Nicola Formichetti, the Japanese-Italian designer known for his collaborations with Lady Gaga, has teamed up with Claire’s. Formichetti will lend his singular perspective to the brand as Creative Director in Residence. Claire’s and Formichetti are champions of self-expression with an authentic connection to the next generation, making them ideal partners as the brand continues to celebrate individuality and make an impact on youth as part of the cultural zeitgeist, the retailer said.
Through fashion inspiration and expertise, engaging content that sparks conversation and a physical store that will transport consumers into the future of retail and style, among other projects, Formichetti will bring new inspiration to the brand as it deepens its connection with Gen Zalpha, which is Gen Z and Alphas.
“As a platform for the voices of Gen Zalpha, we create a space for our consumers to express themselves,” said Kristin Patrick, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer of Claire’s. “We want to constantly present Claire’s in imaginative, fresh ways across content, product, and experiences. We’re partnering with an inspired and inventive talent who can capture the ethos of Claire’s and bring it to life in next level experiences.
“Nicola is one of the most imaginative and creative talents of our time, and his essence and youthful spirit are in complete energetic alignment with everything that our brand stands for,” Patrick added. “Together, we have an opportunity to continue to make Claire’s an open forum for self-expression and inspiration.”
“On paper, this partnership sounds really crazy,” Formichetti said. “I’m known for being an avant garde creator, and you might think Claire’s and I are completely different, but in a way it makes sense because we both encourage people to not be afraid to be themselves and have fun. Claire’s also has a very special place in my heart so working with Claire’s is almost like helping a friend.”
The collaboration between Formichetti and Claire’s began in the fall with Get Pierced, a multi-channel campaign featuring actress That Girl Lay Lay, singer Dai Time and influencer Kheris Rogers in a series of videos directed by Aaron Idelson that touted Claire’s continued leadership in ear piercing and the individuality of every EarPrint. Claire’s and Formichetti will continue to empower Gen Zalpha to discover and celebrate their own style sensibilities.
For the latest installment of Claire’s successful content series, Formichetti conceptualized a new look and feel for C.Studio to spark exploration and discovery through culture-defining style and tips for fashion expression from four industry-recognized experts. The first of five videos will launch on November 14th and roll out through the remainder of the year, embracing today’s top trends through the influence of talents hand-selected by Formichetti.
Taking followers inside a dedicated theme across hair, makeup, nails, style and ear piercing, the content will be shoppable, empowering Gen ‘Zalpha’ to put their own spin on the top trends from leading style authorities. Follow along with #CStudio as the series debuts across the digital channels of Claire’s, Formichetti and the celebrity talent.
“I like to call myself a friend of Claire’s,” said Formichetti. “I know I have the title of Creative Director in Residence, but it’s really more like a friend, because we have the same vision and goal. Claire’s point of view is very diverse, and we both believe in self-expression, so on any project we’re doing, that’s what it’s all about. I’m bringing my experience and creativity into Claire’s to modernize it a bit, but I don’t want to change what Claire’s already has because it’s beautiful.”
Heading into the holidays, Formichetti will elevate the way the brand connects with Gen Zalpha through a partnership with V Magazine, which will publish its first issue curated by and for young people. The first installment of the limited-edition print and digital magazine will launch in November, packed with gift inspirations and thought-provoking op-eds written by Gen Zalpha. Consumers will be able to purchase the holiday issue using QR codes in store, on Claires.com and through social media. A limited run of the printed magazines will also be sold in select Claire’s stores.
Formichetti’s creative direction and influence will be strongly felt in December when Claire’s opens a new store in Paris. A space for consumers to experience the present and future of Claire’s, the store will usher in a new era of retail with a ‘phygital’ and futuristic feel that will immerse consumers in the brand and elevate its industry-leading piercing business. Emerging designers and stylists will have a space for creative and design exploration. The space will also offer an experiential studio for content creation.
“I like to have a very strong point of view, and with all the brands I’ve worked with in the past, I’ve come in and said, ‘This is the vision. This is how you do it,” Formichetti said. “With Claire’s, it was completely different. Claire’s has the toolbox, and it’s a magical wonderland that is the Claire’s universe. It’s all there, from piercing to fun nails, to hair clips to makeup and toys. For me, it’s kind of just putting all of this together and creating different styles and stories within Claire’s to be more easily understandable and have fun.”