He is a world-renowned fashion designer & creative director known for his collaborations with Diesel, Uniqlo and Lady Gaga, fashion director of Vogue Homme Japan and named the Fashion Creator of the year for 2010 at the British Fashion Awards in 2010.
Now Nicola Formichetti is surprising us with a new commitment related to his new nomination as a global ambassador for #PepsiChallenge, a call created by Pepsi to today’s generations to act, to make a real difference, to make a positive and responsible social impact. The partnership of this important social project is with Liter of Light, a company created by Illac Diaz who is a social entrepreneur working in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region empowering communities through the use of sustainable construction and appropriate technologies. Pepsi will bring cost effective solar lighting solutions to communities in need while recycling plastic bottles so every time consumers around the world use the #PepsiChallenge hashtag on public Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube profiles, Pepsi will donate $1 to Liter of Light to help bring environmentally friendly, inexpensive and easy to make lights to those around the world who need it.
Pepsi x Liter of Light Ignite the Light Tour is an international journey of illustrious and creative art installations with local artists who will bring attention to communities around the world that lack electricity and basic lighting solutions. On March, 15th it has opened to the public with the presence of Illac Diaz at the PMQ Center in Hong Kong Nicola Formichetti’s piece titled Ao Dress crafted from light and Pepsi bottles and inspired by Ao the Goddees of light in Maori mythology where it is the personification of light and the world of the living as opposed to darkness and the underworld. The Latin word lux (light) means to illuminate but also to make one aware, informed, conscious. In philosophy the light is what lets us to see and we become aware about its importance when we are not able to see. For an example the Latin expression Fiat lux used to refer to an enlightenment in a debatable, dark, controversial situation gives us the idea of the importance of the light in our lives not only from a physical and material point of view to which is related the important action of Liter of Light but also from an ontological point of view to which all of us is called to reflect on. So Nicola Formichetti’s creation and tour are very important for our society to understand us as a community of people who can help each other.
About his creation Formichetti said “for my piece Ao Dress I was inspired by Mother Nature – the embodiment of renewal, birth and the light of infinite possibility. What could be better than re-purposing Pepsi bottles into something that helps people who go without the most basic of human needs, such as electricity and light. Pepsi is literally helping bring people out of the darkness and into the light and that is something I can stand behind with conviction”. On the occasion of the opening of Ao Dress I had the chance to ask Nicola Formichetti some questions.
You are one of the world’s leading fashion designers so you have the opportunity to live the fashion world as a protagonist. Do you think that fashion can create a new sense of community and belonging? According to the aim of #PepsiChallange do you think that fashion can make an important social impact?
The Pepsi Challenge serves as a call to today’s generation to live life to the fullest and make every moment – big or small – epic. The fashion industry is a global community across many platforms. If collectively the industry can come together, we can achieve great success socially for causes that deserve the attention such as Liter of Light.
Is there a link between your fashion designer activity and darkness/light? What can you tell us about this link?
I accepted the Pepsi Challenge as I wanted to do something I had never done before. The purpose behind the Ao Dress and the overall Pepsi x Liter of Light Ignite the Light Tour is to create something that will inspire others and shed light, literally, on a great cause, Liter of Light. For my installation, I was inspired by Mother Nature, the embodiment of renewal, birth and the light of infinite possibility.
As a contemporary art curator I can say that your Ao Dress is a real artwork. What is your relation with contemporary art?
I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to travel around the world for my work and to have been exposed to numerous different forms of art and culture. For me, art and fashion have no boundaries. This allows anyone to interpret them through many different lenses and find several different meanings. I find myself interested in many different forms of art, not just contemporary.
Do you have already selected the artists who will create the next Ignite the Light installation? Can you disclose something new?
Not yet, but I can disclose that social media has played a major role in the selection of all of the upcoming artists participating in the Pepsi x Liter of Light Ignite the Light Tour. Social media serves as an enormous source of creative freedom, giving artists and creatives alike the ability to show their talents to a global audience.
Be sure to check www.pepsichallenge.com throughout the year for updates on the Ignite the Light.
All images below:
Hong Kong – March 15: An illuminated statue installation is seen at The Pepsi x Liter Of Light “Ignite The Light” Tour at PMQ, Central on March 15, 2015 in Hong Kong. Photo by Keith Tsuji/Getty Images for PepsiCo