Christopher Lee Sauvé: “The Kardashians Don’t Interest Me; Paris Hilton Forever!”
Following controversy over his ‘Nothing Tastes As Good As Skinny Feels’ Kate Moss T-shirt, we spoke to designer Christopher Lee Sauvé
By Portis Wasp
Canadian-born designer Christopher Lee Sauvé made international headlines last week when his ‘Nothing Tastes As Good As Skinny Feels’ T-shirt, which showcases the infamous Kate Moss quote turned into a nutrition label, was pulled from Hudson’s Bay Company stores after they received a flood of complaints from people on social media.
With Christopher’s work, which often pokes fun at Anna Wintour, Princess Diana, and iconic figures in pop culture, receiving endorsement in the past from Vogue, Elle, and The New York Times, we wanted to find out what this rebellious fashion maverick thinks of the controversy surrounding his Skinny tee, and if he really cares when the likes of Perez Hilton and Miley Cyrus are wearing his designs!
MTV Style: Hey Christopher! How are you doing?
Christopher Lee Sauvé: Howdy MTV Style, I am well, recovering from the weekend. And yourself?
MTV Style: We’re great, thanks! You’ve had a bit of a mad week in the press after your ‘Nothing Tastes As Good As Skinny Feels’ T-shirt was pulled from Hudson’s Bay Company stores. What happened?
Christopher: Well, people were offended by the phrase and took it literally, and then the store decided to pull the tees and the news went haywire!
MTV Style: Did you expect the T-shirt to rub so many people up the wrong way?
Christopher: Not at all. But it seemed to only disappoint a few, more people seem to be defending the shirt, and want it back on the shelves.
MTV Style: There have been a lot of positive tweets flying around…
Christopher: A ton of support. Anyone who follows my work understands the statement. I love my fans.
MTV Style: Unfortunately for Terry Richardson, no one seems to care that you are selling a T-shirt that reads, ‘I Was Touched By Terry’?
Christopher: Well both the ‘Skinny’ tee and the ‘Terry’ tee came out in 2010. So there was an uproar then. My new collection comes out this New York Fashion Week [September].
MTV Style: What has been your best selling T-shirt to date?
Christopher: SAVE ANNA, because it was around a scandal between Carine Roitfeld and Vogue.
MTV Style: Your designs have always poked fun at iconic figures in fashion and pop culture. What excites you about these pop culture characters enough to want to parody them?
Christopher: I am a product of the ’80s. I was raised in the woods of Canada and was distant from Hollywood, but was mesmerised by the magazines, and whenever we could rent a movie. My father was a painter and a musician so he introduced me to visual communication. After that I had to move to NYC and now I am doing what feels right. I don’t set out to parody or poke fun. I just respond to what I see and read.
MTV Style: We see that you haven’t designed a Kardashian T-shirt yet - Kris Jenner must be a shoe-in?
Christopher: I guess she really doesn’t interest me. I am more of a Paris Hilton fan forever. Paris is way cooler and was the first one to make fame out of nothing, very Warholian that girl. Kim is sort of blah.
MTV Style: We absolutely adore your MADMAUS Collection of tees, which feature the likes of Madonna and Miley wearing Mickey Mouse ears. What was the inspiration behind that line?
Christopher: My grandmother was a Mickey fan and she took me to Disneyland for my eighth birthday. It changed my life. What a genius Walt Disney is! I have a Mickey Mouse tattoo and my grandmother’s Mickey Mouse phone from the ’80s at my work desk, which I use today for calls with clients. I adore the simplicity of Mickey Mouse and the iconic status.
When I look at fame and icons of Hollywood and fashion, I see a parallel universe. Marilyn Monroe for example. She has the blonde hair, the red lips, the beauty mark… just like Mickey Mouse has the ears and eyes, the 3 circles design. MADMAUS was an exploration of celebrity and simplifying the icon through illustration. I guess also, all the icons I drew are sort of the ‘Mickey Mouse’ of their own universe, right?
MTV Style: We hear Miley’s a fan of her T-shirt?
Christopher: I LOVE MILEY! Finally a breath of fresh air in the stale scene of pop. Just a young girl having fun. Yes, she is a fan.
MTV Style: Is there one celebrity you would love to see wearing your designs?
Christopher: I would love to go back in time and be in a room with Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe all wearing my tees. That would be cool. If that can’t happen then I would say Patti Smith. She is pretty awesome.
MTV Style: Aside from your T-shirt collections, what other projects are you working on at the moment?
Christopher: I just finished a project with Kimora Lee Simmons, who is amazing, and I am now working on an exciting project for Sephora. We are really focused on Fashion Week and always communicating with Patricia Field, our main stockist here in NYC. Pat has been very supportive and I love the vibe of her shop and what she does.