By 2006, the influence of his fashion blog was such that a seasonal ad campaign for Fendi featured a photo of the supermodel Angela Lindvall holding a handbag up like a trophy, her left hand on her hip—a visual nod to a signature BryanBoy pose, and a clear sign that fashion was beginning to pay him notice.
In 2008, Bryan attended his first international fashion weeks as an invited guest—Australia’s and New Zealand’s. (“He might only be 5 foot 8 and 19 years old, but Bryan Boy managed to cause quite a stir …” began Mr. Hindin-Miller’s New Zealand Fashion Week interview with Bryan, published on the former’s blog.) Photos of Bryan sitting front-row made excellent fodder for BryanBoy.com.
New York Fashion Week was next.
It also didn’t hurt that the same year Marc Jacobs saw a fan video Bryan had made about the designer, and a post in which Bryan raved about a green ostrich bag in the designer’s Fall-Winter 2008 collection. Jacobs sent him a personal email pledging to name the bag the “BB” in his honor. The designer later sent Bryan the green bag—in fact, the very runway sample he’d originally heralded. BryanBoy called the gift “the best thing that has ever happened to me.” And when Jacobs sent a picture of himself holding an “I love you, BryanBoy” sign, Bryan wrote that the photo was “possibly the most grandiose thing I’ve ever received from anyone (well that and the gift of life from my mother’s ass but whatevs).” At every Marc Jacobs show since Spring-Summer 2009, Bryan has been seated in the front row.
“After Chikatime shut down, his star kind of shot up,” said the former editor. “It was a really good exit. I actually admire his ambition, and how far he’s gone … All the stuff that happened in the Philippines—no one even cares. He’s an international fashion figure now.”
An old friend from Manila agreed. “I thought he was delusional, but look at the little motherfucker doing his thing today!”
“He’s brilliant,” said Mr. Hindin-Miller. “He’s not the best writer in the world—I will freely say that. He is not the best writer in the world. But he’s brilliant at taking people along for the ride. You genuinely do live vicariously through him.”
What makes Bryan palatable to major brands is partly his tactical inoffensiveness—Bryan’s critical judgments range from the merely excited to the superlatively delighted —but also partly his ability to remind fashion’s most established figures of the sense of soaring wonder great fashion can move certain very young people to feel. Every top designer was a kid poring over the pages of Vogue in a childhood bedroom, once. BryanBoy, who will turn 30 in March, takes them back there.
This week, he will be in town once again, no doubt flush with invitations and resplendent in gifted gear, having made good on his early aspirations to find a place in the style world’s front row.
“The more that you work in fashion, the more that you get to know how everything works, the more jaded you get,” said Mr. Hindin-Miller. “But Bryan never seems to get jaded at all.”