From His Lipps to God’s Ears

Scott Lipps and Courtney Love (Patrick McMullan)

Scott Lipps and Courtney Love (Patrick McMullan)

Scott Lipps has been a busy man. Not only has the founder of One Management spent the last year representing models such as Petra Němcová, Poppy Delevingne, Bar Refaeli, Helena Christensen and Claudia Schiffer, but he has also expanded his music division and gone on tour with Courtney Love’s band, during which time he played in Europe to an audience of 60,000. That’s in addition to his regular vacations to exotic locales like St. Bart’s, the class he took in soufflé making, his weekly Interview magazine blog and, oh yes, his new book, Poplipps: Plus One, which hit shelves this week.

“It’s a project that began three or four years ago,” Mr. Lipps told the Transom, while sipping on some soup broth at the Smile, the Bond Street restaurant where he spends most of his out-of-office time (it’s right next door to One Management).

“It started on my BlackBerry,” Mr. Lipps went on, explaining how a friend had mentioned that he might want to start documenting all of his encounters around various different cities. “I would be taking pictures of my friends, or a person that looked interesting, and then I would be compiling them into Poplipps on the Interview blog.”

Some weeks, these would include pictures of notables like Kanye West, Steve Aoki or Ms. Love, or they could be of a model he was interested in representing. (In the several years that he has been working on the project, Mr. Lipps has only missed five or so deadlines, despite his hectic travel schedule.)

The pictures started out low-res, and, even though he shoots on his iPhone today (he’s huge on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr), one of the hardest parts of compiling the Poplipps book was matching his low-res photos for higher ones, a process that took several months and two extra pairs of eyes.

“I had started it out as just my blog,” Mr. Lipps confessed. “But then Tumblr got interested.” As the home for photograph-based posts, the platform turned out to be a perfect symbiotic partner for One Management’s CEO. That kind of mutually beneficial relationship is also how Mr. Lipps met one of his biggest champions, Ms. Love.

“We were celebrating One Management’s 10th anniversary,” the one-time student of the Percussion Institute of Technology in Los Angeles told the Transom. “I was going to be playing drums with another rock ‘n’ roll band during the party, but at the last second it fell through.”

Since the party was during Fashion Week, Mr. Lipps scrambled to find a musical group whose interests included being a style tastemaker.

“Ms. Love sent over her band to do sound check, but it was really more of an audition,” Mr. Lipps, who is also the drummer on her upcoming album, added. “It was getting close to the time of the party, and I didn’t really know the songs, and she hadn’t even shown up.”

Luckily, the band must have liked Mr. Lipps’s skills; someone informed Ms. Love that the sound check was going well, and she showed up to One Management’s party so that the founder could play drums behind her.

“He seems to always have that camera at the ready and to be the insider’s insider,” Ms. Love writes in her intro to Poplipps. “Everyone welcomes Scott—he’s a confidante, a secret keeper, a protector, a big brother, a little brother, and … always seems to be in the right place at the right time.”

That might explain some of Mr. Lipps’s success—he’s the guy who happens to have VIP access to the best shows, best parties and best girls—but not all of it. He recently marveled at a recent photo of a random girl he had taken; it had blown up with tens of thousands of retweets and Instagram hearts. The girl, a sultry brunette in a tight bandage dress, had her face toward the screen, her hair tumbling over one shoulder as she vamped for the camera.

“I don’t know why this picture became so popular out of all of them,” he said. “Sometimes, I just don’t get it.”

Food photos and pictures of landscapes, he informed the Transom, are also extremely popular. Luckily, Mr. Lipps doesn’t have to understand why someone or something captures the imagination of his followers. He just needs to be there to capture it.

From His Lipps  to God’s Ears