A year ago, Brad Goreski was leaving his gig under Rachel Zoe for parts unknown. Now, he's got a new show -- "It's a Brad, Brad World," which premiered this week on Bravo -- and a contract with Kate Spade, though he's no longer speaking with his ex-boss.
Reported feud aside, Goreski has been living up to his reputation as being an all-around nice guy. When we met him for coffee and macarons at Rockefeller Center, he couldn't be more charming, giving us some insight into what he's learned since starting his own business ("how to edit"), how he's managing to schedule fittings amid bi-coastal travel (Skype!), and what designers he's looking forward to seeing on the red carpet.
Over and over again, the feedback we get about you is that you're so "nice." Why is it that everyone in fashion is known as being mean, making it unusual to be nice?
I have to say that in my personal experience, the people I have had the pleasure of working with … all of the people that I have worked for have been so gracious with me … I surround myself with friends in the fashion industry who are all relatively nice, so I hope maybe in some way the show will help dispel that whole thing. Even when you get face-to-face with designers, they've been so incredibly nice. Thom Browne, Michael Bastian … all these people that I love, when I finally get to meet them, I'm like, "You're a cool guy!"
Do you feel, when the cameras are rolling, a pressure to be a little more over-the-top?
I don't, actually. Obviously, you're aware that you're being filmed for something that is eventually going to be a television show. Is it a level of performance? I don't think so … Amongst all the drama and the struggles, there's so much celebration.
Was there anything during the filming of the show that seemed to come out of left field?
All of this stuff started happening with my dad, actually. And it's an episode in the show. I mean, we love each other, he's a fantastic father, but for some reason, we just had problems with our relationship in the past year, and it kind of escalated while we were filming. It was kind of hard to go through on camera, because it was really personal, and stuff that's been ongoing for my entire life … But I'm glad that it's out there, because I also feel like -- and I don't want to keep harping on the "gay" thing -- but I hope a lot of young gay guys will be able to relate. I think a lot of us have struggles with our fathers, and even though my dad's completely accepted me and loves my boyfriend, it was what was happening.
I think that's where a lot of the tears came from … As much flak as I may take for being such a crier, there's so much honesty and vulnerability and truth there that I'm not ashamed.
The show is a pretty honest portrait of styling as a job. Many people still think that stars go shopping on Rodeo Drive and come home with a dress and wear it to the Oscars, but that's not what happens. How much of Hollywood do you think is dressed professionally?
I think almost everybody does now. I think when somebody is not, they're very proud to say they aren't, but I have to say: Doing talk shows and doing myself and mini-press junkets has really given me a good perspective … Maybe somebody in a higher position gets a phone call that's like, "We want you to do a shoot with Steven Meisel and Pat McGrath and Karen Elson, and Karl Lagerfeld's going to shadow, and Dior Couture is going to make all the clothes … " That doesn't happen to a lot of stylists! You have to go out and you have to pitch stories.
What's the difference in how you approach a shoot now versus when you were working with Rachel Zoe?
When I worked with Rachel, we traveled a lot and there was a lot a lot of stuff. That was the way that she worked, she liked to have a lot of options, and that's how I learned to put a shoot together.
I remember my first shoot by myself was an Entertainment Weekly cover with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, and they ended up naked on the cover. I was staying at a friend's house in the Financial District, and her living room was literally filled -- I had every single men's item, every single women's item. And she was like, "Babe. You have to learn how to edit." I got to the shoot and there were, like, nine racks for each of them, and stuff was still coming in during the shoot. We actually got a beautiful shot -- clothed -- inside, but after that shoot, I was like, "I don't want to travel like that anymore. I really just want to travel with the things that I want."
It's awards season. How are you guys holding up?
The calls are coming in right now, my clients are busy working on projects. Next week, I have three photo shoots, about six fittings, there'll be re-fits … but the good news is, I have a really fantastic team in place.
Were there any collections that made a particular impression on you? What's on your mental rack?
What I've actually been using a lot of, which I never used before in the past, is Carolina Herrera. I'm really loving what's happening in her collection. There's a new freshness to it that I really, really like. I don't know if it's red carpet-worthy for the Oscars, but in terms of collections that really knocked me over during Fashion Week, I thought Victoria Beckham' s show was just unbelievable …. I think Elie Saab is really good. I keep checking my phone because I just sent in an Elie Saab request and I'm like, "Is it a yes? Is it coming?" If I've got Elie Saab on my rack, I'm good.
How will you tackle Fashion Week this year?
I'm working with Kate Spade, so I'll be styling their presentation. I usually work on it for about three days, but it's kind of nice to be here and be part of the mix -- to be working and be working with a brand. I walk into the room, the collection's all set out with every accessory, every shoe, racks of clothing -- and it's literally like Candy-Land to me. I just play for three days.
Which are the New York Fashion Week shows you like the best?
Prabal Gurung -- love. Jason Wu, I've been loving so much. They gave one of their best looks to Fan Bing-Bing to wear, but there are a few on hold and I'm excited to see who gets to wear Jason Wu because it's just so beautiful. He's really hit a stride that I think is really impressive. He's also a really nice guy.
How will your new Kate Spade job affect your schedule?
It's a big job, it's a big responsibility. I'll be back and forth to New York all the time, which is good because I have New York-based clients and I have magazines that I work with here. I've been doing Skype fittings, and it's actually been working really well. I did a Skype fitting with Christina Ricci -- she's in L.A. doing her press right now, so fingers crossed, the Skype fitting works out!
When we were filming the show, I didn't feel ready for this stuff at all … It's so cheesy, but I'm a firm believer in "If you build it, they will come." And they showed up … So it's been a big, happy accident. I'm excited for the future -- less scared than excited.