The fashion designer pop stars love: Zaldy
The fashion and music industries have always had a symbiotic relationship, but every now and then a talent comes along who makes the worlds collide. Even if you haven’t heard of fashion designer Zaldy Goco, you likely know his clothes — whether a slinky dress designed with Gwen Stefani for L.A.M.B or a day-glo bodysuit worn by a Scissor Sister. The Parsons and FIT-trained designer (who goes only by his first name) actually started his career as a model, walking for Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood. (He also starred in a controversial Levi’s commercial, posing as a both a man and a woman.) He’s since styled the likes of Britney and Jennifer Lopez and has recently designed gowns for Gabby Sidibe, star of Precious. Perhaps most intriguingly, Zaldy designed what would have been the “This is It” tour costumes for Michael Jackson. Those costumes are now in London as part of the late star’s memorabilia tour.
WWD has called you called music’s fashion it boy –
It’s funny because I had never really thought of myself that way. But I have done so many music projects that I guess it is true. I did Mary J Blige’s outfit for her album cover of Breakthrough, I’ve worked with Britney, J. Lo, Keith Richards, Rufus Wainwright, Mick Jagger and Anthony and the Johnsons.
Who were some of your favorite collaborators?
I worked with Gwen Stefani on her line L.A.M.B for seven seasons. I love her style so much and it ended up being a great experience. The Scissor Sisters are incredible and so fun to dress. They were like, the more sparkles and day-glo the better!
We have to ask about Michael Jackson — you designed the costumes for his tour?
He is magnificent. He’s so sharp; he could talk about anything from Baroque art to contemporary fashion. We only had eight weeks to make it all; we had shoes being made in Italy, glasses in France, electronics in the Netherlands. I have a half-hour segment introducing all the outfits on the “This is It” DVD.
What are some of the outfits you designed for him?
My first idea was for [an updated] “Billy Jean” — in the video the sidewalk lit up but I thought he should light up. The engineers at Phillips let me work with stuff that won’t be released until 2010. It is the most technologically advanced outfit ever made. The “Thriller” jacket is still black and red but it’s patent leather and the quilting became embroidered blood that drips over his shoulders. There are twists to the outfits but each still remains true to the original. The last thing I made for him was the casket overlay, which is a beautiful blanket of Swarovski crystals.
What’s your next big project?
I can’t say who it is but I’m designing the tour outfits for a new artist. After I did Michael I got depressed because I thought, who can I work with now that will inspire me like that? And then this artist came along and I thought “She’s the one.” You’ll find out shortly but I can’t quite yet.