ZOMBIE BOY: I’m Just Dying To Beat You!


                                                                                Written by Ty-Ron Mayes

Excitement is in the air as an unusual personality gears up to become the Hollywood’s next action villain. Zombie Boy is just dying to beat you Keanu! as  to appear in Keanu Reeve’s 47 Ronin. My friend Rick Genest AKA Zombie Boy is set to appear as one of the antagonist in the new film 47 Ronin! And with his frightening tattooed exterior, The Prince of Ink is set to leave and indelible stain and some bruises in Hollywood as it is rumored that he may fight Reeves to the death. In a sneak preview… Z.B. is seen crawling through the rafters as he emerges from the shadows…. what happens next…. well we will all just have to wait and see. 

Although 47 Ronin has had a lot of delays and has been plagued with constant revisions and ever-changing release dates, Ronin is now scheduled for a Christmas Day release stateside. Here’s a synopsis. The troupe of banished samurai long to restore their honor and find vengeance against the treacherous Lord Kira (played by Asano, who is in theaters now as Hogun in Thor) who was responsible for the death of their master. Kai is the uneasy compatriot in their company and his standing will be questioned even more as he falls in love with Mika (Shibasaki), daughter of the fallen master. The film presents a quest where the Ronin (the term for Samurai with no master) face trials that test their mettle and their loyalty to one another. It stars Keanu Reeves as well as several famous Japanese actor (like Hiroyuki Sanada for example!) in an 18th century Samurai tale of revenge.

 It is a pleasure to witness a young talent such as Zombie Boy grow into a sought after actor. If the 4 newly released movie posters are an indication that Zombie is hot… well, just look for yourself. If a picture is worth a thousand words… then what is a poster worth? Check out his solo poster. Entitled “Outcast”, “Warrior”, “Freak” and “Witch”… can you guess which one he is?  


For those of you who are not familiar with Zombie Boy… before he transformed himself into living art emblazed with tattoos and disturbing morbid imagery, Zombie Boy was born Rick Genest of La Salle, Quebec and grew up in Chateauguay.  “Rico” first appeared on the world platform in the Lady Gaga’s video, Born This Way. No, that was not make-up in the video… at least not on Rico. Over 80 percent of his body is covered in tattoos, including his face. Rick’s tattoos are what he calls, his “project”. Unbeknownst to the general public, Rick Genest was not supposed to be amongst the living. In fact, as a teenager, Rick was diagnosed with a life-threatening benign brain tumor. At the age of 15, Rick underwent a surgery that many had not survived in the past. Because of the tumor’s position, his options were death or if lucky, blindness and/or to live as a vegetable. When he emerged from the surgery, he was none of the above. Rick was indeed alive and well. Defying the odds, he literally jumped off of the Grim Reaper’s deck of cards and began a new life.


The runaway embraced the underground Punk scene and became obsessed with body modification as he began to amass more tattoos. By age 21, the newly named Rico The Zombie or Zombie Boy… a name his friends called him; enlisted the help of tattoo artist, Frank Lewis to help execute his vision of death. Together, Lewis and Genest created a Frankenstein-like, skull-faced character with Rick Genest’s body as the canvas. For over 7 painful years, they augmented the appearance of normal, healthy, human flesh into a frightening homage to horror films. Slowly and methodically, Genest’s body was transformed from an average 5’9” man, into a decomposing, Zombie-like living corpses, with exposed rotting parts revealing the skeletal, muscular and circulatory system along with crawling insects that devour the dead. 


Photography: Colin Singer. Fashion Editor, Producer and Make-up Artist Ty-Ron Mayes. Rick Genest aka Zombie Boy wears a custom jacket designed exclusively by Coco Johnsen. Pants Dominic Louis. Jewelry, Chrishabana. Boots, Gasoline Glamour.

