Monday 22nd January 2024 marks a pivotal moment for the zeitgeisty platform SYKY – who have just announced Nicola Formichetti’s appointment as creative director. Helping to orient the digital business venture of Alice Delahunt, as she attempts to define the future of fashion, Formichetti, will take on an artistic and conceptual lead at the company.
With a luxury background including positions at Diesel and Mugler, and a legendary tenure as the brains behind some of Gaga’s most culture quaking moments (yes – Formichetti was the mind that imagined the meat dress), Nicola is bringing a certain luxury flair to the Web 3.0 community.
GLITCH’s CEO, Fernanda Ondarza, had the opportunity to speak with the famed fashion visionary, alongside his new CEO, and discuss how the duo intend to tap into their rich and multifarious expertise to set the SYKY initiative in a flight for the new year.
Right now digital fashion is exploding, backed by both hype, and real analysis into how consumer patterns are changing. Dubbed the next step in the retail picture, Delahunt has an attentive curiosity in this developing space, which has led her to founding SYKY. She draws a comparison to the early stages of social media, and tells GLITCH how there is an undercurrent of digital designers who are about to break through. Her collective serves to both “discover and nurture” these designers, and act as the go-to platform for positioning this cohort of creatives in front of buyers.
For Delahunt it is clear that the industry is experiencing marked change, and everyone needs to adapt. She cites the success of Sunw, (a member of the SYKY Collective) who sold her digital and physical bag for the equivalent of $2,800 just last September at London Fashion Week – it is figures like this that she sees as key markers of the piecemeal “redefinition”.
Amid this new reckoning of what fashion means, she believes Nicola’s inherent understanding of our future, and experience working in both the physical and digital landscape, will be of great importance to elevate the SYKY impact. “Nicola’s approach will undoubtedly help to infuse a vibrant and bold energy into the transformation of the industry” Alice tells Fernanda (GLITCH).
With SYKY, Delahunt wants to set new standards in luxury fashion, building a space for collection and curation that gives a new sentiment to self-expression. Nicola’s role will see him mentoring the early talent integrated with this community — “My focus will be in guiding them to create fashion that tells a story, engages emotionally, and stands out in the digital landscape”, he tells Fernanda (GLITCH).
Formichetti is well versed in the two artistic worlds SYKY seeks to combine — his work has “always been a testament to the harmony of traditional fashion sensibilities and bold digital innovation” — but the role will require him to cohesively blend this expertise to guide the young collective. He views his new position as testing, but full of optimistic potential, — “The challenge ahead lies in maintaining the essence and tactile feel of traditional fashion in the digital format, meanwhile, the opportunity allows us to push the boundaries of creativity and explore new realms of expression”.
As an acclaimed fashion visionary who has already solidified himself within the traditional industry, it is easy to be naive to the feat that Formichetti is tackling as he ventures down a path previously untrodden. He tells Fernanda (GLITCH), of his intended approach to the task at hand, and how he aims to “create digital fashion experiences that are not just visually appealing and boundary-breaking, but also resonate on a personal level with the audience”. With storytelling, cultural reference and personalization, Formichetti wants to embed human connection more formally in the digital output of the SYKY collective — “I firmly believe that digital fashion can evoke the same depth of emotion and connection as physical fashion, bridging the gap between the two worlds”.
The SYKY and Formachetti collaboration is one of anticipatory excitement, as two high-impact forces align with the motive of reconfiguring the industry at large. Delahunt is aware of the inherent power of technology to be a great equalizer in the space, and Formichetti is intentional in educating upcoming visionaries to leverage this power. “We should commit to ongoing learning and active participation in the collaborative spirit that defines the Web 3 community”, Formichetti concludes for Fernanda (GLITCH), “this approach is vital for ensuring luxury fashion not only adapts but thrives”. After all, SYKY is building a “future where fashion is not just about what you wear, but you experience and interact with it in the world”, Delahunt adds. It is clear that this pair is invested in reshaping the narrative of luxury fashion, and hungry to tackle the digital age head on.
Interviewed by Fernanda Ondarza, CEO/Founder of GLITCH Magazine
Written by Hebe Street from GLITCH Magazine