Way back at the brand’s press day nearly a month ago we were let into a little secret that Rick Genest, aka Zombie Boy, was to be the face of Rocawear for Spring Summer ’13. Rocawear, the label formerly associated exclusively with rap and hip hop. Then a couple of weeks back we were asked if we’d like to interview Rick. Covered in 90% tattoos (at least), ‘discovered’ by Fashion Director Nicola Formichetti, and the real star of Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ video (Formichetti’s doing), our only concern was ‘when do you want us?’.
The new campaign, that echos ‘its (the brand’s) roots in streetwear with an alternative edge’ was shot across two suitably individual locations in London; Camden’s Barfly and Nightjar on City Road. The collection is made up of graphic tees, hoodies and varsity jackets, the latter which Rick was rocking when we caught up with him between shots in Nightjar on a breezy Monday afternoon.
We start with the basics; how does it feel to be the face of Rocawear? ‘Currently? It’s great, I mean, it’s a wonderful project. It has a cool underground feel to it.’ And on brands and labels using his image to sell? ‘It’s all showbiz, if it’s acting or if it’s modeling; the world is a stage. It’s a really good opportunity to entertain.’
Fashion he says, doesn’t interest him, but he loves style, ‘ I like looking at this good looking girl, I mean, there’s fashion behind style. Being an artistic person I look at architecture or… It’s fun you know, it’s creating.’ Not put off by copycats-‘power in numbers. The more zombies the better’-his first tattoo was a skull and cross bones on his shoulder. A cupcake on his bum cheek was apparently his last tattoo, but followed by ‘it’s pink with sprinkles’ we decide we’ve been had.
Born in Montreal, today Genest spends a lot of his time travelling; a token quote from his Twitter page reads ‘Scamblin cuz Im leavin again for London in a few hours’. A big fan of the city, he says he has yet to take advantage of the capital’s numerous shopping mecca’s ‘I’m not much of a shopper’, but bars he enjoys.
When it comes to music, naming a favourite artist doesn’t come easy, ‘there’s just so many’, indeed, his iPod is doing all the work for the day’s shoot (currently filling the room with co-founder of Rocawear, Jay Z). Fellow Canadian Mad Child is another name he comes up with.
Before we leave-and the campaign team pack up for another day-we ask Rick to name his top 5 horror movies (it’s previously been quoted that his tattoos are a tribute to this, his favourite genre). ‘Oh yeah there’s so many. Top 5? The old school original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, umm…’ And that’s as far as we get.
Words: Zoe Whitfield
Photo: Hayley Louisa Brown