Genest spent thousands of Canadian dollars on tattooing his exterior and he is not done because for Zombie Boy, it’s a work in progress. Although it was incomplete, Genest’s obsession for ink led him to garner two admissions into the Guinness Book of World Records: one for the most bones tattooed on the body (134) and one for the most insects tattooed on the body (176). “My tattoos symbolize life through death, or death through life.” 


It wasn’t long before Hollywood took notice of the walking freak show he called Zombie Boy and he was casted to play one of the freaks in 2009’s Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant. Along with his  manager, lawyer and personal photographer Colin Singer, Zombie has been able to conquer the modeling world and push beyond the  boundaries of what is expected from a one time runaway. From the streets to the covers and runways of the world; to the silver screen and beyond…. Zombie Boy is destined to be a superstar. 


Ty-Ron Mayes: Your story continues to grow. How has this attention parlayed into an acting career? You just completed a movie with Keanu Reeves?


Zombie Boy: Yes, we were on film location in Budapest. It was my first role with a line. I have done movies with what is called figuration before. But this was my first big production with a speaking role and it is scheduled to come out in this Christmas.


Ty-Ron Mayes: What was your role in the movie? I understand there is an action scene? Give us a teaser.


Zombie Boy: Well, I haven’t seen the final cut, so let’s hope it makes it. It’s a really large budget film by Universal Studios. It’s going to be a 3D movie. The set was huge. I was really excited because I love Pirates. It’s a Pirate and Samurai movie, which is something I was very happy to be part of.




The Words “Blond” and “Blonde” are Not Wholly Synonymous

The Words “Blond” and “Blonde” are Not Wholly Synonymous

DAVEN HISKEY MAY 11, 2011 15

Blonde HairToday I found out the words “blond” and “blonde” are not wholly synonymous.  So what’s the difference between the words “blond” and “blonde”? (besides the obvious extra ‘e’) ;-)

The difference is simply in what gender the word is referring.  When referring to a woman with yellow hair, you should use the feminine spelling “blonde”.  When referring to a male with yellow hair, you should use the spelling “blond”.

This then is one of the few cases of an adjective in English that uses distinct masculine and feminine forms.

Bonus Facts:

  • The word blond derives from the Old French word “blund”, meaning literally “a color midway between golden and light chestnut”.  “Blund” then is typically thought to have come from the Latin word “blundus”, which was a vulgar pronunciation of the Latin “flavus”, which means “yellow”.  The French origin of the word “blond” is how we get the added “e” on the end when using the feminine form.
  • Another oft’ misused spelling of a word is fiancé vs. fiancée.  The former is a male engaged to be married; the latter, with the extra ‘e’, is a woman engaged to be married.
  • “Blond” first appeared in English around 1481 and was later reintroduced in the 17th century; and has since gradually replaced the term “fair”, in English, to describe yellow hair.
  • “Blond” isn’t the only hair color that has alternate spellings based on whether it refers to male or female hair.  The word “brunet” also shares that distinction.  The spelling is “brunet” when referring to a man’s hair and “brunette” when referring to a woman’s hair.
  • Alfred Hitchcock liked to cast blonde women for main characters in his films as he believed people would suspect them least, hence the term “Hitchcock blonde”.
  • A person with a typical full blond head of hair will have about 120,000 hairs on their head; brunets average about 100,000 hairs on their heads while red heads generally only average around 80,000 hairs.
  • Hair does not grow faster or longer the more you cut it.
  • While the previous “old wives’ tale”, that hair grows faster/longer the more it is cut, has been proven false; another such long held adage, that stress contributes in making your hair go gray faster, has been proven true.  This is because the same effects of stress in your body that do damage to DNA also deplete the melanocyte stem cells in hair follicles.  These MSCs are responsible for making pigment producing cells.


Marilyn Monroe was Not Even Close to a Size 12-16

Marilyn Monroe was Not Even Close to a Size 12-16


Myth: Marilyn Monroe was a size 12-16.

