So in case you don’t know who Luka Sabbat is, he is probably the biggest up and coming model/entrepreneur/influencer in the fashion scene right now. You’ll see him gracing the runways for Yeezy to hanging with fashions finest like Virgil Abloh and Heron Preston.
The kid oozes style and make everything effortless, not bad for a 19 year old. He has sat down with Forbes to discuss all of his current roles (there are a few) and how he become a social media sensation.
Luka Sabbat: “I am a young creative entrepreneur, long story short.”
F: Your rise in social media has been awe-inspiring, and frankly it’s incredible; I remember when you were posting those photos of you wearing all black gathering seventy-something likes on Instagram. Now you’re in the 40,000, 50,000 range. In retrospect, when you look back on your rise, how do you feel about it? It has happened so fast over the course of about four years.
LS: “I don’t know. I think it is interesting. I think it is a good example of how the internet can play out in your life and how you can put your ideas out there and meet new people. I never really think about how crazy it is, because I am only 19 years old, but I think it is sick; I can’t complain. It always freaks me out though like how? Why? There are people way older than me on some other stuff. Why am I not on that?”
F: Could you define “other stuff?”
LS: “At my age kids are going to college parties or getting drunk and going to Ibiza. Doing whatever college kids do. I can’t really speak on it because I dropped out less than a semester in, but most of the kids I knew at the time went such a different route and you see what they are doing and they are on some regular becoming an adult wave, and I skipped that whole college “get drunk,” “get all these girls” attitude; I skipped that and went to work. I got super professional out of nowhere. I kind of wanted to go through that phase of doing dumb stuff and going to college and getting wasted, but I do not drink like that or do any drugs. I can still have fun without those things; I can just get a virgin Mojito and be lit. I don’t actually need tequila. Looking back it’s like “what and how.”
F: Something I am interested in is that if being yourself translated over to your work professionally whether it be modeling or your own private ventures.
LS: “I am lazy and unprofessional, but I get to it. There is a reason all these things have been done. I am bad at being professional. I suck at responding to emails and I may not use the proper vocabulary in a meeting. I could say to a CEO: “that was fire” but they won’t mind it or even care because I walk in with that energy and they leave knowing that is my energy.”
F: What do you tell to someone who does not live in New York?
LS: “Where you live, matters, a lot. There are a lot of kids with great potential, and some like Noah for example: I saw his work on Twitter back when he lived in Durango, Colorado. He was gaining followers and getting known by this underground Tumblr-ish crowd, but how far could that have gone if he just stayed there and hadn’t come to New York or gone to Paris with me? At the end of the day the internet is the internet, but you need to be in a physical space. You can have the internet, but you need to go to New York and go to Los Angeles and show face. The internet can only take you so far. The origin story [of Hot Mess] is that I saw his work on Twitter and I messaged him to come to Los Angeles, and he pulled up with nowhere to stay and with no money; he had just quit his job. I was like “Just come through and stay at my crib.” Two weeks later we have thousands of photos and the gallery show and it has just been super organic. Our dynamic when we work is just really natural and free flowing. If you were in Ohio with great ideas it wouldn’t matter; even New York can only take you so far. Eventually you have to go to Paris or Milan despite the fact you live in a popular area. You have to show face or your following will be super local.”