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Jeremy Scott Thinks Kansas Is Globe-Centric, Appropriation Is A-OK

Image: SIPA/

Image: SIPA/

Wonderland magazine asked buzzy model Lily McMenamy to interview equally buzzy designer Jeremy Scott, which, thanks to the model’s bubbly personality and the pair’s chemistry, turned out to be quite charming indeed. During the sit-down, McMenamy gets Scott to dish on everything from his favorite movies and social media tips (to help his interviewer, who is apparently looking for more Instagram followers) to his childhood growing up in Kansas. 

The internationally recognized designer has come far from his days as a country bumpkin in the Midwestern state. Scott romanticizes himself as a “farm boy with big city dreams and a heart of gold.” The designer takes pride in his middle-America upbringing, which he says has influenced his work: “Being from the most American part of America, I bring a universal vision of the world; globe-centric rather than nationalistic.” Still, we wonder how the most homogenous, “American” part of America is globe-centric? Wouldn’t somewhere like Queens, one of the most diverse counties in America, be a better representation of that? Whatever you say, Scott.

McMenamy also brought up the topic of “appropriation,” which in this case, we’re thinking is a nice way of asking about the infringement case Scott found himself in during the middle of last year for ripping off the work of skateboard artists Jimbo and Jim Phillips in his Fall 2013 collection. Several pieces he sent down the runway bore images nearly identical to what the duo had been creating over the years. It was an egregious misstep, which Scott later settled with NHS, the parent company of Santa Cruz Skateboards. 

When asked if appropriation is something “the best” artists do, Scott could only defend such behavior. “If you look back at the big art movements of the 20th century – Abstract art, Cubism, Dada, all the way to Pop art – you see how artists influence and push one another. No matter how alone we seem as artists, we are constantly responding to the world which we all share.”

We’re not sure if Scott would be so keen to “share” his own original work the way he “shared” Jimbo and Jim Phillips’ pieces, but one thing’s clear: In his world, appropriation is A-OK.