From Roseanne Barr stating, “I’m more sexy than Pamela Lee or whoever else they’ve got out there these days. Marilyn Monroe was a size 16. That says it all”, to Elizabeth Hurley stating,  “I’ve always thought Marilyn Monroe looked fabulous, but I’d kill myself if I was that fat…I went to see her clothes in the exhibition, and I wanted to take a tape measure and measure what her hips were. She was very big”, you’ll often hear people saying Marilyn Monroe was around the same size as the average American woman today (12-16).  In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, at least by today’s sizing systems.

How this myth got started isn’t exactly known.  One possible contributing factor to this myth was Marilyn Monroe’s atypical extreme hour glass shape.  More directly, it probably partially stems from the fact that women’s sizes today are not at all equivalent to women’s sizes in the 1950s. In the 1980s, in order to accommodate people’s vanity and ever expanding girth, the U.S. Department of Commerce got rid of the uniform sizing system and instead allowed for more ego stroking sizes.  As a result of this, today, a size 8 would have been roughly equivalent to a size 16-18 in the 1950s, obviously though this varies a shocking amount from brand to brand.

So what size was Marilyn Monroe actually?  Luckily, many of her dresses, carefully preserved, are still around to measure off of.  Further, one of her dress makers also chimed in with exact measurements he took.  Those measurements were 5 ft. 5.5 inches tall; 35 inch bust; 22 inch waist (approximately 2-3 inches less than the average American woman in the 1950s and 12 inches less than average today); and 35 inch hips, with a bra size of 36D.  Her weight fluctuated a bit through her career, usually rising in times of depression and falling back to her normal thereafter, but her dressmaker listed her as 118 pounds and the Hollywood studios tended to list her between 115-120 lbs.

As to what size Marilyn Monroe would be in women’s sizes today, that’s not an easy thing to answer due to the differing sizes from brand to brand, country to country, and the fact that her extreme hour glass shape would have made it difficult for her to find the perfect size while clothes shopping.  Lucky for her, she could afford to have her clothing custom made, which she usually did.

As a direct example of her size, the white dress she wore in The Seven Year Itch was recently auctioned off and was put on a mannequin that was a size 2, but they were still unable to zip up the dress as the mannequin was too big.  Many of her other dresses that exist from throughout her career match up to about the same, give or take an inch or two.  That being said, Marilyn Monroe at times would have her dresses so tight they’d have to be sown onto her, so something more comfortable in a size 4-ish (American) and something like an 8 in the U.K. is probably more accurate with most brands, though it should be noted that a 22 inch waist in many popular American jean sizes today would be below a 0.  So, again, the exact size is difficult to nail down thanks to the non-standardized sizing system we have today.

If you’re curious as to how that compares to modern contemporary fashion models, according to BluFire Model Registry, models are generally in the vicinity of a 34 bust; 24 waist; and 34 hips, which is very close to Monroe’s measurements of 35-22-35.  They list the average model  today at 5 ft. 8 inches, to Monroe’s 5 ft 5.5 inches.   Elizabeth Hurley, who in the above quote called Marilyn Monroe “fat”, actually has around the same dimensions: 34-24-34, though is about 5 inches taller than Monroe was.

So while it’s often lamented (rightly so) that female models and actresses today set a standard that no normal woman can realistically live up to, the same was true in the Marilyn Monroe era, minus Photoshop, even though she’s often used today as an example of how things were different “back in the day”. Probably the perception of the difference between then and now lies more in the fact that the average American is a lot bigger today.  To this point, the average American woman in the 1950s had a 25 inch waist compared to Monroe’s 22 inches.  Whereas today, the average American woman has a waist size of 34 inches, so the gap between the models and “average” was much less pronounced then.  And, of course, today we have more advanced means of photo and video editing to make the gap seem even larger, with the edited results being truly unattainable. At least a 22-24 inch waist is do-able for some with a significant amount of work via a great fitness routine and healthy diet.  A 22 inch waist that is then Photoshopped to look smaller, on the other hand, just isn’t healthily attainable, not to mention that any blemishes are also removed from pictures and film quite easily today via these modern editing techniques.


