Nevermind Gaga walking for Mugler, who everyone seems to be raving about is Nicola Formichetti’s muse and model – the skeleton tattooed Rick Genest – also known as ‘zombie boy’ and ‘Rico’ – a lovely young man from Canada whom he found on Facebook.
Everyone is smitten with the handsome tattooed model, maybe because behind the tough exterior, lies quite a cool, charming and down-to-earth man.
Here are some excerpts from an interview that Rico did a while ago for Bizarre
-On the tattoos
They’re about the human body as a decomposing corpse – the art of a rotting cadaver. It’s also a tribute to horror movies, which I love.
-On his influences
When I was a kid I was a big fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and I wanted to be a ninja turtle and live in the sewers. But as I got older I fell in love with zombies and wanted to become one. Oh, and I love George A Romero’s Living Dead movies.
-On how he feels about them
They’ve been a part of me forever – before I even got them done. They reveal how I feel on the inside. I’m so used to how I look now that I don’t see them anymore. It’s like if you met someone with purple hair – after ten minutes you’d think, “Oh yeah, they have purple hair. So what?”
-On what his mum said about the tattoos
Well, I don’t think this is what my mother had in mind for me. When I got my hands done it broke her heart. She said, “You’ve got your hands tattooed like a skeleton! You’re never going to get a decent job!”
-On how people react to his tattoos
There’s all sorts of weird shit here in Montreal, so I kind of blend in with the culture. Some people come up to me and say, “Wow, nice tattoos.” Sometimes you get a smart-ass kid who yells “Hey, it’s Halloween!” Just about every day I get some kind of skeleton joke. The classic is “Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road? Because he didn’t have the guts.”
-On ageing with the tattoos
Everybody ages – me too. Are you worried about what you’re going to look like when you’re 60? It’s just life – tattoos turn green. I joke that once the body suit’s done they’ll be so faded I’ll have to start again at the beginning.
-On what the girls think
There are girls who dig it, but the kind of girls who dig it are usually trouble.
-On his philosophy of life
You’ve got to respect that everyone’s different and has to do what they’ve got to do. I can’t tell you what to do, you can’t tell me what to do – but we can still get along just great.
Look beyond the bones and the creepy crawlies and Rico makes quite a cute zombie, don’t you think? Not to mention a fashionable one, he does look quite cool modelling couture.