Posted by Melanie Rickey, Fashion Editor at Large
One of the more intriguing commissions to come my way recently, came from probably the first person to fully utilise all the various strands of my work these days. His name is Nik Thakkar and he is a young, gifted and driven account director at Exposure, a creative and publicity agency in London. He is also an avid blogger and tweeter; his blog Karl is My Unkle is fun to check into every day for its fashion and media observations.
Way back before Christmas Nik asked me to sign an NDA before telling me that one of my all time fashion heros, designer Jean Paul Gaultier (it was those cone bras worn by Madonna circa 1990 that got me started) had signed up to be the creative director of Diet Coke for 2012.
Would I be interested, Nik asked, in hanging out with and interviewing him in Paris to power the media story behind his collaboration across Europe? Uh, yeah! The first time I've been able to talk/write about this story is today. I was also able to develop my own story with Jean Paul in Grazia. The mid-April edition of Grazia will have that something special. Jean Paul is an under appreciated visionary who has given more to the contemporary fashion and style landscape than people realise.
His is a totally different connection than the one Karl Lagerfeld had two years ago when he worked with the brand. Jean Paul's involvement is more hands on; the fit between designer and brand is better too. JPG and DC are perfect fashion companions; we fell on the mini can of DC placed on our seats at his fashion show in Paris last Saturday like crazed hungry people, (it had been a long day).
I'll start off with this very cute portrait of the designer who I cannot believe will turn 60 next month. Everything about him from the way he scampers down the catwalk at the end of his shows, to his joyful, youthful approach to life and work says this isn't so.
What did they ask you to do first?
Now you’re no longer ‘enfant terrible’, who’s taking over from you?
Coca-Cola is the fashion industry’s preferred soft drink. Over the last 30 years have you seen any other fashion drinks?
Would you ever bring back Junior Gaultier [his cult diffusion line, which is much in demand on eBay] or work with H & M?
What excites you now?