Nicola Formichetti


"I’m such a nomad, and I always stay in hotel rooms…I kind of live in these very beautiful, but very generic hotels. Sometimes I’m in one place for a month, so I need to have my stuff there. I like to have toys around all the time, and different smells. I’m half Japanese so I like kawaiis and for me, candles are like toys. I bring mini ones everywhere because I like any kind of smell. I just bought these Diptyque ones at Colette the other day. And I’ve got my little zombie panda ring I designed for my pop-up store, that I wear all the time. I’ve got my Lanvin pouch I carry everything in. I always change my candles, and my perfume. I wear A*Men—Angel—by Thierry Mugler. I started wearing it when I started working for Mugler, and it really reminds me of gay clubs…when I was like, seventeen, eighteen, in Italy—everyone wore this. And I was wearing it too, I’m sure…either this or Jean Paul Gaultier. I have two or three that I always carry; I also really like Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental. There’s one size for my handbag and one for when I’m travelling. I really like strong smells, so it’s always ginger mixed with, like, bubble gum, or crazy stuff. And I only wear women’s deodorant. Have you smelled guys deodorant?! It’s terrible. I love this one—Dove Powder Fresh. I’ve used it for like, ten years.

I’ve got my favorite Japanese hair wax—Gatsby—that I’ve also worn for years. I like for my hair to be really flat, because it’s naturally really curly. This is the strongest one I’ve found…look, it says 'spikey edge' on the jar. [Laughs] I mostly get my hair cut on photoshoots because I’m working with such great people, like Eugene Souleiman. I also have a really thick eyebrow, and I used to pluck quite a lot…like, full arch. That was three or four years ago…and it was so feminine looking! I looked like one of those Italian 'straight guys'. [Laughs] So I stopped, and now they’re just trimmed a bit and touched up in the middle, but I realized I look better with a full eyebrow. If they’re too 'designed', I look super gay. Even though I’m gay, I don’t want to look too gay, you know? [Laughs] I shave my face once a week with an electric Philips clipper. It’s funny, I don’t do it for work, I do it when I’m going out. I have a phobia of razor shaving. I remember when I was fourteen or fifteen, my dad was actually in the hospital and I was visiting him—he was having stomach problems—and he tried teaching me how to shave. You know, father to son. And I cut myself everywhere, but he couldn’t do anything because he was in the bed. [Laughs] So from that point on I had to pretend, looking in the mirror, that I was shaving someone else when I went to do it, because I was so freaked out. So that was with a real razor for a long time, because my dad wouldn’t let me go anywhere without being clean-shaven, and now I just use the electric ones. I do it head to toe, or head to waist, really. I trim my underarm hair into shape—there’s an art to it, really. [Laughs] Then I shave my chest completely. And then my pubic area I just clip the top above my waistband, but nothing else…and legs are just normal. It’s only in America that people are so crazy about their bodies…going to the gym, being really groomed...everyone’s fanatic. I always just left it; here in Europe no one cares. But now I’m kind of liking it, because you start seeing your muscles. [Laughs]

I bite my nails, which is a huge nightmare, so I always carry my clippers and my little scissor to try and keep them neat. I go get manicures and pedicures quite a lot though, to my Korean girls in SoHo in New York—a place called Think Pink. It’s a little more expensive but it’s worth it. Also I go to acupuncture twice a week, wherever I am. In Tokyo I have one, in New York I have one, here [in Paris] I haven’t found the best one yet. I’m kind of addicted to it. I usually have Chinese herbs with me; my lady in New York makes me capsules because I can’t do tea, it’s too disgusting. I’m always so tired and acupuncture helps, and I also try to run every day wherever I am. I try to be really fit. You feel like…you’re normal. It makes you feel normal—because you have that thirty minutes or an hour to balance yourself. I meditate every day as well—I’m Japanese and that’s a part of my culture. I moved to New York two years ago and my life has become so crazy with jobs—Mugler, Gaga—and I’ve been finding all the attention very hard, mostly because I’m very honest…I just say anything. But I realized you have to be really careful. At the end of the day though, I am very spiritual, and I try to focus on well-being.”

—as told to ITG

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  • Marcela

    I like that you did a man's top self. I really like the fact that he uses woman's deodorant and is cool with it, and he is right it does smell much better.
    Love the post

  • GagaAmour

    I loved reading this. So pure and very lovely. Getting to know the real Nicola. Sweet and kawaii <3

  • Capitalist Pancake

    Vetiver Oriental is such a terrific scent. So is A*Men - I actually prefer the men's to the women's.

