On meeting GaGa for the first time:
"She arrived fully dressed, in hair and makeup, wearing shoulder pads and this leather dress and heels and shades—at 8 a.m. on the beach. I was going, This bitch is crazy! She is the real deal. We fell in love with each other, totally. It felt really organic."
On being fired after styling a D&G fashion show:
"I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know I was supposed to Polaroid everything. I was calling friends, saying, ‘What do I do?’ So I just sort of put the stuff together and created this look that I thought was the coolest thing ever. And then after the show I got fired straightaway. I was so shocked! I found out later that this was supposed to be their show—not the Nicola show. It was supposed to be a collaboration."
On conquering his fears with therapy:
"I had this incredible fear of darkness, and [my therapist] helped me completely get rid of it. I had the same thing with women. I was always more of a men’s wear stylist; it felt so natural. I wanted to make men look cool because that’s the way I dress. But he said, ‘Your true passion is women’s fashion.’ He made me remember how, when I was young, I was always drawing female characters and dresses. My mom was my muse—she would buy me Italian Vogue. I was this little fashion boy. Then it became that whole thing of not wanting to be too gay, so I had to try to become an architect and do something more proper. He helped me get rid of that, and a couple months later I met Gaga."
On GaGa convincing him to take the job as Mugler's creative director:
"She was like, ‘What the fuck? Hello?! There’s not even a question here, you’re doing it!’"