“He was like, your life is so interesting with the celebrities, supermodels, photographers, stylists and music. How could you not document this?”
It’s Saturday night in New York City and Scott Lipps, the CEO and founder of One Management, is at home relaxing. “Saturday is a weird night in New York because I feel like not everyone goes out,” the 44-year-old entrepreneur says with earnest conviction. “Four or five nights of the week I’m out. Last night, I went to a movie screening. There’s a magazine party tonight. I also have to stop by some video shoot later on.”
Tonight’s shoot is with Rihanna, one of Lipps’ 23,662 followers on Instagram. “The shoot starts at 12:30 AM and I have to be on a plane to the Bahamas tomorrow at 6:30 AM, so I guess I’m not sleeping tonight,” he sighs. “Welcome to my world.” And what a wild, weird world it is.
For nearly 12 years, Lipps has been a quiet force in the entertainment industry, shaping the careers of catwalkers and cover girls including Bar Refaeli, Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen, Iman, Bridget Hall, Josie Maran and Eva Herzegovina.
“The process of helping girls become stars in the business has always interested me,” he explains. “It’s really exciting to see a girl start to get bookings and gain momentum. You feel the energy and you can just tell when the buzz is starting.”
But over the last couple years, Lipps has stepped out from behind the curtain and branded himself as a successful musician, photographer, reality television star and author, beginning with his photo diary blog, POPLIPPS. “The blog was actually not my idea believe it or not, it was my publicist’s,” he recalls. “He was like, your life is so interesting with the celebrities, supermodels, photographers, stylists and music. How could you not document this?”
Unsure of how to proceed, Lipps started taking pictures of his adventures with his Blackberry, and before long, it was highlighted by Tumblr as one of the best fashion sites to watch. “When I went out at night, I would document the fashion events, my music gigs on the road, and all the new girls that came to the office,” he reveals. “The first 100 pictures on the blog are very blurry—almost one step above a drawing—and then it started progressing. Things just started happening and people responded to it.”
As Lipps’ blog gained traction, his company also continued to grow, expanding to film, music and celebrity divisions. To celebrate its tenth anniversary, Lipps, a longtime drummer, asked Vince Neil from Mötley Crüe to perform with him at the celebration. But at the last minute, Neil became ill and needed to cancel the performance. On a whim, Lipps’ friend reached out to Courtney Love to fill in. “It all came together very last minute,” he remembers. “I ended up learning all of Hole’s songs in about a day. And then about a month later, I was playing with her in front of 60,000 people at a festival in Brazil.”
Today, the two remain close friends and band mates, performing at shows together throughout the world. She even wrote the forward to his blog-turned-book, POPLIPPS: Plus One. “He seems to always have that camera at the ready and to be the insider’s insider,” she writes. “Everyone welcomes Scott—he’s a confidant, a secret keeper, a protector, a big brother, a little brother and… always seems to be in the right place at the right time.”
As Lipps sits on the couch in his office flipping through his book, which hits stores on Oct. 1, he can’t help but feel amazed at the strange turn his life has taken. “These last couple years have been kind of crazy,” he says in disbelief. “From being on tour with Hole to having this book come out, so many cool things have come about from the agency. Other than I’m tired, I guess I can’t really complain.”