of the Month:
"WHAT'S UP EVERYONE
Bobby Whigham is the UO web photo producer and a talented photographer, but what we love most about this Employee of the Month is his passion for parties.
My name is Bobby Whigham, I'm from Pittsburgh and I've lived in Philly for five years.
What's your job at Urban Outfitters?
I'm the web photo producer for the UO website, so I oversee the stylists, I do the men's and women's model castings, and I work closely with the marketing team and the art director on the concepts for the emails and the homepage.
What's the best part about your job?
Always being creative and coming up with ideas, being able to work with young and upcoming photographers and fresh-faced models, and I love all of the stylists I work with. I think everyone is really talented so it's good to have a team that's so great.
Tell us about the models. Who has been your favorite to work with so far?
We used to work with Anais Pouliot and she is super big now. Also, it was awesome working with Arizona Muse, who is doing stuff with Dolce and Gabbana and Prada now. One that stands out is young Yuri Pleskun. I feel like he's really changed a lot since he's started. He was just a super young boy from the Bronx and he's all about his business now, and I admire that.
Who would you kill to work with in the future?
Nimue Smit. I have a super huge crush on her along with Rosie Tupper at DNA, Kate Hatcher at One, and Imogen Morris Clarke at Next!
How did you get started in photography?
I was working on my own clothing line called Bert Lorenzo with a good friend of mine, Brooks Bell. I had been working with friends of ours and I always just had a point and shoot digital camera and I would shoot along side with them. I always ended up liking the photos that I took better than what other people were taking. I kind of wanted things to look a certain way and I was always happy with the outcome of my pictures. Then before I knew it, people started asking me to take pictures for them and it evolved this thing that later became my blog, Too Young Collection.
What was the most memorable shoot you've done?
It was one we did recently. We had a really nice, planned out day in New York. We were going to take some shots on the Ferry, shoot in this park, and as we got into New York it was just pouring down rain. The pictures turned out amazing. It was crazy just to see how everyone was working together on problem solving and we were still able to produce a pretty awesome shoot.
You've collaborated with a lot of different brands. Who was your favorite to work with?
The line I work with most is Blood is the New Black. Mitra, who runs it, is one of the most amazing people ever. She really cares about the artists she works with, she's easy to work with, she's very clear on the direction she wants if she wants one, and is always great with feedback.
How did you start working with them?
I started making T-shirts with them when I was the T-shirt buyer for Urban Outfitters. I just sent her a few images of mine like, "Hey, it would be cool if anyone has any work like this." She asked me where the photos came from, I told her they were mine, and everything just happened from there. Next thing I knew I was making shirts with them, which was awesome.
Tell us about your personal T-shirt collection.
I make a lot of my own T-shirts. I'm really into having things no one else has in general, because I hate to look like everyone else. It's cheap and easy to make iron on transfers. You get a pack of Hanes and fifteen minutes later, you just have whatever graphic you can print from the Internet onto it. It's a lot cheaper than buying a $30 or $70 T-shirt from anywhere else. My T-shirt collection has actually dwindled down from the past. I totally just wore T-shirts until about two years ago then I started wearing other things. I got rid of a lot of them, which I regret now. I'm definitely back on a T-shirt kick.
What was the most memorable party you've ever been to?
My birthday falls in December, so for my 21st, I went to New York for New Year's. I had these crazy movie-like expectations of what New York was going to be like going out and it was totally the complete opposite, but it was actually way better than what I thought it was going to be. I think that turned me onto going out in New York.
What was the best party you've ever thrown?
My 25th birthday party, I had a party with a friend who was turning 21. I made 25 T-shirts for my 25 closest friends. I was expecting maybe only 50 people to come. It was at one of my friend's warehouse loft space and there ended up being like, 200 people there. The T-shirts were a huge hit. It's one of those things I don't want to even try to top until I'm 30.
How do you get dressed for a party?
I think it's good to have something that's conversational on, and that is kind of fun that stands out. I'm a big fan of bright colors, and prints, and not matching. I've been a fan of not matching for a while now. I don't even think it's something I try to do on purpose or for attention, it's just what I like and it happens to draw attention.
If you could go to any party from the past, what would you attend?
This is so stereotypical, but I would love to go to Studio 54, with the whole roller-skating, mirrors, glitter, and everything. It's stuff that I would never do at a party now, so it would be cool to experience that.
What do you listen to when you're getting ready for a night out?
It changes on the mood and the people that I'm with but I've gained this nickname of "DJ YouTube" and I get really into it. I like to cross fade, have two windows open and fade into the next. I just like to get everyone pumped up before we go out because I feel like that totally plays for the mood of the night.
Give us some examples.
Something that makes people laugh that I like to play is "Rhythm of the Night" by DeBarge. I don't know why. No one ever expects it to come on but it makes everyone smile. I'm definitely a big club-banger fan, the era from 2001 to 2003 with Lil' Jon and the East Side Boyz, the YoungbloodZ, and Ludacris. Anything that gets people up and rowdy is always a good thing. And pop music. You can never not throw in the pop track either, because that's everyone's guilty pleasure even if they hate to admit it.
If you could party with anyone, past or present, who would it be with and why?
I would definitely love to party with Macaulay Culkin and yes, everyone's least favorite party girl, Lindsay Lohan. I don't care, I've loved her forever and I only love her because she has such a bad reputation. Girlfriend knows how to have fun and I'd like to just see what a night out with her is like.
What are some of your best nicknames?
Just having my name start with a B, so many things flow off it like, Bobby Bagel Bites, Bobby Big Time, and Bobby Bottle Service. I had a bowl cut for a while but I thought it made me look like a scientist so I was Bobby Bowl-Cut, then I was Bobby Buzz-Cut.
If you were one alcoholic drink, what would you be?
I would say a Jameson and ginger ale but I feel like some people would say I was a Zima.
What is your party motto?
I was once quoted as saying, "Everything is better with rum."
What are your five favorite party spots in Philadelphia?
1. I would definitely say 332. That's my house. All my friends have been there.
2. The Barbary. Everyone has had a night or two that's fun there.
3. The Dolphin. It's a dive strip club in the heart of South Philly. The dancers actually dance on pop-up card tables and dance to whatever you play on the jukebox. I've seen the girls get down to everything from Limp Bizkit and The Rolling Stones to Keyshia Cole and Janet Jackson.
4. RIP Thursday nights at the Khyber. Andrew Jeffery Wright and DJ Julie G used to have the best dance party in '06-'07 in Philly. It used to get so hot and sweaty in there but it was worth it. I once crowd surfed to Hot Chip there.
5. Big ups to Sammy Slice for throwing BNNA CLPS at the most random venues, because those are definitely the best parties and something I look forward to in Philly.
Who are your favorite photographers?
Alasdair Mclellan, Venetia Scott, Juergen Teller, Letty Schmiterlow, Tim Barber, Marcelo Gomes, Mark Borthwick
We heard your dream job is to be an MTV VJ.
Every time I always thought about being an MTV VJ I always went into some countdown spiel like, "What's up everyone it's Bobby. Comin' in at number five it's your boy Ludacris!" I never though of actually starting a show, I just jumped into TRL moments because that's what I wanted to do.
Finish this sentence: "There ain't no party like a ...?"
"Bobby Whigham party, because a Bobby Whigham party don't stop."