Heir of Atticus, New Face of Saint Laurent: “I Am Art”

In the age of social media, so much is the same. We’re absorbing the same content delivered to us by influencers who wear the same clothes, dance to the same songs, eat at the same restaurants, and create the same videos. Trends go out of style just as quickly as they came into our awareness, due to over saturation and the lack of originality. For these reasons and more, it’s always refreshing to see talent breaking the norm and being fearlessly unique and charting their own path. In 2021, that individual is Gauge Burek, a.k.a., Heir of Atticus.

Soaring to stardom via TikTok in 2020, Heir of Atticus, as he is known on the video sharing platform, is unlike any other creator today. His stylish and rare aesthetic, resembling that of Timothee Chalamet, matched with his mysteriously charming demeanor, made him a viral wonder during the COVID-19 pandemic, where there have never been more eyes on screens. He’s seen to some as goth, and to others as an e-boy, but to Gauge, he is simply the personification of art.

The 20-year-old’s upbringing – enriched with culture, old movies, and life lessons from his father – influenced his strong presence, which has captivated the social media scene and has taken the world by storm. From the origin of his catchy moniker, to his role in the fashion industry, Gauge speaks to Contrast Man about his promising 2021 trajectory.

Photography by Carlos Villagomez. Clothing by Chance Vintage.

How did you come up with the moniker Heir of Atticus? The name was inspired by How to Kill a Mockingbird’s Atticus Finch. I wanted to create this alter ego because I was never confident growing up. I wanted an escape and once I joined the digital world, this other persona was going to take over and do the things that Gauge Burek was afraid to do. Everyday I am learning how to balance both. Being part of the entertainment industry requires a lot of balance.

How would you describe your personal style? I would describe my personal style as Avant Garde. I am not afraid to take risks, I love experimenting with new styles and cool colors and I definitely am not a person to conform. With fashion I am able to create a different character every single day, so my personal style changes all the time.

Photography by Carlos Villagomez. Clothing by Chance Vintage.

Being into anime, do you consider yourself artistic? To quote Erykah Badu: “I am an artist and I’m sensitive about my ish…” I definitely believe I am artistic. I design a lot of my own clothes, I play the bass, I started acting classes, I knite, I draw and I am a model. My whole world revolves around art. I am art.

What or who do you draw most inspiration from? I am inspired by a lot of people and a lot of things! Luka Sabbat, Luca Fersko & ASAP Rocky are huge inspirations of mine. While I was getting bullied in high school, I was watching Luca Fersko’s content as inspiration. Now, we both share the same manager, so crazy!!! At the same time, I can draw inspiration from a wall, bucket of paint, a stranger etc..  Everything and everyone can be an inspiration if you’re able to see beyond the surface.

Photography by Carlos Villagomez. Clothing by Chance Vintage.

How has your brand evolved, and possibly reshaped, in the wake of COVID-19? COVID-19 has actually been very helpful for me. I’ve been studying my modeling poses, catwalk & consistently doing photo shoots (We all get COVID tested before every single shoot.) I also booked my first modeling campaign ever with Saint Laurent & I am so happy where my life is at right now. I am very excited for the future. Stay tuned…there is so much more coming!

Do you think TikTok notoriety can be long-lasting? What plans do you have to continue furthering your brand across various platforms? I have no idea how long TikTok will last. We never thought Vine was going away and it did. My manager always tells me, “You have to think of yourself as a pie and create different resources of income. Every slice is a platform and every platform is an opportunity to make a living.” He’s right. My ultimate goal is to become a full time actor and model, but still have a social presence. 

Photography by Carlos Villagomez. Clothing by Chance Vintage.

What marks you feel most confident both on the outside, and the inside? What makes me feel most confident outside is fashion, my hair, and my tattoos. It all tells a story and it’s my own personal evolution. On the inside, I know that I am a good person and I know that I have been very blessed with so many opportunities. What makes me feel the most confident is that I know I am doing exactly what I was born to do.

What SS 21′ trends are you most excited about? Head scarfs, Sorbet Pastel Tones, Folk inspired Coats, Yellow bags etc.. so many! I am excited to try them all and put my own twist on them.

What’s something most people may not know about you, that you want them to? That I didn’t plan for any of this to happen. I followed my heart, I have passion, dedication and I put in the work. This is only the beginning and I am here to stay.


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