There are not a ton of celebrity type people that I idolize. Sure I love Adele’s voice, and Barbra’s long and storied career, and Liza’s dedication to her craft…… but they are not role models to me. I tend to pick role models that are average people doing extraordinary things that aren’t in the limelight. However, I have an exception to that rule, and that exception is Brad Goreski. Here’s the cliff note’s version of Mr Brad; he was a style assistant for Rachel Zoe on the show The Rachel Zoe Project, he left to do his own work (but unlike the other assistant, he left on good terms) and now has his own show, works for Kate Spade (as well as his long list of clients) and just came out with a new book called Born to be Brad, which is mostly memoir with some style advice thrown in.
You could have knocked me over with a feather when I got an email inviting me to the Austin book signing at Brooks Brothers with the opportunity to interview Brad. I do believe there was jumping and screaming involved. But since I had just started a new job, I couldn’t ask to leave early to get there for interview time. I told them I’d get there as soon as I could and if Brad could take a few minutes to talk with me, then so be it. I knew he was going to be hella busy signing but I was willing to risk it for a few minutes of his time. Needless to say, I got to chat with him about clothes and plus size fashion (he agrees there should be a lot more choices for plus size women) and he was just the sweetest person.
Brad and I at Brooks Brothers – notice my uber-giddy grin!
I was going to write this post interview style, but I changed it for a couple of reasons. First of all, my friend Joanna from Keep Austin Stylish did a freaking awesome interview post and I really want to pimp that. I love her questions and her gorgeous pictures. So if you want a great one-on-one interview with Brad, please take a minute to read it!! Second, I read his book and I really want to talk about that as well. Because it moved me and inspired me and I think it’s an important story to share.
Born to Be Brad
Brad writes about growing up in a small town in Canada and being an outcast for being himself – gay, flamboyant, and unwilling to hid his passions and talent. He talks about family relationships, addiction, school, and the struggle to find his place in the fashion world. We readers get to hear the amazing story of he and his partner Gary and the lengths they went to (and continue to go) to be together. He praises the strong female influences in his life, and works hard to never “bash” anyone. He is honest about his complicated relationship with his father, but never insults his dad or blames him. He looks for the positive and presents everything, even the darkest and toughest times in his life, as a rich learning experience. His honesty is amazing, his humor is delightful and his story is incredible.
Sure, we talked clothes. I asked about the collaboration with Kate Spade, and he was excited to talk about his work with them. He has enjoyed watching Kate Spade bring a fun and ladylike style to a younger crowd, and seeing their purses and accessories and clothes become more popular. We both agreed that Kate Spade is doing a great job with their social media which is definitely a huge help to the brand. Next, I asked him about plus size designers because, let’s be honest, that’s what I write and talk about! He said first of all, there should be a lot more variety (AMEN SIR!!) and that there’s a big desire but not enough designers going there right now. He does work with women of many different sizes and would love to see more options. A man after my own heart!
I had so much respect for Brad. Not just for taking time to talk with the blogger who was late, but for being so kind and writing a book that will be so inspiring to so many people. It was an honor sir!!