A young man with a line cut, almond-shaped eyes, nose stud, and a tattoo of a woman's torso sits on a chair in front of an ecru wall. He wears a red shirt, which is bright as his affable and charming personality.

While the majority of mainstream press outlets want you to believe that Bella Hadid's makeover for PAPER broke the Internet, he is the one who actually did it. You may know him as @FUCCl on Twitter, but his name is Farren Fucci.

Based in Philadelphia and New York City, Fucci alternates between both cities. While the commute is shorter and more affordable compared to him being in Atlanta, he's able to gain access to the fashion world beyond the tap of a screen. Considering that he's made a name for himself as Rihanna's go-to guy for outfit ideas, he is more than just that.

We chat on Skype about the inspiration behind that Bella Hadid cover, how he got his username, why he looks up to Rihanna and his plans for reality TV.


Your usernames on Instagram and Twitter are both Fucci and Karlie Floss. What made you be inspired by designer names and supermodels?

When I was growing up, my mom has subscriptions to both Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. I would always be looking through these magazines, looking at the ads. You know how guys have their favourite athletes or girls? Mine was my favourite, best-dressed ads I could see or Paris Hilton. I have the iconic Giselse Bundchen [ad] on the wall.

I was very much into fashion from the beginning. So, when I started saying that I want to brand myself, I want to be known as an image architect to transform an image to make it more marketable. That's what made me think of making my Instagram a play on word of a model's name on Twitter and fashion houses.

That really explains it, though! So many people have noted that you are a Rihanna fan and that she has looked to you for inspiration. How do you relate to her and why?

I relate to her because she inspired me to be unapologetic. Rihanna is out here in the industry giving zero fucks and able to make moves. She is still able to be the face of all these brands/endorsements while not conforming to society. It inspired me to realise that I need to embrace the differences that go against the grain. All the things that she did on Instagram are the things that trademarked her thing.

You once had to point out to someone on Twitter that Rihanna is not just an influencer, but she's influenced the Hadid and Jenner sisters on the way they dress. When did you realise that Rihanna's influence was going to become a huge deal?

I was a fan since the beginning, but I realised that she was popping when she did Rated R. When that album came out, I was like, "This girl is gonna be here forever." She's an icon because that was such a powerful album.

Around the same time, I was also in a domestic violence [based] relationship myself. My mother was also abused by my sister's father. I've resonated with [Rihanna] on that aspect as well because of what she went through. Just by because of what she went through with that situation made me closer to her with what I went through and watched my mom go through it, which made me have an affinity for her.

I'm sorry that you had to go through so much.

It made me stronger. I embraced it and it made me what I am today. If it weren't for those things, I'd probably still be naïve. It was a wake-up call.

This is a huge link to why you look up to strong and very powerful women. Not just Rihanna, but Aaliyah as well. How did you become attracted to the whole Aaliyah look and aesthetic of the very glam urban women?

Well, my mom and I bonded by listening to TLC and Aaliyah's music. I'm very chill and nowadays, I have to go out because I have to meet people. When I get dressed and go, I'm like, "Oh my god, I want to sit here, watch TV and eat pizza!". I really don't want to go out anywhere. Her music was perfect for sitting in the house, you know, vibing out and I dance, also.

That's what it goes into it is that she was a dancer. She was so effortless with everything that she did. That's how I want my women to dress. I don't want women to look like they're trying too hard. I want to them to look like they threw that together and still have that be a look because when I put my looks together, it takes five minutes. I literally go off my intuition, what I feel and when I styled Bella, I pulled things that I thought would be what I wanted.

That's where a lot of it comes to play with my aesthetic: it's a lot of different pieces being put together and playing music. I try not to overthink what I put together.

I love how your look feels so authentic and I'm like, "no wonder everyone loves it!". Your PAPER magazine gig, where you dressed Bella Hadid, was everywhere. Did you anticipate any of the buzz surrounding it?

I did because I believe in myself and the talent. All I need was the platform to really show my abilities. I was a little nervous because it was my very first cover shoot ever. It was my first time stepping on set. They gave me creative direction [and] styling control. It was a little overwhelming for a second, but this is a make or break. If I fail on this, I'm going to need more people to survive. If I pass this, I'm going to be in a whole realm of respect in the [fashion] industry. It was a lot of pressure on that.


The way it was going to happen was going to be very big.

I had no idea that this was your first shoot! This was a different look for Bella - I didn't think it was her for a second. What was the inspiration when you sourced the entire shoot?

My inspiration for the shoot was Underworld. You should definitely watch it: it's one of the best action vampire movies. [The shoot] is about Bella being one of the head bitches in charge, so I wanted her to be the queen of the coven. She has her going to the club look, going to a business meeting look and she also has her formal gown type look.

What other movies do you source your looks from?

