The History, Mystery and Wonder of Moschino

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Moschino is known for its gaudy, over-the-top, pop culture favorites with shows surrounding unique and extravagant themes that challenge all traditional Italian fashion standards. With top models sporting Moschino-branded clothing off-duty and strutting down their runways, it’s no wonder the public is fascinated by the brand.

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Since Jeremy Scott took on the role of creative director in October 2013, the outgoing brand has blown up and marketed itself as an edgy, non-conventional luxury company with dozens of celebrity and A-list endorsements.

So, how has Moschino been able to carve itself a slice of the sophisticated high-end market? Let’s start from the beginning. 

Photo from Zoya Lama on (left) and (right)

In 1983, Moschino’s vision came to life in Italy by the late founder, Franco Moschino. The label soon became famous for innovative, colorful and eccentric designs. Imagine the 2019 Met Gala theme “Camp” — that’s essentially the motto and mission of the brand: “playing and having fun” while staying grounded.

Even after Franco’s death, his critiques of the fashion industry and social awareness campaigns have continued in each of Jeremy Scott’s shows. Scott’s first show as director premiered in Fall 2014 and took on consumer culture through looks inspired by the likes of Ronald McDonald, Coco Chanel and SpongeBob. While some embraced the brash and bold nature of Jeremy Scott as an homage to Franco Moschino, some others were turned off to it.

However, as one Vogue article said, “If fashion were a candy store, Jeremy Scott would be the wide-eyed, gape-mouthed kid standing smack-dab in the middle of it.”

Jeremy has since been described often as a kid in a candy shop when it comes to his over-the-top shows, but the world of fashion loves it. It catches your attention like no other. 

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Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Jeremy Scott fell in love with the world of fashion at a young age and had his eyes set on Paris. He studied at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute and arrived in Paris in 1996 with almost nothing. However, through Scott’s own intuition and perseverance, he was able to land various industry jobs, even once finding himself under the guidance of Karl Lagerfeld. After making a name for himself, Scott moved back to the United States in 2001, and he relocated to Los Angeles to continue to produce jaw-dropping collections with even bolder colors and bigger hair.

Although he was often faced with severe criticism, Scott told Vogue, “I don’t care if the critics don’t like me. I want to be the people’s designer, like Diana was the people’s princess.” If you want even more proof of Scott’s wild nature, take it from A$AP Rocky. Rocky spoke of his friend in Jeremy Scott’s documentary, “Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer,” saying, “It’s F-U-N. That’s all, that’s all it is. Jeremy is just a big kid with a wild imagination.”

Scott has certainly put that wild imagination to work, coming out with shows on the subway, in a suburban neighborhood and in art frames. Take a look at some of VALLEY’s favorite Moschino collections.

Spring 2020 | Pablo Picasso

This elaborate and colorful collection was dedicated to the unconventional shapes, lines and content of Pablo Picasso and his muses. Scott told Vogue that while he was brainstorming various looks, he was inspired by Picasso’s Spanish background to incorporate bullfighting, flamenco and toreador costumes. Each model adorned rich color palettes, funky swirls and hand-painted strokes of color in their hair. He also told Vogue he was inspired by Picasso’s complete “abandonment of reality” with the irregular shapes, colors and forms of his work. 

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Check out Vogue’s Youtube Diary of a Model to get a sneak peek into the show.

Fall 2019 | The Price is Right

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As the black curtain of the show lifted, the jingle to The Price is Right opened the show as models with mile-high bouffant hairdos strutted down the runway to the iconic do-do-di-do. Jeremy Scott created this collection as a statement about rampant consumerism with pieces surrounding TV dinners, money prints and crystal-embellished packaging dresses. Scott’s primary message in the commercialized show was that shopping isn’t the solution and outlandish splurging isn’t the way to happiness. He clearly showed off his successful “Camp” vision. 

Spring 1994 | Franco’s Last Show

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Franco was best known for making fun of the fashion industry’s excessive extravagance, with some of his pieces being made of shopping bags, measuring tapes and other miscellaneous objects. In the last show before his death, Franco ran it like an exhibition with dozens of pieces emblazoned with slogans and gaudy patches ranging anywhere from zippers to Barbie clothes.

His symbolism reflected the excessive need to have slogans and mottos, telling Vogue in 1986, “I have always thought that the world was too full of words and messages. That’s why I’ve often declared that I have never invented anything. Rather, I have remade, reproposed, reinterpreted. I consider myself a commentator.”

In the show there were notes of his statements on sustainability and animal rights, showcasing the designer’s political activism right up until his death.


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