There are some things for which money, distance, even the law, are no object. If you have a muse, this won’t be news to you. Here’s the incredible but true story of how Mugler’s new creative director Nicola Formichetti discovered Rick Genest—aka Rico, aka Zombie Boy, aka that guy with the mad skull tattoo on his face—and got him to walk in his debut men’s collection, basically becoming the face of Mugler. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a little encouragement from Lady Gaga (who, by the way, snapped up half the collection, with the other half in Rick’s inky hands)…
Lee Carter: How did you find Rick Genest?
Nicola Formichetti: I found Rico on Facebook.
You 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…
Read the whole interview here