  • Lou

    What a fab read, it is great to see a man being featured.


  • Roxxii

    DEFINITELY your best top shelf yet!! I'm a HUGE fan of Nicola and it's so great reading posts from other guys

  • Twelve52

    He comes across so well in this - very own to earth and honest. I wouldn't have expected it to be honest!

  • Fiona

    This is great! He's on-trend with the full eyebrows, too :D

  • Laura

    I love how in reading this, his personality just jumps off the page! one of the most interesting top shelfs thus far!

  • kate

    oh my god this is kind of amazing.

    "If they’re too ‘designed’, I look super gay. Even though I’m gay, I don’t want to look too gay, you know?"

  • amelia

    *swoon* this was amazing... he's so cool. whenever i read anything men's- grooming related i get so obsessed with it... some of their products and stuff are just fascinating lol

  • noelle

    How great to read this on a Monday morning. intriguing and funny! And uses women's deodorant, while i remember recently reading a woman who prefers to use men's- and Old Spice specifically! I wonder why companies feel the need to market to men and women, like perfume companies for example. If it smells good to you, that's the only important thing!

  • Julie Fischer

    Interesting (and appreciative of) how he consciously injects his Japanese heritage in the aesthetic choices he makes. Fun top-shelf, thank you!

  • Hanne

    What a great post! Really enjoyed reading this.

    x - A model's beauty secrets and tips

  • Disneyrollergirl

    Great stuff, Nicola's a sweetheart. Not surprised he finds it hard being in the public eye, when people nitpick about every little thing you say. i must say, I had no idea guys trim their underarm hair into shapes!

  • chic noir

    haha I love dove powder fresh as well. I like that it doesn't clash with any fragrance that I'm wearing. I also wear Suave baby powder body lotion when I'm wearing one of my heavier scents. Donna Karen's Cashmere Mist and Ban's powder fresh deoforant are good for warmer humid months.

    It's funny that nicola likes women deodorants and a few of the women who've been featured like men's deodorant. Sometimes the grass in greener.

    I have a thing for Kawaii and Japanese fashion magazines. I also love the Japanese magazines/books that give you a peak inside the homes of other people.

  • Jackie

    will have to check out Think Pink in Soho.

  • chic noir

    nicola and I’ve been finding all the attention very hard, mostly because I’m very honest…I just say anything. But I realized you have to be really careful

    Oh I know what this is in reference too.

    *chic noir pops mint, leans in close to nicola & smiles sweetly*

    My dear, you owe know one every thought that's going thru your head. If you don't want to answer a question or don't want your words to be taken out of context... just deflect or refuse to answer the question. The smile sweetly and take about something else. Do not allow reporters to hound you or turn you into this week's whiping boy.

    *chic noir smiles pats nicola's knee, stands, and struts off*



  • Li Wen

    I was just saying to some fellow bloggers a few weeks ago that I wish Into The Gloss would feature a man's perspective for a change - and here it is! Very interesting read, and great to see. Vetiver Oriental is my favourite too.

  • Alix

    Awesome post -- loved getting a man's POV!

  • kate and the cake

    i always wanted to live in a hotel room for a while, like in a big city such as tokyo or paris:)
    i love him, he is great!

  • JM

    Good read. The other day I had a random thought about not seeing many electric razor ads any more and wondered if they were still used. Not only are they still being used, but the people who use them have funny stories to tell about about why.

    I love the last line in the article, too.

  • Mariela

    Amazing post, loved to see a man's perspective on beauty!♥

  • Alexis

    YAY - a Man featured on Top Shelf. Nicola is very funny - I enjoyed this immensely. I also loved how he kept reminding readers about being half Japanese, so it explains the toy obsession and eastern medicine practices. But his Italian side comes out when he speaks about his father always wanting him to be clean shaven. He's an interesting fellow that I only began to learn about now. He is so adorable.

    Yes, Nicola I do agree about mens deodorant being too heavy handed - please tell my husband!

    More Mens Top Shelf, please!

  • Copper Etiquette
  • Marie

    Some love from me to Into the gloss!

  • a.d.

    This guy is funny! I've heard of him but never read an interview with him. He's really down to earth. That was a little too much information about the hair grooming! Haha.

  • Yildiz

    It was a great read and the guy looks like turkish

  • anita

    Love this - try and get more of a man's approach to beauty.


diptyque 'Verveine' Mini Candle