LARRY FLYNT X BUSCEMI
I guess there are crazier things in this world. I saw Wu Tang Dunks for $20k last week. You mentioned BUSCEMI marketing before. How did the Larry Flynt poster image come about?
That was all Rob Heppler. The original 100mm was iconic the second we released it and we needed marketing that spoke to our ‘Obnoxiously High Quality’. We made a list of iconic people we wanted to model for us. Daniel Day Lewis, Mickey Rourke, Steve Wozniak… it was an all-star cast. Then we thought about who we had connections to. Heppler went wheat-pasting with Buff Monster one night and met another street artist named Seizer, who at the time was creative director at Hustler. A few emails and a cash transaction later, we got one of the most iconic photos ever taken. Larry said he has had billboards in every city for 30 years and never got one phone call, but he got 12 calls from the BUSCEMI board alone.
There must be a great story behind the actual photo.
Having anything shot by Atiba Jefferson becomes classic. Larry had never been asked to model for a real fashion brand before, so he was really excited. I remember him saying, ‘Jon, are you really selling shoes for $1000 bucks? Let me shake your hand!’ He is all business, all the time. He is so good at blackjack he is never allowed to go back to Caesar’s Palace ever again.
Larry is also a divisive figure. Brands are so scared of controversy these days. I guess no brand wants to be public enemy #1, like VW cars are today. Was there any doubt about using Larry like that?
Larry is sensational and provocative. He’s the only person in the world that called Supreme Court Justices, ‘Six assholes and half a fag!’ He did three months in prison for saying that. Negative fallout? None. If the fallout is a successful international brand that sells out instantly, I’ll choose Larry every time.