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In a short time, the tattoo’d face & body of Rick Genest has flooded the fashion world as somebody who has essentially become the face of fashion brand Mugler. Mugler’s Creative Director Nicola Formichetti initially saw a picture of Genest on the internet which he thought at the time was makeup. Reaching out to Genest over Facebook, over a 2-week period he tried his best to get the necessary documentation (Genest didn’t have a passport) so that he could travel to Paris for the brand’s fall/winter show. A selection of answers can be seen below while the full interview can be seen over at Hint Magazine.
Lee Carter: How did you find Rick Genest?
Nicola Formichetti: I found Rico on Facebook.
You just stumbled across his profile?
I had his picture on my wall forever. I saw it one day on Google. I thought it was amazing Halloween make-up done by Peter Philips or something. I mean, I’ve done so many shoots with skull make-up. And then, in October I got my first tattoo, a triangle with a circle inside, an ancient Japanese symbol meaning centeredness. And the tattoo artist who did it, my friend Maxime, who has this tattoo magazine called Sang Bleu, saw that picture and said, “Oh yeah, that guy is zombie boy. He lives in Montreal.”
So you sought Rico out on Facebook and asked him to model for you.
Yeah, I just wanted him to be the face of whatever we were going to create. At that point the clothes were, you know, proper suits and shirts and very clean. I just needed to have some kind of a twist to it or…
Yeah, so after seeing his pictures on Facebook, I just thought he was so inspiring. Just by looking at his pictures I changed the whole collection.
You changed the whole collection?
Well, I added more, by taking stuff from him, making it a bit darker and gothicy. So basically I Facebooked him and was like, “You know, I’m doing this thing in Paris and I would love you to be there in two weeks.” He emailed me back straightaway and he was like, “Yeah, sure, I would love to, but I don’t have a passport.” And then I start thinking how the fuck is he going to get a passport in time?