One of my personal heroes is David Mason Chlopecki, the founder of Slick It Up. Anyone who can combine high fashion with high fetish AND get Francois Sagat to model spandex was always going to be a winner with me. (Read our interview with Francois here.)
Ages ago I remember David saying that someone had described Slick It Up gear as Victoria’s Secret for men. That was when I knew I needed some in my life. OK, perhaps the pink Candy Sling was ill-advised but the Killian Suit is great and will be worn for my trip to this year’s Folsom.
Read on as David discusses his obsession with super villains, how it feels to inspire Gaga and how he came out to spite his Mom.
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What did you want to be as a kid?
I genuinely had no plans although an eccentric millionaire was always somewhere in the background……
At what age did you start to draw clothes?
I was always more into the gear than the clothes. I liked the cool accessories my toys had when I was young - the weapons, the boots, the masks… Pretty much all they wore was just bodysuits or fetish gear so it was never just about the clothes. I started with fetish hoods. I don’t even know how to make normal clothes.
What is your favourite piece you have designed and why?
Hmmm, I guess I would say the jeans. They really make people look good and I can’t think of a sexier jean on a guy. They’re our best seller so I think I really nailed it with them.
Do you always imagine the same person wearing the outfits as you draw them?
Not at all, I have many types but I usually have a direction or theme for the pieces. So each piece can satisfy a particular fantasy or scenario.
Who would you most like to see in Slick It Up?
Good Question! I mean Grace Jones would be nice. If I had to choose a guy…hmmm…I can’t think of anyone particularly sexy I’d want to see. I mean the models we have are sorta the hottest to me but if I had to pick someone famous I think Ryan Gosling is cute. To be honest though I really couldn’t say I’d ever thought about it before. When you work in an industry that’s about looking sexy, sexy people sorta become invisible/real and not fantasies in the same way….Oh Tilda Swinton in Slick It Up would be rad.
What’s next for Slick It Up?
Well we have a new line coming out called Trophy Pony which is more fun stuff, not necessarily sexy stuff. It’s more fashion and funny. We also have a home collection called Throne to the Lions that will be out soon too!
What age did you come out?
I came out age 18. I was laughing watching Desperate Living and my mother said to me ‘David, you don’t know what is and isn’t funny.’ I got SO ANGRY. It’s so insulting for someone to tell you that what you find funny is WRONG. Anyway that was IT. I was like ‘You know what, Mom, I don’t like girls!’ I felt like ‘You wanna ruin my day?… POW… now we’re even.’
Who is your biggest influence?
Super Villainy in most forms.
What’s with the obsession with Skeletor?
I can really relate to Skeletor. He was my favorite as a kid. Turquoise and purple, he lived in the coolest house, had the coolest friends, had a hot body and had a purple panther as a pet…perfection. He was also interesting as a person. He wasn’t just some dumb brute, he had PLANS! He also dabbled in magic and witchery which I thought was cool and very rare for a muscular guy.
Is it fair to say you have a mild obsession with super-heroes?
I like super villains, not heroes. Heroes are interested in retaining the status quo. As a kid I never understood the heroes. I didn’t know how I was supposed to relate to them. They always wore such sucky colours and outfits. Green Lantern was cool and as a kid I loved Spiderman but that’s about it.
You’ve changed your body significantly, right? How and why? And do the tales of Erik Rhodes who died from overdoing steroids scare you from going further?
I wouldn’t say significantly, but yes, I did get more muscular. I really like transformation. I think it’s so empowering and interesting. I mean why not?! You’re here on Earth for a limited time. Do as many looks as you can! I try and offer a lot of fantasies. Erik Rhodes was a sad extreme case. I never knew him so I can’t say much but it seemed like he was very alone, or at least FELT very alone.
Your unicorn outfit seems to have taken off, with Britney copying it in Glee. Where else have you seen it? Have any GLEEKs contacted you?
I’ve seen a few places - on cakes, painted on velvet in Mexico next to Mother Theresa. No GLEEKs have ever reached out to me because most people had zero idea as to who made that image and why. They just think it’s some quack taking a self-pic despite the fact that it’s clearly very heavily photo-shopped so it’s obviously very deliberate. But I think people prefer the lie that it’s a home photo.
Gaga’s Born This Way video has an undeniable SIU vibe and it comes just after she toured with Scissor Sisters who wear your gear. Co-incidence?
I don’t think its a Scissor Sisters thing I think its the director of the video. He clearly saw the intro to the kids show we made The Multinauts in which I play the villain. The ‘Born This Way’ video is clearly very inspired by the intro of the show and our art direction.
When did you last pinch yourself and say ‘I can’t believe I do this for a career’?
Well Slick It Up has really opened up my psyche. It’s much broader now. I now have friends all over the world and not just New York or L.A. I pinch myself when we’re shooting because some insanely hot guy will be asking me for direction and I’ll just be thinking ‘I can’t believe this is my job’.
Have you ever been tempted to do porn?
No, I’ve never been into porn. I don’t even watch it. If it’s ‘produced’ it’s super unattractive to me. Amateur stuff is sexy but nothing commercial. Otherwise it is just like work and not sexual at all. I just see the lighting, the poses, the fake noises, the edits etc. I’m not ‘captured’. It’s just like watching a commercial for a blender or a car, just some other product.
Finally what would your drag name be?
Hmm, Ive often wondered. I think Id be a shitty version of Demi Moore called Demi Less….
Francois modelling Slick It Up for Terry Richardson
Buy Slick It Up products at http://slickitup.com/
Read David’s blog at www.houseofvader.com/ or http://mugler88.tumblr.com