Mar 23rd, 2020, 05:59 PM

Zombie Boy

By Alicia Blum
Rick Genest, "Zombie Boy," Image Credit // Instagram
Living Art at the Height of Fashion

You rarely see someone whose entire body is seen as fashionable and unique. Rick Genest, Canadian artist and fashion model, who sadly passed away in 2018, was that man. 90% of his body was covered in tattoos and his face was that of a skeleton. Although it shocks many people, the fashion world sees this bodily display as amazing and beautiful.

Rick became a fashion sensation. His tattoos represented a hard exterior but when you look closely, you can tell that Rick Genest was a laid back, down to earth man. He just saw the world differently from others.  His full-body tattoos presented an amazing aesthetic that has been admired and used by various designers in fashion shows. I never would have imaged the fashion world accept Rick’s tattoos but he was a walking piece of art, highly looked upon in various parts of the fashion community. He played a part in the inspiration behind Riccardo Tisci’s creation of a skeleton as their main image in their 2010 fall couture collection made for Givenchy. Genest was also spotted by Nicola Formichetti, stylist of Lady Gaga, and immediately saw the art and potential in his visual message. Formichetti invited him to walk in the 2011/2012 catwalk for Thiery Mugler's fashion now.  It is quite the spectacle to watch him on the runway.  Not long ago, having one tattoo was considered taboo. The fact that now we accept those who decide to cover their entire body in ink shows how much society, and the fashion world, has moved forward.


A post shared by Zombie Boy 💀 (@rickgenestofficial) on

Photographer Phillip Toledano stated during his photographic series, A New Kind of Beauty, “is beauty informed by contemporary culture? By history? Or is it defined by the surgeon’s hand?"... Perhaps we are creating a new kind of beauty. An amalgam of surgery, art, and popular culture? Beauty comes from the main aspects of life and not just the fashion and clothing we wear. Many people have taken body modifications to a new level and that is considered beautiful in certain parts of the world. The pure shock and awe we experience when seeing these individuals is compelling and that is half of what makes them incredible works of art . Fashion continues to push the boundaries of what we call beautiful and what we call high fashion or ‘couture’ – and with that being said, Rick Genest, “Zombie Boy, “ is one of a kind in the fashion world.

Rick Genest’s tattoos represented that of a zombie or a skeleton. While most people are frightened or fear the thought of death and dying, Rick embraced it. He held the Guinness World Record twice for having the most tattoos on his body. When viewing his tattoos from an artist's perspective, you are able to see the beauty within the death and skeleton imagery. The heavy contrast of black ink on his pale skin makes for a beautiful portrait. The time and effort taken to make such a masterpiece on the human body will leave a lasting impression in fashion history.


Another cool shot from Inked - Day of the Dead

A post shared by Zombie Boy 💀 (@rickgenestofficial) on