My Luxury Life: Nicola Formichetti

The prolific 38-year-old Italian-Japanese designer, best known for his work with Lady Gaga, started in the studio of Alexander McQueen before becoming the creative director of Dazed & Confused magazine in 2008, followed by artistic director of Vogue Hommes Japan, creative director of Uniqlo and Thierry Mugler, and now the artistic director of Diesel since 2013.

Nicola Formechetti colects Manga figurines and Hello Kitty. Courtesy: Nicola Formechetti
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If you could wake up anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you be?

Bali, in particular a place called Ubud. It’s so peaceful and calm, it’s like paradise on Earth, and I try to go there every year. I never get bored of it and on each trip I always end up discovering something new to do, or about myself. It’s the perfect place to sit back and reflect.

You're sitting down to the perfect meal. Where are you, whom are you with and what are you eating?

I’m by the sea in Japan where I grew up, with my mother and grandmother, eating sushi. Family is very important to me and my fondest memories always include them.

What is your definition of good style?

Someone who is not scared of making mistakes. Style is about being bold, trying and failing and trying again. Mistakes don’t mean you got it wrong, but instead help you get comfortable in your own skin.

What's the best piece of fashion advice you have ever received?

When you are dressing, don’t overthink it. Trust your instincts.

If you could design for anyone in history, who would it be?

Marilyn Monroe, because she is the ultimate style icon, a glamorous outcome who started with nothing, but made the best of what she had. Also, that notion of a life filled with secrets – this is what dreams are made of.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Free. Fast. Fun.

Where do you go to shop?

The flea market. I find my best items there. It’s not mainstream and that is what I love – not everyone will have it.

What is your favourite city and why?

Tokyo. It’s both modern and traditional, and you get the best of both worlds. For me, it used to be home and I will never forget the many years I spent there. Tokyo will always have a special place in my heart.

Where in the world do you call home?

New York, for quite a while now. Before that I was in London for almost 10 years and before that between Tokyo and Rome.

What is your favourite time of day?

The golden hour – sunset time. It’s the beauty of the brightest light turning into darkness, and is something that everyone is always blown away by.

If there was a song that best represented your life, what would it be?

Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush. It's about perseverance, which is key in the fashion industry. The song helps to bring out the beauty in whatever I am doing at the time.

Are you a collector?

Yes. I love collecting toys. I have thousands in my house in New York, mostly Manga figurines and a lot of pandas because the panda is my spirit animal. And a lot of Hello Kitty. I’ve always been obsessed by Hello Kitty.

What, in your opinion, is the most overrated luxury?

I don’t know about overrated, but the only real luxury is time. No matter what, you can always make time for your friends, your family and your passion. Time is the ultimate luxury, for sure.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career so far?

My mum. She has the most exquisite sense of style, and it’s something that I will always carry with me.