Jeremy Scott talks designing for Madonna, Katy Perry, and Cardi B: 'All my girls have strong personalities'

Dana Oliver
Beauty Director
Jeremy Scott and Madonna attend the “China: Through The Looking Glass” Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015, in New York City. (Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Nothing Jeremy Scott does screams “wallflower.” Well, except for the Moschino Spring 2018 show, where he dressed models Gigi Hadid, Kaia Gerber, and Joan Smalls literally as human-sized bouquets.

But aside from titillating our senses for the past two decades with over-the-top (and sometimes outlandish) runway collections, the 42-year-old fashion designer has also created style masterpieces for the boldest women in music. Björk, Madonna, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and Cardi B (just to name a few) have all hit the stage and red carpet rocking original, eyebrow-raising looks by Scott.

“All my girls have strong personalities. Maybe my work helps them be able to put that persona out there more and turn up the volume,” Scott told Yahoo Lifestyle at an intimate beauty editor meet-up in New York City to celebrate his new collaboration with MAC Cosmetics.

The mixtape-inspired collection is quite fitting for a designer whose muses belt the tunes to top Billboard hits and Grammy-nominated records. It’s bursting with matte and glossy lip colors in vibrant hues of purple, red, pink, and orange, as well as cheek and eyeshadow palettes with look-at-me powders you can easily transition from day to night. And the products are outfitted in packaging that resembles old-school boomboxes, cassette tapes, and CDs.

The MAC Cosmetics and Jeremy Scott collection is bolder than bold. (Photo: MAC Cosmetics)

When reflecting on his younger days growing up in Kansas City, Mo., Scott revealed that it was Madonna who helped him “get through high school and being persecuted for being gay in a small podunk town before Glee and gay marriage.”

“I used to be like, ‘Oh, wow! She has these gay dancers on Truth or Dare and she loves them and she thinks they’re cool and she celebrates them. I’m going to be her friend one day and these people don’t know.’ I put horse blinders on to deal with the persecution,” he said.

Fast-forward years later: Scott said it was “an honor and blessing” to have taken the pop star as his date to the Met Gala in 2015 and 2017 and “count her as a friend.” He added, “So many women have been allies to the gay community — that’s an unsung story in how some gay men identify with these personalities and how empowering they’ve been for my community in that way.”

Scott is also able to be a positive influence on the women he works with, cheering them on in return. He fondly remembers meeting Cardi B for the first time when the Bronx-born rapper admitted that she was nervous to perform at his Art Basel party.

Styling her in a revealing gold sequin Moschino minidress for the affair, Scott told Cardi how “proud” he was of her. “Already in an industry that’s set up against women, and then in a genre that’s already segregated against women, she’s knocked out records,” he said. Of course, she smashed the show.

Scott has come a long way from being the teenager who was forced to “build up an armor” with his personal style and attitude to tackle skinheads chasing him through school hallways or mean girls slapping his face. And now, with an eponymous MAC makeup collection, he is providing yet another creative outlet for individuals who march by the beat of their own drum to “wear what they want and do what they want.”

The MAC Cosmetics x Jeremy Scott collection is now available on and at MAC stores while supplies last. 

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