Naomi Campbell’s milestone 50th episode for her “No Filter with Naomi” YouTube series had to be major—and indeed it was, as the iconic supermodel hosted couturier Jean Paul Gaultier for a candid and hilarious reunion this afternoon.
Calling in from Paris, Gaultier discussed a range of open and honest topics with Campbell, starting with the origins of their 35 -year friendship. The model and designer first became acquainted when she walked in his Spring 1987 show, after he had seen her in a 1986 issue of French Elle. “And I said, that girl, she will come to Paris, I want to see her!” Gaultier recalls. The rest is (fashion) history, as they say, with Campbell serving as a Gaultier muse ever since.
The designer disclosed that much of his inspiration comes from London, where the fashion scene’s unfiltered freedom and rebellious nature has sparked ideas for many of his collections. His brand’s signature white and blue-striped shirt was also discussed, with Gaultier revealing its inspiration was the French Navy.
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Campbell applauded Gaultier’s early adoption of diversity and inclusivity, which was also a cause for her walking his runways for years. “Any of the girls that were not booked at the agency, they always were like, ‘Are you doing Gaultier?’ I’d be like, ‘Yes.’ Because if you were not doing Gaultier, you were not hip.” Campbell dishes in the video. “And if you were not in your show, it was not a good look for you.”
Gaultier also dove into his relationships with the fashion and pop culture worlds, particularly with Madonna (whose infamous cone bra he designed!). On a related note, both Gaultier and Campbell reminisced about their times working and socializing with Azzedine Alaia, as well as Campbell wearing his nude embroidered dress and a gown from his Frida Kahlo collection on David Letterman in the ’90s.
JPG further discusses the future plans for his label as well—a new designer will be tapped for the house each season. The idea dates back to a concept Gaultier’s originally thought of when he was working at Patou in 1987. Much like Gaultier’s own career beginnings—when he was hired by Pierre Cardin, despite having no fashion education!—the upcoming designers won’t be expected to be formally trained either. The first is Chitose Abe of Sacai, whose inaugural Jean Paul Gaultier collection was delayed due to live shows remaining canceled. But Gaultier revealed that the show is finally planned for this July. As for the other designers that have already been chosen? He remained tight-lipped! “Some that you know, and very well. And some that you don’t know,” Gaultier hinted.
Of course, given Gaultier’s extensive and iconic presence in fashion, Campbell inquired about how he viewed the current state of the industry. Aside from brands today adopting more diversity and inclusion, which Gaultier kickstarted before mainstream fashion caught on, the designer believes that the industry needs in-person runway shows to truly appreciate and understand fashion. “Like real, and reality. You feel the audience, you feel the people, the energy that it gives on yourself, what you can give to them,” Gaultier states. “”It takes emotion. For me, the live is the best thing.”
Watch the whole interview right here: