: South Korea.
Via video call on Tuesday, Mr. Scott — in Seoul for Wednesday’s unveiling of Re:Style, his sustainable fashion collaboration using materials from discarded Hyundai vehicles — pondered his legacy at Moschino, his proudest achievements there and the reason he parted ways with the brand. Here are edited excerpts from that conversation.
Welcome to Seoul. Have you been here before?
I have been here. I’ve been here at least three times. Maybe four.
Tell me about the collaboration with Hyundai that brought you to Seoul.
They reached out to me about this two-pronged project — first the football jersey that we did for the World Cup, and then this part, being inspired by the work they’re already doing of taking former car interiors to then recycle that material and make it new fabric to do new interiors. So I wanted to take some of that fabric, create gowns out of it, but even go further and take actual car parts and then create this blend of an idea of things that have been recycled from cars. And that way we can reimagine using elements to do something very theatrical and fanciful and whimsical.
How much leeway were you given to bring your style to these designs?
I had carte blanche, and that was very, very wonderful. Because that’s where I work best, honestly, is when people want to work with me, and they want to work with me because of the visions I’ve created over these 27 years of doing sometimes challenging and out-of-the-box, unexpected kinds of ideas in clothes.
A couple of years ago, you expressed an interest in branching out into film. What else can we expect from your next chapter?
Film is something I’ve been still pursuing in different ways, obviously, through the pandemic. I did three short films in lieu of shows and created different narratives, and that was very exciting for me to step into the role of directing and creating, from the marionette show to “Jungle Red” and then, finally, the musical I did with Karen Elson. Different ways to express myself and express ideas. And I loved it. Definitely still on the directing tip and trying to figure out how that can fit in and everything can work time-wise.
Why did you and Moschino part ways?
You know, I felt like it was a great amount of time. Ten years is enough to really bookend something. And now it’s time for me to start a new project.
Anything specific in mind?
Oh, you know. It’s too soon for me to say.
What do you hope your legacy is from your time at Moschino?
I think I hope it’s what I’ve done, like brought humor and whimsy and joy to the catwalk and to the campaigns and hopefully even through people’s Instagram — just put a smile on people’s faces. If I’ve done that, then I think mission accomplished.
As Moschino gets ready to celebrate their 40 years as a brand, you know — 10 of that’s me. Ten of that was Franco [Moschino]. So, you know, I feel very proud to have been able to dust off that brand that had been forgotten and kind of overlooked and put it on the map again in such a bold, bombastic way and, honestly, having my grand finale be Angela Bassett at the Oscars.
It just made me so happy when she texted me today and was so excited about the news. You know, I just was, like, “You were the cherry on top of it all.” That was the perfect pièce de résistance.
Can you envision yourself moving on completely solo and going back to your own label?
Absolutely. As I own my own brand and I own my name completely outright, that was always a possibility of just coming back and stepping into my own brand. I mean, for 27 years it’s what I’ve been doing, you know? Designed for 10 of it, yes, with Moschino. But other than just a couple years with this pandemic, I have a long, rich history of my own legacy.
Was the split with Moschino amicable?
Absolutely. I have nothing but love for them, and I hope that’s exactly how they feel about me.