Nicola Formichetti On What It’s Like To Design For The Angels

Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images.
It needs to be said that behind all of the flashing lights, a ton of work goes into what we see at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show every year. And we're not just talking about the steps it takes to sculpt those abs you hear so much about leading up to the show. The designers behind each segment of the spectacle work all year to craft those getups (no matter how little fabric actually goes into one) that flood our Instagram feeds every holiday season. That's why we sat down with one of this year's collaborators, Nicola Formichetti, to figure out what it took to pull together the 12 looks he made. Formichetti is currently the creative director of Diesel and his own label, Nicopanda. Formerly, he held the same post at Thierry Mugler and was righthand to Lady Gaga (who will be performing during the broadcast). Ahead of the show, we can only imagine what the Italian-Japanese creative has in store for the Angels. Our eyes will certainly be glued to all possible screens come December 5 when it airs on CBS at 10 p.m. But tonight, for the first time ever, the Angels walk the runway at the Grand Palais in Paris. How did the partnership with VS come about?
"Sophia Neophitou, the creative director of Victoria's Secret, approached me to work with her and the team on the Pink section of the show. The goal was to create something that reflected both the brands, so it's a real fusion of Nicopanda and Pink. From concept to design, everything took six months. We started working with the Victoria’s Secret team by first looking at the entire show's concept, then Pink's individual section, and from this, I worked with my team at Nicopanda on concept and design for all the looks." What was the inspiration behind that section of the show?
"All the silhouettes we've designed are based on girly sportswear, but the fabrication is where we really challenged the garment and used unconventional materials — sheer, sparkly, faux fur. We wanted to keep it quintessentially Pink, but with a Nicopanda twist. I want the audience to know that Nicopanda is for everyone. We're about being free-spirited and inclusive — being genderless and ageless. It's always about love and discovering the character in you."

What did you learn as a designer working on a project like this versus your own collections?
"It's fun collaborating on projects with other companies, because you can learn about different ways of creating. It's an exciting challenge, working to maintain your individual voices, while coming together to develop something completely new."

More from Designers

R29 Original Series