More now than ever, a cadre of socialite elitists has come to dominate popular society through fashion, music, media, and the arts. The Kendall Jenners, Gigi Hadids, and Hailey Baldwins of the world sit atop a rarified hierarchy and disproportionately set the tastes found in mainstream culture.
Tastemaker David Perry (above) is reinventing the traditional path to success.
If you were to distill and dissect the common attributes of today’s tastemakers, you’d quickly come to the realization that all it putatively seems to take to obtain tastemaker status is family wealth, good looks, a dash of personality, and the ability to be popular in high circles.
This phenomenon, although practically self-evident, has actually been massively impactful in shaping today’s cultural values and landscape, especially through the rise of social media. Nearly every powerhouse brand or event in pop culture—from Balmain to Phillip Plein to Coachella—has exploited the power grip of today’s elite circles to tilt contemporary culture towards them and grab mainstream traction.
While popular society has increasingly trended this way, it is perhaps more refreshing and remarkable to see new cutting-edge tastemaker becoming popular due to their noticeable divergence (and even disdain) for the typical pathway to success.
One such evocative outlier is the neophyte musician and comedian David Perry. Wielding all of the right attributes of the tastemaker set—including family money (David was born to the billionaire family which owns Barneys), dashing good looks, and popularity in high circles (even dated numerous Victoria Secret angels), David has soared to popularity over the past few months (racking up over 120k followers on Instagram) purely on the merit of his musical talents and his comedy which, ironically, pokes fun at the conventional, predictable path through which one rises to popularity and fame in our day and age.
Perry’s deadpan comedy—expressed through short vignettes, podcast videos, and skits with fellow comedian Uncle Daddy—leans on high brow philosophical concepts such as the witty socio-economic critiques of Thorstein Veblen to accurately describe, label, and make subtle fun of the most glamorous elements of our social media world.
Through re-framing today’s cultural set up as a simple to understand product of capitalist design, Perry’s comedy exposes the inane mechanics which drive our culture and force us to come to terms with the crude value system upon which social popularity and influence is based.
For many, Perry’s witty insights come as a long-awaited uncovering of the coarse social constructs that drive our daily lives and illuminate more alternative, more merit based manners of interpretation and cultural ordering. Most importantly, Perry’s skits demonstrate that frank societal analysis can actually be a lot of fun, and it’s through this unique perspective that his Instagram channel @davidkingperry is resonating with hundreds of thousands of viewers.