How World War I Helped Popularize the Bra

How World War I Helped Popularize the Bra


wwi-womanCorsets dominated the undergarments of wealthier women in the Western world for centuries, until WWI. So how did the war help popularize the bra?  In a word, or two words in this case: metal shortage. The making of corsets required quite a bit of metal.  Thus, in 1917, the U.S. War Industries Board asked American women to help their “men win the war” by not wearing or buying corsets.

This may seem like it would only make a small difference; but, in fact, during the war it is estimated that they freed up around 28,000 tons of steel by this change.  (Similar reasoning later led to the banning of pre-sliced bread in the U.S. during WWII, with much less success.)

Besides conserving resources, other aspects of the war also contributed to the demise of the corset and the rise of the bra.  For instance, during the war, American women found themselves working in factories, places where it simply wasn’t possible to function properly wearing an ultra-tight, ultra-restrictive corset.  Still needing some support in these active jobs, the bra became the most used alternative.

By the end of the war, fashion-conscious women in North America and Europe were now mostly wearing brassieres and soon mass-production of bras ramped up, despite their no longer being metal shortages nor were as many women still working factories and the like. Women in Asia, Africa, and Latin America  followed the trend. The reason the switch was more or less made permanent was that corsets were designed to accentuate the curvy Victorian ideal of beauty by cinching the waist and boosting the breasts. In the process, this made it very difficult to breathe and squeezed women’s waists so much that it could even displace organs and cause certain internal problems, along with symptoms such as fainting, gynecological issues, flushing, and nausea, among others. With corsets out, women could move and breathe again.

So who invented the first bra?  Wearing a specialized garment to support a woman’s breasts dates as far back as at least the 14th century BC in Greece where women wore a band of wool or linen that was wrapped across the breasts and tied or pinned in the back.  Depictions of these first bras can be seen in wall drawing in Crete, worn by female athletes during athletic events. The women in this civilization also seem to have often worn bra-like clothing items that were actually designed to expose the breasts, while also pushing them up and making them more prominent.

As to the modern bra, it isn’t clear who was the first to invent it as numerous patents in various nations were filed in the mid-19th to early 20th centuries concerning bras.  Along with the official patent records, an early 19th century push-up bra was recently discovered in the London Science Museum storage rooms; so even before they were being patented, at least some intrepid women seem to have been wearing something like a modern bra design.

The apparent “first” modern bra design patented in the U.S. was made by Caresse Crosby, born Mary Phelps Jacob, who invented her design in 1910. She got the idea for her bra when she was just 19 years old and heading to a ball.  Her dress for the evening was a sheer gown.  Owing to her large breast size, the dress and a corset didn’t work- the whale bone in the corset stuck out of her dress at the top.  She then, with the help of her maid, took two handkerchiefs and some ribbon and sewed them together to make something like a modern day bra, so she would still have support but not need to wear the corset.

After her bra being the talk of the party, with several women requesting she make bras for them, she decided to make a business out of it and patented her “backless brassiere”, with the patent being approved on November 3, 1914.  She initially didn’t have much luck selling her bra and decided to close down the business, selling the patent rights to Warners Brothers Corset Company of Connecticut.  From the sale she profited $1,500, which is approximately $30,000 today.  Not bad, until you consider that Warners Brothers Co. managed to do quite a bit better with the patent, ultimately earning an estimated $15 million, $200-$300 million today, from it in the following three decades.

Various advancements were made on these early bras, reflecting the shifting fashion trends.  In the 1920s, the flat chested, flapper look was queen, and bra styles reflected this.  Soon a full chested look, not unlike what was produced by corsets, became popular again. In 1947, Frederick Mellinger, founder of Frederick’s of Hollywood, introduced his design for the padded bra; a year later, his design for the modern push up bra came out which was called “Rising Star”. Before 1950, Mellinger would also introduce us to the front hook bra and more colorful brassieres.

