“My bling is cultural”: Canadian stars in reality show spin-off “Bling Empire: New York” (PHOTO/VIDEO)

Jan 24 2023, 4:54 pm

If you lived for the drama and excess in Netflix’s hit reality series Bling Empire, then you’re going to love its spin-off Bling Empire: New York.

The new series, which premiered on January 20, is the East Coast counterpart to the original show set in LA that follows the extravagant lives of rich East and Southeast Asian-American socialites, tastemakers and entrepreneurs.

Although it’s set in the Big Apple, Bling Empire: New York has a cool Canadian connection.

Blake Abbie is part of the starring crew of movers and shakers in NYC.

The magazine editor and actor who’s of Chinese and Scottish descent was born in Montreal and raised in Vancouver.

Many publications have said that he brings a “worldliness,” “intellectual charm,” and an important queer perspective to the show.

In an interview with  Women’s Wear Daily (WWD), Abbie said that the uber-rich in New York tend to express their “bling” in a different way.

“My bling is cultural bling. I’m a downtown New Yorker. I have amazing friends who are artists and designers doing amazing things,” he told WWD.

“What we have is our little black book with numbers for our contact. For me, I don’t care about having an Hermès Birkin. Do I like a Kelly? Yes, but I don’t need that.”

Even though Abbie loves the glamour of NYC, he still gets homesick for the Canadian West Coast.

“I grew up in Vancouver, so I really yearn for the ocean and the mountains, or just greenery in general when I’m in New York,” he told Netflix.

“I like to go along the East River even and sit underneath the FDR and have all the Chinese po pos and gong gongs doing their exercises ’cause it’s very nice and reminds me of home.”


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A post shared by Blake Abbie 王立民 (@blakeabbie)

Before joining Bling Empire, Abbie studied opera singing and Germanic studies at the University of British Columbia.

He eventually began modelling and even made his television debut as Thomas on the popular 2018 Chinese series Meteor Garden.

In an interview with Queerty he revealed that his funniest fan encounter happened at a bubble tea shop at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto.


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A post shared by Blake Abbie 王立民 (@blakeabbie)

“The whole place erupted in ‘OMG OMG OMG, it’s THOMAS!,'” Abbie recalled. “Everyone came out from the kitchen and behind the counter to get photos. I don’t expect this kind of recognition!”

Besides a starring role in Bling Empire, he’s currently the editor at large of A Magazine Curated By, a publication that’s curated by different designers such as Simone Rocha, Rodarte and Proenza Schouler.

You can catch Abbie on Bling Empire: New York streaming on Netflix now.

Isabelle DoctoIsabelle Docto

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