Uber stylist and creative director Nicola Formichetti has positioned himself at the centre of the industry by engaging effortlessly with millennial consumers, through his use of social media and his engagement with global aesthetics and demographics.
Formichetti moved to London using architecture school to sell it to his parents. Instead, the Italian spent three years immersed in the London club scene. During this time, Formichetti began working at The Pinneal Eye, a leading retailer — and something of a fashion institution in London’s Soho — that balanced the sharpness of Dior Homme and the rampant creativity of club kid-inflected collections. He worked there for two years, working his way up to become head buyer and art director. It was here that Formichetti met Katy England , then the fashion editor of Dazed and Confused, who offered him a monthly page titled "Eye Spy."
Formichetti’s work at Dazed catapulted him into London’s burgeoning "new style" magazine scene; a slew of projects followed for V, V Man, Another, Another Man and Arena Homme, granting Formichetti the opportunity to hone his talent in readiness for his next role as Dazed ‘s fashion editor, to which he was appointed in 2005. Formichetti stayed in the role until he was made the title’s creative director in 2008. Formichetti was appointed fashion director of Vogue Hommes Japan in September 2008, and remained in the role for the magazine’s duration.
Formichetti’s career was again irrevocably changed by another chance meeting — this time with Lady Gaga on a shoot for V Magazine in 2009. The art director has since said of their meeting that it was “an instant love.” He went on to become Lady Gaga’s personal design director, collaborating with her on some of her most memorable looks, including those for the 2010 MTV Awards and 53rd Grammy Awards, which saw Gaga arrive in a meat dress and a Hussein Chalayan egg, respectively.
In September 2010, Formichetti was announced as the creative director of Thierry Mulger, rebranded as Mugler. Formichetti spent two years at Mulger; his collections, produced concurrently with his work at Uniqlo, received mixed, but generally positive reviews. In December 2010, Formichetti was given the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at the Fashion Awards.
Formichetti was among the honourees for the 2018 Emery Awards, which recognise individuals and organisations that demonstrate outstanding leadership within the LGBTQ+ community.
His appointment as Diesel’s creative director in April 2013 has ensured fashion’s most contemporary iconoclast has a commercial platform sizeable enough to test just how much he can achieve. Formichetti parted ways with Diesel in December 2017 after four years as the brand's artistic lead.