In 1977, Lisa Lindahl and her childhood friend, Polly Smith, fashioned the modern day sports bra out of two jock straps (seriously). They teamed up with clothing designer Hinda Miller and soon the “Jogbra” was available to the general public. That same year Victoria’s Secret was founded by Stanford MBA, Roy Raymond.

How we size bras wasn’t invented until the late 1920s or 1930s, with some contention over who actually invented the modern sizing system. Some historians credit William Rosenthal and his wife Ida.  Others claim it was S.H. Camp and Company who introduced the A, B, C, D letter sizing, with documented evidence of Camp and Co.’s claim appearing in early 1930s ad campaigns showing such sizing. Whoever was really first, the brassiere sizing system, at least as far as the terminology went, soon caught on with other bra manufactures. Before this, bras tended to come in a mostly one size fits all variety, using stretchable material in the cup to accommodate women of varying sizes.

The sizing method that was come up with, which by the way is not standard from nation to nation, and can even vary somewhat from manufacturer to manufacturer, consists of two measurements – a linear measurement measuring underneath the breasts and around the ribcage, and then a second measurement, measuring the bra cup size itself, which is measured in volume. In this system, an A cup generally can hold around 8 fluid ounces; a B cup around 13 fluid ounces; a C cup around 21 fluid ounces; and a D cup around 27 fluid ounces.


Ty-Ron Mayes on Styling Tyra Banks Presents: 15

Celebrity stylist Ty-Ron Mayes has done it again. He’s teamed up with Tyra Banks for what is sure to become the most talked about event of the year. The woman who is known as a supermodel, businesswoman, actress, producer, author, and fashion icon is now the subject and muse of a fine art exhibit in which Banks transforms into 15 different fashion personalities.


Photographer Udo Spreitzenbarth captured the breathtaking images and Ty-Ron Mayes served as the Creative Director and Stylist overseeing Banks’ every wish. For Mayes it was a challenge to recreate the essence of these compelling and extraordinary women, especially since each had such a distinct style.

In the age of pixilated veils, there is no digital manipulation to the imagery. 15 is Tyra Banks in raw, un-retouched images: the photography, styling, and transformative hair and make-up, along with Banks’ extraordinary ability to emulate each character, takes the notion of “black and white” beyond the portrayed models’ varying ethnicity and a description of the photographs.


A trademark feature—a birthmark, gap, or a prominent brow—comes to symbolize a model’s identity, character, and brand in front of the camera or on the runway. Banks, Spreitzenbarth and the collaborators of 15 have ‘captured’ the likeness of her colleagues to address the powerful nature of these well-known symbols, while reminding them that ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.’

Named for the number of the iconic women portrayed, and the age at which Tyra Banks began her modeling career, 15 includes interpretive images of Banks personifying the supermodels: Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Lauren Hutton, Jerry Hall, Iman, Kate Moss, Twiggy, Brooke Shields, Claudia Schiffer, Carmen Dell’Orefice, and Grace Jones. Banks also portrays the new wave of talent that has resurrected the genre: Kate Upton, Karlie Kloss, and Cara Delevingne. Rounding out the 15, an adult Tyra emulates herself at 15 years old.



Currently, Ty-Ron Mayes serves as the Fashion Consultant to Tyra Banks for America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 20, so it was natural that the two would work on such an extraordinary, unprecedented exhibit titled “Tyra Banks Presents 15″ debuting on Monday, September 9, 2013.


Tyra Banks Transformed: Capturing fashion icons in 15 images

When discussing concepts with Mayes and Spreitzenbarth, it was Banks’ idea to transform into recognizable fashion icons, but there was a catch…she demanded: absolutely no retouching. Inspired by icons of the past and the hot girls of the present, Banks, Spreitzenbarth, and Mayes collaborated to create a high concept exhibit of Tyra Banks paying homage to 15 influential faces.

