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105 Minutes With Dylan Bateman

An uptown layover with the "playboy millionaire," who is revolutionizing interior design one blueprint at a time.


Hold on, just one more!" Dylan Bateman says excitedly, anticipating that his next move will be successful in completing the video game that he has but briefly looked up from. "My apologies. I've been trying to end it all day." He tosses aside the controller belonging to a Super Nintendo Entertainment System, shutting off the big screen television before darting off the plush black sofa adorning his penthouse suit at the Carlyle. "Ready?" asks the billionaire founder of investment company Bateman Holdings and Interior Motives, an interior design and architecture firm staffed with an impressive roster of names from the International Interior Design Association. Grandson to John Bateman I, investor and renowned art collector, the baby-faced 27-year-old with an all too charming smile was born into the world of big business but maintains that there are struggles that come with the name.

"It wasn't easy, I was expecting it to be easy," he explains with a shrug, as we make our way across the street to Cafe Boulud, where he is greeted by name and we are sat next to a table of young women who instantly receive Bateman's seemingly mischievous grin. "My father (fellow investor and CEO of Bateman Holdings of which his son is president) made it seem easy. Then you get into the business yourself and it's a huge eye-opener. I was expected to live up to the name, but people were at the same rate rather wary." he continues, brushing back a stray piece of light brown hair. "It really didn't help that I was twenty-two, you know? These people, they didn't take me seriously. It was a constant battle, against all odds, to prove myself to people that I just didn't care to prove myself to. But it had to be done, I wasn't going to live off my father forever."

Taking a page from John Bateman II's book, whom relocated from New York City to Boulder, Colorado in the early 1980's to start his family, the younger Bateman prefers to call Boulder his home. "I think it was expected of me to move here and become the real life incarnation of Bud Fox, minus the scams. But I'm finally able to stay put for the first time in a really long time, between school and starting my businesses, there's nowhere I'd rather do that than in the one place I've always called home." The flagship to his interior design company is based in the Colorado city with its sister firms in Manhattan and Los Angeles. Bateman owns homes in all three cities and can be found zipping back and forth between them.

"A cappuccino, please." he informs the waiter before squinting down at the menu. "We should've gone to Burger King, I could live off their onion rings if it didn't mean running on the treadmill while eating them." His sense of humor and playfulness resonates with his age, a stark contrast from most of his drab colleagues.

Bateman has along the way garnered a reputation as an international playboy, last year's highly publicized romp in Brussels being a clear indication of that. "It's so cliche, the whole thing. I drank a bit too much, took a few lingerie models up to my room." he explains casually with a shrug. "Then I get practically crucified for it." he notes. "I think i'm finally at a place where I can devote enough energy and time into being in a real, steady relationship. Now it's just about finding the person I can ultimately do that with." However, he admits he is in no rush to settle down and finds more of a concern in maintaining status. Though ranking at #208 on Forbes list of the 400 Richest Americans, it is not his net worth that drives him but a sense of accomplishment. "I have my own daddy issues to battle with, you know? It stems from belonging to a family of people that are so successful and any screw up can get you ousted right from it." He speaks in reference to his dabbles in drugs before receiving the ultimatum that landed him in rehab and launched his professional career. Bateman claims he never set out to outdo his father, his grandfather included, but did just that upon establishing his net worth of $2.3 billion and subsequently appointing his father as second in command to the investment company that bears the family name.

"Are you bored yet?" he asks me with an arched brow. "I'm no good at these things. I'm no idealist and I haven't a slightest stake in government. I vote Democrat every four years but can I tell you why? No, not really." he admits. "I just redid the entire National Audobon Society Headquarters, I'm working on expanding the Vanity Fair offices at the Conde Nast Building, I can rant on about my favorite television show, but it should be known not to turn to me for my thoughts on why you can tax a doughnut but not a lawyer's services. It's not for me, that sort of thing."

We continue to chat as we consume our brunch, Bateman opting for the french toast which he proceeds to drown in unsavory amounts of maple syrup with a lit up childlike expression. "Come on, they're better this way." he says, catching on to my watching him in the act. "Everything is better under unnatural amounts of sugar."

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