Can you imagine what New York would be like if the only means of transportation was electric cars?
(Laughing) Well I guess it’d be a lot quieter, which might be a nice thing.
I’m sure you’ve noticed the emission-reducing initiatives in NYC with the electric taxis; in what ways do you think the city benefits from electric mobility?
I think it’s huge for the city. There is this constant grid of traveling 24 hours a day here. The air quality would be much better.
If your 10 year old self could be here right now and see your collaboration with smart, what would he say to you?
He is here right now! I’ve never let go of that person. I always try to do everything I put myself into and design with the most purity and passion and inspiration that I can, and that’s what I did with this car. That’s why I think it’s resonated with so many people. It is special and unique and new, while at the same time keeping with the iconic form of the car itself. I love it.
Top 3 reasons to live in or visit New York?
I love seeing people. It’s such a connected city and you get so much interaction with people. Whereas in LA you have to really plan out your interactions with people carefully. There’s so much great food here, especially great vegetarian restaurants. Culture is all around you all the time. It’s such a wonderful vibrant city.
Growing up in Kansas City, did you have a certain image of what the style or sense of fashion in New York was like?
I did. I definitely thought it was more like in the movies when you’d see waves of business people walking down the street and you’d think, “how can this many people even be on the sidewalk?” It just seemed really scary and intimidating. But on the flip side of that, I was also absorbing the club life in the original Details magazine that Andy Flanders founded. It had these great documentations of the early RuPaul and the club kids, that scene mixing with celebrities and models was so interesting to me. There was this mix of style and personalities that seemed very forward to me.
Do you think the fashion tastes in New York are evolving or is there something more classic about fashion here?
There are some things that are very New York. The street style here is so specific and a big part of that is actually being out on the street every day, so you really do have to flash it. In LA you have a car and other things that are “status symbols.” In New York the true status symbols are your kicks or your bag or your jacket. People here really stunt on the street.
You’ve been called the “last rebel standing” from the designers who rose in the “anti-fashion era” (roughly 1997-2001). Do you agree with this title?
I think it’s a very apropos and very generous and I’m flattered. It’s become a very sedate world in fashion and there was a time when more people took risks and had unique perspectives and stood out as individuals. You kind of have more of a potpourri and now it feels much more homogenous. I feel like it’s sad for the fashion world to be so generic. There isn’t as much distinction between the brands anymore.
Do you think the experience of designing a car, an object far more industrial than clothing, affected your considerations for this season’s collection?
I was definitely met with a lot of exciting challenges in designing the car and I feel like there are things that will periodically manifest themselves into my work. I don’t doubt that it has affected me. Everything I do comes from a little part of me and then you get this snowball affect and suddenly it’s a big thing. So yes, it affected my design aesthetic in a more general sense.
Have you explored sustainable options in your designs and productions? Is this something you’ve become more interested in after your collaboration?
I do not particularly as far as the fabrics and production go. It’s really a completely separate niche in the fashion world. The collaboration with smart is my most sustainable design thus far. I realize that we don’t even need another piece of clothing ever again. My job is to make things that people have to have because of desire.
Do you find yourself more inspired by the energy and infrastructure of a city or the people that live within it?
The people. I’m a people person.
What would a Jeremy Scott dream city look like?
It would have all the kids of Tokyo, the weather of LA, the ability to walk around like New York, and a roller coaster. It would be so nice to have a roller coaster in the city to when you just want that one thrill ride for a minute.
If you could choose one person to drive you around New York for a day in your car, who would it be, where would you go, and what would you be listening to?
Well I’d rather be driving in LA, because I’d feel safer. And I think it’d be fun to have Nicki Minaj drive me around and listen to her music all day.