Over the past few years, Kansas City has been building a respectable fashion community.
While several designers are taking their time building their brands, Kansas City native Jeremy Scott has become not only an inspiration for his fellow designers, but also an internationally known fashion icon.
But before he became the Creative Director for the Italian fashion house, Moschino, and started designing for pop music superstars Gwen Stefani and Madonna, Jeremy began his creative journey while he was growing up on a Missouri farm. He credited his Midwest upbringing for unlocking his creativity conduciveness.
“I grew up mostly on a farm and because I was on a farm, sometimes I had to make do with not having the toys or playthings that you would wish to have.” Said Scott. “A tractor trailer wheel became part of a rocket ship, or a plate became a flying saucer, and the silo was another planet.”
As he grew older, Scott began to turn his creative conduciveness towards style and fashion. Throughout his high school years, he created outfit after outfit to build his fashion portfolio, and he sent it to his top school of choice: The Fashion Institute of Technology. However, the school rejected Scott and claimed that his work ‘lacked originality’ and ‘artistic ability.’
“When I received that letter, I felt like The Great and Powerful Oz was telling me that I cannot work in fashion,” Scott told a crowd before a screening of Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer, a documentary that was a part of the 2016 Kansas City Film Fest lineup. “After getting that letter, I told myself: “I MUST GO FORWARD!”
Scott left Kansas City and moved to the American fashion capital: New York City, where he earned his stripes at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute. After graduating, Scott decided to take a big leap and jumped to Europe’s fashion capital: Paris. In the City of Lights, Scott struggled to build his brand and even slept in the Paris Metro. Eventually, Scott’s determination led him to showcase his line in Paris through a self-funded fashion show that broadcasted on Paris television.
“Fashion is a hard job.” Scott exclusively told byteclay.com “When people think of fashion, they think of celebrities, and they also believe it is very glamorous. There is a lot of hard work, time, and passion that goes into this job.”
Over time, Scott’s creative designs gained him popularity around the world and several people wanted the Kansas City native to style them, including a woman who was about to change the pop music scene.
“A few years ago, I met a fan who stated that I was her favorite designer, and she wanted me to dress her when she became famous,” Scott told the Kansas City Film Fest crowd. “A couple of months after our encounter, she kept requesting that an outfit of mine and eventually, I caved in and delivered the outfit to her. It turned out that the girl was the same fan that wanted to work with me: Katy Perry.”
The designer continued to collaborate with the “I Kissed A Girl” singer throughout their respective careers, and it was Scott that helped her create the outfits she wore at her 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show.
“She is like a sister to me and is a very genuine good-hearted person,” Scott stated. “Katy came with me to the first premiere in Hollywood at the TCL Chinese Theatre, and we put our hands in the cement.”
Throughout the film, several of Scott’s famous clients including Perry, ASAP Rocky, Rihanna, Rita Ora and future ‘Voice’ coach Miley Cyrus all made cameo appearances through the documentary and filmmakers Edwin Mejia and Vlad Yudin were successful at capturing the personal relationships between the superstars and clients.
“All these people are actual friends of Jeremy.” Said Director Vlad Yudin. “These are all very real relationships.”
To capture the relationships between Jeremy and his superstar clients, plus his responsibilities as the Moschino Creative Director, Yudin and his team spent two years following the fashion designer.
“We traveled from Europe to Los Angeles and from New York to Milan and Paris,” Yudin stated. We saw him present his work to different companies including Moschino. It was just a very hectic production schedule.”
While Scott’s debut as the Moschino Creative Director met with mixed reviews, he received a hero’s welcome back home as the Kansas City Film Fest presented Scott with the KC Legend Award.
“It was a very emotional moment for me. I could barely speak.” Scott said. “To be surrounded by the people who supported me throughout my journey and to receive an award from my hometown is a bit more than I could even imagine. It was a very sweet ceremony, and I felt very humbled.”
“Jeremy came from absolutely nothing, and now, he is a successful designer and businessman, who is incredibly inspirational,” Yudin said. “This film will inspire people to overcome any obstacles and break through and be successful in life.”