Kirill Bichutsky: More Than Just a Champagne Facial
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of calling ‘The Slut Whisperer’ all the way in Florida. He explained how he became the figure he is today, some of the craziness that has taken place through the years and how he wants to be known as more than just ‘The guy who pours champagne on girls faces’.
As I’m sure you’ve worked out, ‘The Slut Whisperer’ is not his real name, Kirill Bichutsky is the man behind the account, and he currently runs one of the most entertaining social media accounts that you’re likely to see. The child of parents who emigrated from Russia to New Jersey, Kirill was working for free as a nightlife photographer whilst his day job took place at an old comedy store before the phenomenon began. ‘I started to build a bit of a following in New York shooting parties, and I was working kind of for free because I had the day job. I worked at a comedy club, and it was just getting worse and worse there, and as soon as the club was ready to close, I had to take a step back and ask myself if I could make a living doing this night club photography. I just decided to dive into it’ he explained. Shortly after Kirill had taken this up as a career, he had his first big break – ‘I went on a tour with a DJ called A-Trak and he took me away with him on a tour bus and I got paid for that – so I kind of thought, ok I can do this, so went back to New York and starting grinding and getting paid to travel and shoot parties more and more. Then every time a new DJ would take me on the road, it was like a good co-sign because people would be asking ‘who’s that kid they’re bringing with them?’
Fast forward a little, Bichutsky had begun to build a following with his photography and from there his signature move was born; ‘The Champagne Facial’ a take on the conclusion of 90% of the porn you’re all watching, as he would photograph champagne being poured on girls faces as it had the undertones of something far more entertaining. ‘In New York it’s known for these Brunch parties, and it’s not like brunch anywhere else, it’s like this phenomenon where on Saturdays (and sometimes Sundays) a few restaurants that appeal to the younger crowd, would host brunch parties with a DJ and then all of a sudden it would switch up to smoke machines, louder music and people would start buying champagne, rose, and they’d be drunk at like 4 in the afternoon’. Capitalising on the opportunity, the ‘Champagne Facial’ took off – ‘I’d shoot those parties, I’d get drunk, hang out with girls and we’d play with the champagne by pouring it in each other’s mouths, and then a few times when they’d miss, I’d get a photo and I saw that it looked like a really cool photographs. Then I started instigating more and more of that, and I realised I had this collection of photos of girls with champagne on their face, so I realised I needed to call it something; I called it the ‘Champagne Facial’ and after that it just took off. It then went from me instigating them, to girls coming up and asking ‘Can you pour champagne on my head and take a photo?’. It’s really weird’.
Now, Kirill has somewhat transformed from a photographer to a party host as he is now too well known to be able to snap the pictures he so chooses. ‘Over time, as I started building a bigger following, I lost the ability to take photos as I’d lost my anonymity. I could no longer take the cool, candid photos that I liked taking as people just wanted to party with me, and they’d put it on too much. So I stopped doing the camera, and I switched it to Snapchat’ he explained. In terms of what the parties actually consist of, he says ‘I have a following of people who fuck with what I think, and a following of people who fuck with my parties. So I’ll go early, take drinks at the bar, take photos with everyone, and then around midnight we’ll start the ‘show’ with the champagne and it turns into an absolute shitshow for the rest of the night’.
Kirill continues to update his Snapchat stories consistently, under the username of ‘UglyRussianJew’ (follow him, you won’t regret it) and at this point he says there is very little that surprises him. ‘To me I’ve realised that I think there’s an audience for everything. There’s people who say ‘I can’t believe these girls do this’, and I’m like look – I’m probably turning off about 80% of women, all I need is that 20% that are into this. People say ‘I can’t believe girls get champagne poured on their head’ and I think ‘I can’t believe you think there’s an invisible man in the sky’, we could argue this all day with each other, everyone’s into different shit.’ In terms of what he believes makes his parties stand out, he explains ‘I don’t really enjoy night clubs from a traditional sense, you’ve gotta dress up, you’ve gotta wait in line, you have to act a certain way and I’d rather just get drunk and make mistakes. The thing with house parties was that it was fun because the cops were called, or something crazy happened, it wasn’t about order and everyone acting proper it was about just doing dumb shit. So I try to bring that house party feel to a nightclub, people think it’s crazy, but these things just happen when people get drunk’.
I posed the question as to whether there was any stand out moment that stood out as particularly crazy during his time in this career, after a brief pause, he reminisced ‘The weirdest thing we ever had was that I was having dinner with some girl friends in Canada, and we were just talking about random shit, and something came up that one of the girls was on their period. After dinner, we were walking to the club and there was a kid in the parking lot of the night club who said ‘Hey, I’m underage so I can’t get into the party, but I really wanna be on your Snapchat’, so I replied ‘I’ll Snapchat you licking my friends Tampon because she’s on her period’, and the girl literally just squats down, pulls out the Tampon and he licks it. To me, I just wanna do some shit that’ll make me laugh too’.
Kirill has a firm answer for people who try to vilify his brand for doing what they do, he exclaimed ‘People try to tell me that girls shouldn’t be doing this, but they’re almost anti-feminists as they’re telling these girls that they aren’t smart enough to make their own decisions. It’s their bodies; just let them do what they want. If someone hits me up and says they were drunk and made a mistake then I’ll happily delete a photo, I’m turning up to throw a great party, not ruin someone’s life. What do I care about an extra pair of tits on my Snapchat?’
Aside from his parties, Kirill now hosts a weekly podcast (Live, Laugh, Love with Kirill & Kevin) with his friend Kevin and has a platform to show he’s more than just a party host. I wondered if he was surprised that people followed him on the level to care about more than his parties – ‘I think people liked the podcast as they can see behind the mask of the character and the parties. A lot of people like putting others in boxes, and I like to show that I don’t just eat, sleep and breathe pouring champagne on girls. I think people like it as they can have a peak behind the curtain, and hear our thoughts of the night and other things in life. Kevin, my partner on the podcast – we’re both very outspoken, outlandish, intelligent but also very dumb people’. Within 8 episodes, he now has one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes.
In terms of pushing the brand even further, he’s already thinking towards the future – ‘I know I can’t do this forever – one because I don’t want to be that old dude in the club. It’s important for me that people fall in love with me, and not just the idea of partying Kirill, if people fall in love with you and invest in you, then they will come along for the ride wherever you take them’. He then revealed he was hoping to release a book in the future and he was working on the concept of a TV show.
It doesn’t seem to be likely that Kirill will be coming to England anytime soon; he said I feel like American guys and girls feel that they’re young and supposed to do this, whereas overseas people worry a lot more about what people would say if they saw this. I’m sure people are just as crazy and deviant all over the world, it’s just not so much when there’s a camera there’. We can only hope that one day he does bring this madness to our shores, but until then we’ll just have to continue enjoying it through his Social Media.