It's just a lot of dark stuff like The Craft. One of my favorite fashion aesthetics is Jawbreaker and I love, love, love Showgirls. The Fifth Element is a big one for me. I literally am obsessed from video games to architecture to what gives me inspiration for my lifestyle.

I like that you are willing to go beyond pop culture and the fact that you are prepared to pull the look based on the aesthetic, mood and the way the characters think and act. That's what makes you unique as a stylist.

Thank you!

You're welcome!

I think being a nerd is really healthy 'cause I'm always in the room by myself playing video games and reading books. I was reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens when I was in second grade.


I've always been a different kind of thinker.

Since you're heavily into literature, did you go to college?

I did go to college, and I don't like anything other than English. So, it was hard for me to pay attention and I did not finish. Though with my English class, I excelled. My English teacher said, "Don't come back to class: go ahead, work on your research paper and I will see you on your last day."

That's how good at writing I was. School wasn't necessarily for me, but I should go. When I'm older, and I'm more disciplined to do things I really don't want to do, then maybe I can go to school. Right now, it just isn't where I want it to be.

I remember that there's this whole thing about Trapvilla, where Rihanna wore the Hillary Clinton t-shirt with her in a dad cap. I've read somewhere that this was a collaboration between you and the designer. How did the idea of the shirt happen?

With Trapvilla, they actually approached me about promoting the brand for the t-shirts. I was like, "Ok, dope. I would like a t-shirt" and I was supporting Hillary. So, I ended up posting the shirts and Rih hit me up and was like, "Where's mine?", basically. That's when I flew from Atlanta to New York to bring her that t-shirt; she was endorsing Hillary. What better way to get some more votes in by having Rihanna endorse her? That's how that happened.

That's a really clever way to market it.

Right. I think about all things like that. I want to approach someone with the opportunity and have a benefit for them. Like when we did Bella's, I knew that this was going to be a totally new thing for her. It also made her more personable to an amount of people. Because of the fact that, I came from Twitter, it made her look like she wanted to help out other creatives. It made her look like she wanted to help people of colour. It also made her more edgy for fashion shoots. It made her more likely to get different kinds of shoots. She was so good at that. It was about a rebranding and the beneficial publicity that happened for both of us.

I was blown away by that! What made you use Twitter as a way to post your styling ideas as opposed to Instagram?

Well, Twitter was mainly because I had a big following. I already 16 - 17K on Twitter when I started doing my Polyvores. What really started was that I was posting looks, but my manager came to me and said, "Our boss [Ruby Lou] said that you should post more Polyvores" because people knew that I had an eye for style, but it was a way to show them my own personal style. I started taking off and I am where I am now. [laughs]

This is going to be mindblowing, but based on your Twitter, you got celebrity fans like Katy Perry and Padma Lakshmi, who recognize your influence. Have you always seen yourself as an influencer?

Probably because I thought differently. I don't like to look at myself as anything other than a normal person. When I was in high school, I was lame. I wasn't the popular guy until I came out being gay. I was the person looked over; nobody looked to me for anything.

It was really dope, but it's still new to me to be known as somebody important because I was literally the most quiet person in the corner, not talking to anybody. It's very different for me and I'm still learning what I can do with my voice.

I'm proud of you of how you want to use your voice to not just help yourself, but to empower other people. What are your plans?

I have another cover in the works, but it's really big. I've been in talks of getting a reality TV show.


[Laughs] Yeah, that's crazy - right!? Different networks have contacted me to get to know me a little bit more. I'm looking for an agency - I want to get signed with experienced people to monitor and handle those things. I plan to have a lot of covers coming up. I want to document behind the scenes of these covers. So, I want to bring more creatives to the forefront because even on a lot of times (it's nothing against them), a lot of photographers get all the credit for shoots. Without your stylist and creative director, what are you shooting?


The main entities, to me, are the models, creative directors and stylists behind the scenes who don't get the recognition that they deserve because we are the masterminds that give these people stuff to shoot.

And without you, people won't know how to trace the looks and everything else in between.

With the reality show, I hope everything comes through. I want to shake up the industry.

Now that you have everything in your hands, who are the other celebrities you want to dress?

I want to get Gigi Hadid in my hands. The only thing that makes it hard is that I don't want stylists to think I'm trying to steal them. But I think that once these girls work with me, they're going to want to work with me more and more. I want Emily Ratajkowski, Bella, Slick Woods, Kendall, Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Iman... I want to be the guy everyone wants to work with.

What's the biggest takeaway from being in the fashion field?

When you are styling, don't go off on what you saw someone else do. Don't do that because I don't do that with anyone else's. What you want to do is to do your own personal style and these girls will come to you. When you have your own personal style, they see that and they'll come to you when you influence theirs. That's my biggest advice to people: do not overthink it, follow your heart and intuition.

This interview was conducted December 2016. As of now, he is signed to Wilhelmina as an artist.