Vancouver-based and Wymark, Saskatchewan born, Lyle Reimer and his alternate personality @LyleXOX (150K+ Instagram followers) recently launched his first hardcover book at Gastown’s Inform Interiors.
The room was full as the much-anticipated launch of Lyle XOX: Head of Design, published by Rizzoli International, gets underway. Impeccably dressed, in what could be best described as ‘Playful Pilgrim,’ Reimer is discussing his beginnings with the city’s finest creatives. His first mirror selfie photo was taken in 2013 and scrolling through his IG grid, since then, shows his creative genius is not waning.
The question of inspiration inevitably is asked to which Reimer replies that he believes that inspiration is best found serendipitously in the world as it passes by. He shares with the audience how he was recently flummoxed by a discussion with an art teacher—who was allowing students to use their phones—to find inspiration while working in art class. For Lyle, creativity comes from everywhere you most expect it not to be, and this is something that the upcoming generation of creators, artists, and changemakers should consider.
“If you are looking for your inspiration, put your phone down. Get out into the world,” Reimer shared. “I appreciate makeup artists, but I’m not inspired by makeup artists.”
Once, on a walk across the historic Burrard Street bridge, he noticed a wheel had fallen off a passerby’s suitcase. “That’s a cool shape,” he thought, “that’s coming to the studio with me.”
Lyle’s form of art is twofold. He posts self-portraits of elaborate, jarring and seemingly gravity-defying makeup designs featuring upcycled and found objects. These photos are paired with the eclectic stories of the personality he has created with the objects. Each character and story is unique and unexpected, and they are primed to leave the reader in awe of the artist’s duality of talent.
After moving to Vancouver, Reimer pursued a makeup program at the Blanche Macdonald Centre and found work for MAC Cosmetics, where he worked as a trainer for their coveted Artistry and Development team before leaving to pursue his interests full time.
The past year has been full of accomplishments for Reimer. Lyle XOX: Head of Design was designed as a collaboration with renowned art director Fabien Baron. His works were featured in such international publications as the New York Times, Vogue Italia, British Vogue, and GQ China. Last March, he fulfilled a lifelong dream when famed luxury New York City retailer Bergdorf Goodman featured storefront windows dedicated to his work.
As a tastemaker for fashion’s most influential, it seems that the sky is the limit for Reimer, who remains on the west coast in his cozy studio in trendy Kitsilano and is intent on finding new opportunities for collaborations. However, he is still driven by the same principles.
Inspiration will always come in unexpected places, and as much as the world’s most acclaimed designers knock on his door, we are sure to find him where he truly feels at home: in front of the camera, adorned with the objects that others have left behind—there to tell a story that is seeking exposure.
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