By ALEX HAWGOOD
Hometown Vancouver, British Columbia
Now Lives In a John Waters-esque, fifth-floor walk-up on Eldridge Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, complete with a neon sign of his name in Barbie-logo font, pink plastic flamingos and a green AstroTurf carpet.
Claim to Fame Mr. Zeinali is a pop-obsessed videographer beloved by the likes of Petra Collins, Selena Gomez and Paris Hilton for his comical internet fashion clips done in his signature mash-up style. (A split-screen Instagram video, contrasting a beauty makeup tutorial, with a scary clown makeup lesson, set to Calvin Harris’s “This Is What You Came For,” has been viewed almost 200,000 times.) “I’m not too serious of a person,” he said, “and I don’t take things too seriously.”
Big Break He honed his campy aesthetic as the visual content creator for Vogue, where he was commissioned to post low-fi clips of Anna Wintour in her office on the magazine’s official Snapchat handle and created short and sweet viral videos on everyone from Beth Ditto to the communities of Standing Rock. He left the magazine in March to pursue a freelance career. “I usually don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going,” he said. “I love taking things on and seeing where they go.” His compass-less playbook appears to be working. Dazed Digital recently gushed that Mr. Zeinali possesses “the best Instagram of all time.”
Latest Project His biggest-budget effort yet, a 90-second video on the actress and singer Zendaya exploring “beauty through the decades,” had its premiere last month on Vogue’s website. Mr. Zeinali said he was still pinching himself for collaborating with industry luminaries like the makeup artist Pat McGrath and the fashion editor Jorden Bickham. “I’m proud of myself that I can even be in that company,” he said.
Next Project He is in conversations to direct a music video for the New York rapper Junglepussy. “I think a kind of mega music video is on the rise again because there’s so many valid outlets for motion images now,” he said.
Drag Racer Mr. Zeinali has plastered more corporate logos on his body than a Nascar racecar. His tattoos include the Playboy bunny logo, the palm tree insignia from the cult West Coast burger chain In-N-Out and the McDonald’s arch (not to mention the three wire coat hangers on his left forearm, the word “boho” etched on his left kneecap and “U.S.A.” drawn in bubble letters on the back of his right calf). “They all have a great memory,” he said, “but they’re also all completely ridiculous.”