The exhibit came out of months of working on editorial shoots with the team of Banks, Spreitzenbarth, and Mayes, and was conceived on the set while shooting for Cosmopolitan magazine. Banks, Mayes, and Spreitzenbarth pioneered the concept of an exhibit featuring avant-garde images of Tyra Banks transformed…without retouching and so the task began.

Along with the extraordinary talents of Emmy Award winning makeup artist, Valente’ Fraizer, and hair stylist, Sher Rae Tucker, Team Tyra was formed and then the transformations began. The idea behind eliminating the element of retouching was to really focus on the power of makeup, hair, wardrobe styling and Banks’ acting abilities. The effect is a seamless mixture of wigs, costumes, make-up, and theatre – which left a dramatic result.


An artistic approach

Tyra Banks, Udo Spreitzenbarth, and Ty-Ron Mayes worked 17 hour days to create the images. But which woman would they choose to tribute and what era would they be tributed in? Do we shoot a blonde Linda or red head? Which Iman do we capture? Mayes undertook an enormous amount of research and spent many nights going through his extensive collection of magazine covers and images dating back to the 1980s.

He shopped for hours and enlisted help from just about every fashion house that would loan. As the Creative Director to Tyra 15, decisions had to be made fast and things were changing every day. Banks and Mayes decided that they would cover both Lindas, an 80’s Iman, and Kate Moss during her Calvin Klein years. And then Team Tyra transformed her into a work of art.

Together they captured the brooding beauty of Kate Moss, the elegant poise of Linda Evangelista, the spunky Cara Delevinge, and the outrageous essence of Grace Jones. Tyra’s ability to transform into these specific personalities leaves a powerful impression that will have the audience in awe. Remember… there is no retouching.

In Ty-Ron’s words: “I went to Connie Flemming and David Dalrymple of Patricia Field’s House Of Field and asked if they could make an Iman-inspired gold lamé jumpsuit with a plunging neckline and padded shoulders. In just three days, David and his team whipped up this incredible blast from the past.”


Bringing icons to life

“What was so impressive was the pure emotion that she injected into each image. Tyra really manipulated every muscle in her face in order to achieve each personality’s mannerisms and nuances. I felt that each character was in the room at the time of the shoot. Tyra’s been so amazing to work with and is very much like a walking piece of art herself,” Mayes shared.

It has always been Ty-Ron Mayes’ wish to work with Udo Spreitzenbarth in creating such an innovative photo exhibit, representing both his approach to styling, and Spreitzenbarth’s unique photography. Mayes is thrilled to have been a part of making these icons come to life through Tyra Banks’ remarkable ability to capture the magic of past and present, and hopes these images and exhibit will inspire each and every one of us.



The Art Whisperers by Ty-Ron Mayes (Antonio Lopez, Mauricio Mao Padilha and Roger Padilha)

                                                  Written and Interviewed by Ty-Ron Mayes

                       The Art Whisperers

It was once said that art is long and life is short. Maybe that is why sibling authors Roger Padilha and Mauricio Padilha found success in documenting artists from the past. You may not recognize their names, but they are the masterminds behind the declassification of past artists such as Stephen Sprouse. Voyeuristic tomes seem to be the Padilha style and we can’t get enough. Thanks to the Padilha Brothers, artist’s lives such as Antonio Lopez are no longer a secret. Their books remove the mystery from these once enigmatic entities and remind us of their unforgettable works as we peer into the complex lifestyles that are often as dark and colorful as their works. The Stephen Sprouse Book was a huge hit and now the duo have decided to let us mere mortals peek into the world of another fashion great… Antonio Lopez. He was one of the greatest fashion illustrators of our time. Antonio Lopez Fashion, Art, Sex & Disco is part portfolio, part love letter and part biography. Often it reads like a re-enactment of Antonio Lopez’ life as his friends and loved ones reminisce about their unconventional, decadent lives they led, with the late Lopez as their ringleader. His illustrations were visually striking pieces of artwork that influenced designers from Karl Lagerfeld to Oscar de la Renta. Lopez ushered in the ‘new look’, which shocked the world as he often chose unconventional muses who were often ethnic, possessed character and eventually became iconic. From Grace Jones to Jerry Hall and Tina Chow to Pat Cleveland… fashion went avant guard and had a new cast of characters who were daring and wickedly beautiful.  Lopez’ name will be forever synonymous with beauty, fashion and style.


