Paul Griffiths is 21. He has more friends on Myspace than anyone else in the UK. His fashion label, Babycakes, is a global cult sensation, having turned over half a million pounds in only its second year. He can barely walk the streets of his hometown Manchester for fear of being besieged by hoards of groupies. Don’t you just hate him already?
Babycakes is truly an online phenomenon. From his bedroom two years ago, 19 year old Paul Griffiths decided to buy 200 T-shirts, print his designs on them, and distribute them to friends. Now, after a veritable Myspace explosion he seems to have a generation at his finger-tips, watching his every move. He is an impresario of sell-out parties, music releases, and cross-brand relationships, and having paid off his parent’s mortgage at aged 20, to say that Griffiths is an entrepreneur extraordinaire just doesn’t quite cover it.
His Manchester flagship retail store opened its doors in August 2008 to a baying crowd of 500 screaming kids from US, Sweden, Italy and France who were frothing at their little mouths to buy a limited t-shirt and meet the mannish boy himself. He plans to open retail outlets in London and US in next two years. That’s not all though: Paul’s is the most popular UK Myspace profile with 93,000 friends, with Babycakes, his alias, accruing 69,000 friends and almost 3 million views. In addition, his personal blog has over 1.5 million unique views in less than a year; and his Youtube channel has over 1 million unique video views. Oh, and another thing: his second year turnover was half a million pounds and he’s thrown sellout parties in London and Manchester before the acts were even announced, with his next one due to be thrown in LA. He’s a lucrative fucker, don’t you think?
What exactly is Babycakes?
Babycakes started out about a year and a half ago as a clothing line. This has expanded and we now boast a record label and throw the best parties in the world.
How did it all come about?
I was walking down the street and a big beam of light blinded me. I was left paralysed. About a week later, I could see and walk again, metaphorically speaking.
Why do you think kids buy in to the Babycakes brand in such huge numbers?
Because it is the most amazing thing to happen in the history of time.
"He can barely walk the streets of Manchester for fear of being besieged by groupies. Don’t you just hate him?"
You had ten thousand friends on myspace before you even sold your first 25 T- shirts. How does someone get that many friends?
To be honest I think it’s all about my hair. My management have advised me that the only way to demonstrate this is with a line graph.
Do you ever feel out of your depth?
No not at all, I’ve got a good team of people helping me. Can I holla out to them?
Big up Carli Forrest who is typing this interview right now, Jess, Joel, Joe, Matt and Dave and Nathen!
What is it about the Babycakes clothes that makes them so popular?
They’re scientifically proven to make you better in bed.
Why the name Babycakes?
It’s named after my late Grandad. God, I really miss my Grandad Babycakes.
Do you do all the designs yourself?
You’ve now moved into music too – tell us about that?
That just felt like a natural progression. I absolutely love all the bands that we endorse and it’s good to be in a position where you can make or break an artist if you like them or not.
What music are you listening to at the moment?
Do you have a lot of girls throwing themselves at you?
Do you think all your success has gone to your head at all?
No, not at all. Only today I was driving through Manchester in my luxury double-decker Babycakes bus when I realised that I haven’t changed at all. I’m still on a bus on my way to work.
Babycakes clothes: "They’re scientifically proven to make you better in bed."
How many items of clothing have you sold since it all began?
Where did your inspiration for the designs come from?
I hiked up to the top of large hill/small mountain where Jesus and Mohammed stood before me with design proposals. I chose the best ones (I’m judge and jury in this court) and sent them off to Cake World printers.
How many people now work for you?
Eleven, all of them are my best friends.
What is the future for Babycakes?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
On top of the world.
Where do you see yourself in twenty-five years?
On top of the Universe!
Tell us about the first autograph you ever signed.
I was probably drunk, I can’t remember. I hate signing autographs!
Who are your fashion or music heroes?
Alan Partridge is my hero.
Who hates you most?
I’m not quite sure. I get quite a bit of hate mail.
When was the last time you paid to get into a gig?
Death Cab For Cutie. That was before I moved to Manchester and my first store opened.
What keeps you up at night?
PG: Alan Partridge.