LIKE IT OR LEAVE IT
A Conversation with Global Superstar BIANCA KOSOY, Executive Creative Director of Equinox
By Marie Havens
Here in NYC, Equinox is more than just a gym–it’s a lifestyle brand. It’s certainly about exercise and health, but it’s also about pushing boundaries and invoking controversy through hot advertising campaigns that become stimulating backdrops to the city and the world. That keen duality is what makes Equinox unique, cutting edge, bad ass, leaders in this new “exercise becomes fashionable” branding revolution. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the driving force behind such duality and impact is Equinox’s Executive Creative Director, Bianca Kosoy. She’s more tattoo-covered hipster than full-suited corporate executive. Meet her once, swag and all, and you are instantly struck by her creative punch-you-in-the-face approach–an idea-maker and creative-seeker. She’s a lover of San Francisco, ink, women, a good drink, and her new puppy Ryder. She makes no apologies for who she is, and with her incredible track record she has no time for regret.
Marie Havens: Why hello, Bianca! We are quite excited to be interviewing you for our June Global Issue of PMc Magazine. You know how much Patrick [McMullan] loves you & the Equinox family! You (and Equinox as a brand) are as “global” as they come, yes? Not to mention, I’m obsessed over the idea of being a “Global Gay!”
Bianca Kosoy: I am a huge fan of Patrick as well. Both personally and professionally. What’s not to love? In terms of being a global gay, I like to think of myself as bi, coastal that is (not to be confused with bi-sexual). I mainly spend my time between the East and West Coasts. However, I was born in Russia, and I travel constantly for photoshoots which will certainly continue to evolve with our international expansion to London and Toronto on our quest for global domination.
MH: Yes, you just announced your Equinox launch in London! Seems like an ideal match, can you tell us about the expansion?
BK: We’re very excited to be crossing the pond. This idea has been in the works for quite some time and what better place to launch our international efforts than Kensington in London? When “London’s Calling,” you answer…
MH: But at the moment you are in San Francisco? You’ve always said you “left your heart in San Francisco,” but currently you’re living in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Let’s just set the record straight: SF or NYC?
BK: How did we just go from the Global Gay question to setting the record straight? That’s not a term I would choose to describe my favorite city in the world: San Francisco.
MH: What a year it’s been for you! A lot of transition, how are things?
BK: Life is great. As difficult as change is in the moment, I think that it’s necessary to keep things in perspective and keep you at the top of your game–especially for creative people. Sometimes you need to reevaluate certain decisions and take a leap of faith and hope it pays off. The higher the risk, the greater the reward.
MH: I must ask: How’s having a new puppy [Ryder] in your life?
BK: He’s an Easy Ryder.
MH: You are currently the Executive Creative Director at Equinox. I know how much you love your role, but how did a non-gym going, tattooed, gay creature-of-the-night become a top dog at Equinox?
BK: Opposites attract. And you know that as much as Equinox is a global brand, it is also a lifestyle fashion brand.
MH: It’s very liberating in many ways because you, yourself are breaking stereotypes of what powerful women need to look and act like?
BK: Truthfully, the only person I answer to is myself. I am exactly as I choose to be, like it or leave it. I’m not for everybody, but it works, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Whenever you have a strong POV, you have to be willing to risk being a controversial figure and that comes with its own set of challenges and rewards.
MH: Any new campaigns you can leak with us? Or any plans to work with Terry Richardson again?
BK: Let’s just say I’m currently campaigning to shoot with T-Bone again.
MH: As you know June is Pride month here in NYC. Remember last year, you and I rode from an incredible float vantage point. It was such an amazing experience and something I had never done! Are you attending this year?
BK: I’m doing this year much more low key, as a bystander. Just people-watching with my new partner, who I recently reunited with after a 9 year hiatus. Just enjoying the moment.
MH: Any advice to our young global gays?
BK: Go big, or go home.
MH: Thanks, love! You know summertime is tattoo season! So we must meet up at Saved Tattoo! I know you have a little bit of a blank canvas left…
Bianca Kosoy interviewed by Marie Havens
Written by Marie Havens
Photography & Design by Marie Havens