Ty-Ron Mayes: Your previous book Stephen Sprouse was a huge success. It was a full access look into the life and work of Sprouse. When you wrote it, did you have an idea that it would be as successful as it is?


Roger Padilha: At first we didn’t. It was just a passion of ours to put this book out there. Stephen was a very cult designer, so at best we thought that the book would have a small cult following. But then Louis Vuitton got involved….


Mauricio Padilha: Louis Vuitton really put a much bigger spotlight on our book and Stephen Sprouse. It was a perfect collaboration for them to rerelease the Sprouse collection at the same time that our book was being released. Also, they commissioned a special edition of the book with an LV cover and from reports all the copies of that book sold out the day it was released!



Ty-Ron Mayes: For those who are not aware, you are brothers… who decided on making Antonio Lopez your next subject?


Roger Padilha: We both have the same references and heroes and it’s always a mutual decision. We both loved Antonio’s work as kids.


Mauricio Padilha: Also, while we both love Antonio, we each love something different. Roger was always a fan of his artwork while I really loved his lifestyle and entourage. This is definitely reflected in the book and is really the first to document the work as well as Antonio’s accompanying lifestyle.



Ty-Ron Mayes: Antonio Lopez was one of the most important fashion illustrators of the 20th Century. What drew you to Antonio Lopez’ work?


Roger Padilha: Antonio s work was just so exciting, much more so than photography was. Pre-Photoshop, photographic editorial was quite limited so Antonio’s surrealistic illustration really just brought fashion into a whole other fantasy realm.


Ty-Ron Mayes: As MAO PR together you have ushered in many talents in the fashion industry. Do you actively search for fresh talent?


Mauricio Padilha: Yes. After 15 years in business, we still love working with the up and coming designers who really want to change the rules and redefine fashion. We are always looking and searching for the next big thing.


Ty-Ron Mayes: How important is it for the industry to have these unique artists?


Roger Padilha: Completely. Especially these days where fashion is such big business. If we are not careful, the “art” part of fashion will be seriously compromised as it gets harder and harder for new people to compete with these mega-brands. 



Ty-Ron Mayes: Antonio Lopez had an eye for unique models as his subject and discovered many of our icons that are celebrated today such as Grace Jones and Jerry Hall. It seems as though the Padilha Brothers may also share a love for unique beauties. Who are some of the muses that you are drawn to?


Roger Padilha: Well, it’s always great to be friends with someone who “talks the talk and walks the walk”. WE love our more extreme friends who really take fashion editorials to heart and wear designer clothing on a day-to-day basis. Allanah Starr, Amanda Lepore, Gazelle, Darian Darling… all great friends of ours who really like to push the limits with their own personal wardrobes. 



Ty-Ron Mayes: Roger, you recently shared with me a story about Supermodel Selita Ebanks (best known for her Victoria’s Secret contract). Was Selita one of the MAO muses?


Roger Padilha: We love Selita. We were one of the first to book her for an ELLE editorial with a designer we worked with, Gary Graham. Selita was very, very thin when she first started (as I’m sure she was only 16 or so) but her face was so flawless, we would make our designers alter the samples to fit her! Of course, those samples could later not be shot on anyone but her since they were so altered but it was worth it! 



