Among New York’s fashion and music scene, you’d be hard up to find a guy as busy as Brendan Fallis. The Toronto-born entrepreneur/disk jockey extraordinaire is not only the official VOGUE DJ, he’s the manager of Theophilus London and design duo Dee & Ricky, as well as the head of two impressive startup companies, NMRKT (marketing) and Waiola (coconut water). An architect of cool, we sat down with Fallis to talk about the music world, New York’s best fashion parties, and what fuels his entrepreneurial spirit.
So you just got off tour with Theophilus a couple week ago, how was that? Any favorite cities?
The first leg was like a month and a half in the US, but I mostly enjoyed traveling in Europe. It’s just nice to go places that are foreign, you know, learn a new culture. I loved Moscow. The people were so nice and just took care of us so well, and we ate great food and, just like you’d think, drank a ton of vodka, which was pretty great.
And how’d you get connected with Theophilus?
I met him through Dee & Ricky originally, and then I’d see him around Soho House a bit. I was DJing at Le Bain at the time every Thursday for like nine months or something crazy, and there was a Cinco De Mayo party that I wanted to throw and was like, “How great would it be if he did it with me? He seems like such a cool guy!” So I just talked to him and he was like, “Yeah, let’s do it!” We threw the most raging, fun party. And then he asked me to come on the first leg of the tour with him.
So, you’re known as, like, “fashion’s DJ.” Does it cramp on your style at all that so many people are calling themselves DJs now?
Everyone’s a DJ. Which is great because it means everyone is passionate about music. But no, I don’t care because at the end of the day it’s about how you market yourself. Everyone can be a DJ-I didn’t want to make a career out of it, it just ended up kind of happening because I treat it like a business. I just went the male fashion route, which worked for me because that scene was dominated by girl DJs in New York at the time. It still kind of is, I guess, but I just button-up and get up there.
On the subject of female DJs: Hottest one out in NYC right now?
Hmm…Fashion would be Mia Moretti and Chealsea Leyland. Up-and-coming would be Hannah Bronfman. I don’t know who’s the actual best girl DJ. I’ve honestly been so removed from DJ-ing with other people lately, so I can’t really speak to it, although I wish I got out more.
Well, Topshop called you the best DJ in New York. You still get stoked about small things like that?
Yeah! The coolest thing recently, not on a large scale, but in my own feeling good about myself, was that I remixed Penguin Prison and RAC. It’s Remix Artist Collective, there’s three of them, but you can tell every time Andre does a track. And on a radio show recently, he mentioned hearing my remix, said it was great and he loved it so much! Which to me was really cool. It was so nice for the first thing that I actually made myself to get a little pat on the back from the guy that actually made it.
Are you thinking about producing?
Yeah, I just purchased everything! I don’t know, it’s just fun. And I don’t know, I didn’t really want to become a DJ, so I don’t know how long I’m actually going to physically DJ. But if you look at it from a business standpoint, you can only DJ for so long before you’re 50 and like Paul Oakenfold, which is great, but do you really want to be up that late every night? I’d rather be making residual income from songs playing on the radio and being in movies.
Have you always known you wanted to be an entrepreneur and business man?
I’ve just always liked the entrepreneurial thing-whether I was making fake ID’s for everyone in high school and selling them or making devil sticks with hockey tape and wooden dowels and selling them. I always liked making a little side cash and luckily never fell into dealing drugs because I probably would have been really good at it! But yeah, I’ve always wanted to make money on my own. Actually, I was going to be a commercial real estate agent in Toronto, how weird would that be?
Really weird. What is your ultimate, long-term goal?
Well, be successful enough to be happy. Just as long as you’re achieving all the things that you want to be happy-l’m not like “I need to have 10 million dollars by the time I’m 35,” or whatever. I just set things in my head that I think I can do that would really be fulfilling.
So, you make up half of the design duo Dee & Ricky, you’ve got DJing, AND you manage Theophilus? Anything else?
I have a coconut water as well calledWaiola. It’s means “water of life” in Hawaiian. It’s marketed towards people who are passionate about life and succeed in life because they follow their own dream and make their own path. Just interesting people that are like “Fuck this corporate bullshit, let’s do the things we want to do.” And we just launched the beta of NMRKT, which is basically a way for people to post what they’re in the market for and then brands can come and offer them suggestions.
Damn, son. Final question: You turned us on to Phony Ppl, is there anybody else on the music scene you think we should know about?
I’m just listening to Frank Ocean on repeat right now, that album is crazy. Also listening to a lot of Theophilus because that’s also work. Grimes I’ve checked out a bit. Oh! There’s this kid who produced the Big Spender beat, he’s come up with this Trapstep style, which is like Dubstup meets Trap music, which I’m loving. His name’s DJ Carnage and he’s very talented.
Swagger New York’s interview with Brendan Fallis was created in partnership with the Creative Council by UGG Australia!