Most people are happy doing one job. New York-based artist and designer Radboy is not: he subverts the brand logos of Apple, Head & Shoulders and Hollister as president of art-and-fashion line Shanzhai Biennial, and turned real-estate agent at Frieze to sell a £32m mansion in London’s St John’s Wood. He is also creative director of both sumptuous Middle East-focused arts publication Bidoun and hi-tech label Telfar. Basically, everything he touches is magically dusted with the perfect amount of geek, chic and plenty of lulz. And if you like the smell of this particular success, you’re in luck: next year, he’ll launch a fragrance with Telfar. Anyone wishing to purchase a house from him, meanwhile, should direct their enquiries to email@example.com.
What was your defining pop culture moment of 2014?
Babak Radboy: The acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook for $19 billion, the intro graphics to ISIS propaganda films and Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta season 3.
How would you sum up what you do in a sentence?
Babak Radboy: I make it appear exactly as if something were happening.
What’s your favourite song and movie of 2014?
Babak Radboy: I like all songs and movies equally.
How do you think that style and pop culture will change in 2015?
Babak Radboy: I think in general there will be a turn away from cleverness and irony, as its grammar becomes too ubiquitous, and the ‘new’ will retreat into the inexplicable.
In 15 words, sum up what we can expect from you in 2015.
Babak Radboy: I’m launching a fashion line in collaboration with Bjarne Melgaard and a fragrance with Telfar. We will make millions.
What’s the most exciting thing about the music/film/fashion industry today?
Babak Radboy: I guess the uncertainty – it’s positively riveting! I think the underlying economics of all of these industries has completely shifted and isn’t near settling. It makes things oddly democratic.
What new skill did you learn this year?
Babak Radboy: Designing clothes and accessories – I do it all in Photoshop which is really perverse.
Who’s an unsung cultural hero that you discovered this year?
Babak Radboy: I was supposed to work with Andre Walker for his AW15 relaunch – we spent a little time together looking through his archives. He is a cultural experience.
What’s the most surprising thing we’d find out if we looked at your phone?
Babak Radboy: I barely use it for talking? Is that surprising?
Who should have been at number one on the Dazed 100?
Babak Radboy: Telfar. It’s his time.
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