Ty-Ron Mayes: Mauricio, I know you and your brother own a huge collection of Stephen Sprouse archives. Can you share with us a little bit of your fashion background?


Mauricio Padilha: Roger and I both graduated from Parsons School of Design majoring in fashion. We both worked at Perry Ellis when Marc Jacobs was the designer and after school ended, Roger started his own label and I worked with him doing his PR.



Ty-Ron Mayes: Roger, I understand you were a designer and had collections of your own at one point. Can you tell us about some of your fashion history?


Roger Padilha: Yes, I had a company called SPOOKY and we were very popular during the mid 90s. We got an extraordinary amount of press and incredible support from celebrities and stylists. However, as still happens with young designers, it was a constant uphill battle to produce our orders without major backing.



Ty-Ron Mayes: Roger, do you hope to one day design your own line of clothing again?


Roger Padilha: NEVER!! Ha ha. Honestly, one day I took stock of the parts of being a designer I loved and the parts I hated. I hated sourcing fabrics and dealing with factories and buyers. I loved working with magazine editors and putting on shows and photo shoots. So MAO really is the same job I had but only the parts of it that I loved.


Ty-Ron Mayes: How has fashion changed or influenced your lives?


Mauricio Padilha: Fashion is everything to us. It’s our livelihood; it’s what we do for fun. It’s everything. We live, breathe, and work fashion.



Ty-Ron Mayes: Back to making books… between the two of you, how do you divide the task of writing such extensive books?


Roger Padilha: I write the books and Mauricio is in charge of gathering the visuals. Of course we both work hand in hand in every part of it so it doesn’t really feel like the work is divided. 



Ty-Ron Mayes: Gathering information for a book of this nature can be challenging. What was the process for procuring Lopez’s works?


Mauricio Padilha: We interviewed all of the Antonio’s friends and work colleagues to get the real story. Antonio was very meticulous about archiving his work so the archives were very complete and it wasn’t necessary to really search far to get the pieces we wanted for our book.



Ty-Ron Mayes: Do you own any of the late artist’s original work?


Roger Padilha: Yes. Paul Caranicas, who is in charge of the estate, gave us each 2 drawings after the book was released. It’s so cool to have them!



Ty-Ron Mayes: The Padilha Brothers live in a fabulous world surrounded by glamorous icons, super talented designers and the most beautiful women in the world… what does LIBERTY mean to you? And in which way do you celebrate your LIBERTY?


Roger Padilha: Liberty means living the life you want and we certainly can say that we are living the way we always wanted to without compromise. We are very lucky and hope that by living our lives the way we do, it will inspire others to live their dreams as well.



Ty-Ron Mayes: Your books are huge contributions to the fashion industry… how important is it to have references in fashion as a stylist, designer, artist or model?


Mauricio Padilha: Tremendous. As with anything in life, when you understand history, you are better equipped to understand the future.



Ty-Ron Mayes: I really want people to know how important this book is. It contains a forward from Andre’ Leon Talley and several celebrities have recounted their days with Antonio Lopez. What can we expect from this book?


Roger Padilha: This book in a way is not only about Antonio Lopez but also a dissection of fashion during the 60s, 70s and 80s. Although the main subject is Antonio, his story really gives you a sense of what fashion was about during that time. Also, as Antonio was one of the first to embrace using models of color, to bring street culture into high fashion, and to get fashion into the walls of art galleries, the book is a chronicle of how the fashion industry go to the point it is at today.



Ty-Ron Mayes: I know you have just finished your book tour, which has taken you to some of the biggest fashion capitals in the world. Would you ever go to China for a book signing?


Mauricio Padilha: Yes! Sign us up!



Ty-Ron Mayes: What can we expect from the Mauricio Padilha and Roger Padilha in the near future? Are you already working on another book?


Roger Padilha: Yes, and when we are able to tell you what it’s on, West East Magazine will be the first to know!