To put it mildly, this guy makes Marilyn Manson look like a wimp.Lady Gaga's friend and collaborator Nicola Formichetti, creative director for the international fashion label Thierry Mugler, saw Genest's (he goes by the moniker "Zombie Boy") Facebook which featured photos of the tattoos covering his body, black circles around his eye sockets, a skeletal ink grin, his shaved head showing off his wormy brain and his realistic ribcage art with a large biohazard symbol.Want to become an international fashion model and appear in a music video with Lady Gaga?A young Canadian named Rick Genest has done just that.Formichetti finds a similarity between Lady Gaga and Zombie Boy."In a way his story is similar to Gaga, in that there's no going back. You are that, you are what you’re creating." Rick's reel of fashion shows and music videos can be viewed here reference.Just by looking at his pictures I changed the whole collection. Well, I added more, by taking stuff from him, making it a bit darker and gothicy. But then I thought, maybe he doesn’t need to be there physically. So I told him I would go to him in Montreal in two days. So basically I Facebooked him and was like, "You know, I'm doing this thing in Paris and I would love you to be there in two weeks." He emailed me back straightaway and he was like, "Yeah, sure, I would love to, but I don’t have a passport." And then I start thinking how the fuck is he going to get a passport in time? I called my friend Mariano [Vivanco, photographer] and my manager. And he just kept telling me, "I'm not a criminal, I'm not a criminal." It took him so long to tell us. He was crying and saying how this was going to change his life.
But, it seems, the diagnosis gave birth to a fascination, you might say an obsession, with the morbid and macabre. That's my ambition.' In the past four years, Genest has gone from being a hobo on the streets of Montreal, where he worked as a squeegee boy cleaning car windows, to international fame and a small fortune after being discovered by Nicola Formichetti, the creative director who works with Lady Gaga and the haute couture house Thierry Mugler.There are some things that neither money nor distance, nor even the law, pose an obstacle. Here's the incredible but true story of how Mugler's new creative director Nicola Formichetti discovered Rick Genest — aka Rico, aka Zombie Boy, aka that guy with the mad skull tattoo on his face — and got him to walk in his debut men's collection, basically becoming the face of Mugler. And the tattoo artist who did it, my friend Maxime, who has this tattoo magazine called Sang Bleu, saw that picture and said, "Oh yeah, that guy is Zombie Boy. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have a little encouragement from Lady Gaga (who, by the way, snapped up half the collection, with the other half in Rick's inky hands). He lives in Montreal."So you sought Rico out on Facebook and asked him to model for you. But it's actually inspiring to hear him talk about shades, which are the dots that create the 3D effect of his tattoo. The 25-year-old - who shot to fame after starring in Gaga's music video for Born This Way - then begins to wipe a cloth across his chest, and for those who aren't familiar with his normal look will be quite surprised.The Canadian model is covered in skeletal tattoos that make his body resemble a decomposing corpse, and all is revealed as he begins to wipe away the Derma Blend concealer with the brand's make-up remover.The bilingual star modelled Thierry Mugler's latest collection at Paris Fashion Week earlier this year, but before his new found fame he was living on the streets of Montreal doing window cleaning and performing as a circus freak to find the funds for his next tattoo.