Made in Chelsea has moved to Manhattan for the summer – where the well-heeled twenty-somethings are joined by a batch of brand new Americans. The newbies are as glossy and polished as their British counterparts, and about to cause just as much drama.
MEET… ALIK ALFUS, 25, New York-born entrepreneur.
What do you do for a living?
I’m a co-owner of a company called Libra Leather, with my father and my sister. We travel around the world sourcing the most beautiful leather skins that the world has to offer. It’s been compared to Willy Wonka’s factory but for leather. It’s a beautiful spot.
Did you have a posh upbringing?
I went to Riverdale Country School which is the most expensive school in America. But my family’s very odd. My father’s a crazy rock and roller with long hair and leather pants. My father started his company with his father. His parents were pretty wealthy, but he definitely wasn’t given anything. He was born Upper Eastside, ‘so he’s very much [shouts in strong New York accent] “Why is my cworfee not hot?” Mom lives in Bali where she started a non-profit organisation that brings meditation and yoga to orphans who are tsunami victims.
What did you first think of the others?
They were so f**king simple to hang out with. They were just like all my friends, they were crazy, they had a sense of humour. I think that because I was able to relate to them so well, they accepted me. I’ve been hanging out with them most days. They’re great.
And how about the girls?
What’s not to like about the girls, for God’s sakes? Hubba hubba hubba!
Have any of them caught your eye?
They have! Most of them have. Sometimes I get a little playful with the girls, but to be honest with you I’m more of a one-woman guy.
Are you looking for love?
I’m so open to any possibility. If someone strikes me as interesting, then who knows? I’m absolutely open to it.
The Made in Chelsea guys have complicated history in terms of who’s slept with who. Have you got to grips with it all yet?
I still have no idea what the f**k is going on. But I couldn’t care less, honestly. I hear stories here and there but nothing that’s shocking. It’s not something I haven’t experienced before. The drama and all that stuff. I come from a Jewish family so my humour is a bit more like the British humour. Although, sometimes they talk so quickly and i’m like, come again? I have picked up some Chelsea words though and some British words. I say things at work now and my friends are like, what? I say ‘flat’ instead of ‘apartment’, subtleties like that.
What do you think your role is among that group of men?
I’m a powerful presence that competes with the other alpha males. Basically I think the reason I’ve gotten so involved is because of my mannerisms and eccentricities. I hang out mainly with Proudlock, Stevie, Spencer and Jamie.
Which ‘alpha male’ have you been competing with?
The only direct competition I’ve experienced has been with Spencer. But not in any malicious way. In a ‘boys will be boys’ way. I can tell who’s trying to flap his wings and who’s not. And if you’re not first, you’re last. I compete.
What’s your secret with women?
A lot of eye contact. I listen. I like testing girls. So I like to get them in situations and see how they react. Girls can be kind of glamorous and not cool sometimes, so instead of taking a girl for dinner on a date I’ll take her on some kind of physical activity and see how she handles that. And if she can’t joke and laugh and have fun, she’s a goner.
Sounds to us like Binky and Louise might be your type, then… rather than, say, Rosie or Victoria.
Are looks important to you?
I’m a little bit fussy with looks. I like a girl to have a wonderful face, of course. I’ve got to look at the girl! I like her to be shorter than me, normally. I’m 5′ 9″. I was with a girl who was taller than me once and I didn’t know what to do with all that leg. I’m a playful guy, so I like a girl I can throw around!
What’s a turn-off for you?
A girl who can’t hold a conversation. If I start to feel I’m responsible for the whole conversation, it’s kind of like, what the f**k am I doing?
What do you make of the rest of the new New York cast?
Jules went to my high school. We get on fine. He’s a pretty intense guy, to say the least. I’m definitely more of a laid-back guy. Carson is amazing. He’s hilarious. What a sweetheart. Billie is beautiful. She’s very sweet, easy to talk to, a pleasure. I’ve nothing but kind things to say about her.