Brad Goreski's memoir Born to be Brad hit shelves yesterday (he's doing a signing at 5pm tonight at the FIT Barnes & Noble) and you're not alone in thinking there's no way Brad is old enough to be writing his memoir. We thought the same thing until we read it--and as it turns out, Brad has lived a pretty full life--perhaps even two of them.
And as of today, that life is literally an open book--and a pretty juicy one at that. From his difficulties growing up gay in a small Canadian town, to a period of excessive partying, to being a 24-year-old Vogue intern, to becoming the assistant to a huge celebrity stylist and a reality TV star in one felll swoop, to how that job came to an end, he doesn't really leave anything out. And he clears up a lot of those rumors.
We learned so much about the celebrity stylist-slash-reality television star that we almost didn't know what to ask him the other day when we chatted on the phone. Of course, we managed to find some good stuff to talk about.
Click through for the 10 most interesting things we learned about the It's a Brad, Brad World star from his shiny new book, followed by a Q+A in which he discusses making it in the industry, still feeling like an outsider, his backup dancer ambitions and how his boyfriend Gary is amazing--not that we didn't already know that.
1) He became addicted to cocaine and alcohol while in college in Toronto. In 2001, he got sober and still is to this day.
2) He originally wanted, and went to school, to become an actor. When he realized that wasn't what he wanted to do, he tried modeling.
3) His boyfriend Gary, who he met in Greece while working with a Greek modeling agency, was the one who suggested he go into fashion.
4) He almost didn't accept Rachel Zoe's job offer because he was told he would be part of a reality show and he wasn't sure if he wanted to be on television.
5) He got "blacklisted" from Condé Nast because he took Rachel's job offer after working at the west coast office of Vogue for only three months--meaning he'd never be able to work for a Condé Nast publication again.
6) By chance, Brad and Gary were on vacation in St. Barth's at the same time as Rachel and Rodger, before Brad was slated to start his job with her. Rachel made Brad leave his vacation early to do a last minute styling job, which he was happy to do, but...red flag?
7) This isn't about Brad per se, but Taylor would yell at the camera people when they first started filming The Rachel Zoe Project, telling them the show wasn't going to be interesting.
8) Brad is really glad he took his clothes off for Terry Richardson. An excerpt from that experience:
"You have a really nice biceps [sic]," he said. "What's your body like underneath your shirt? Take your shirt off." I hesitated but then did it. "You have abs man!" Terry said. "Who would have known?"
9) When he left Rachel Zoe, he gave Rachel and Rodger two months notice and expected to stay friends with Rachel after he left.
10) He lost money on his first job post-Rachel, which he got because Rachel was too pregnant. It was to style Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway for the cover of Entertainment Weekly, but he did not "poach" Anne Hathaway.
Keep reading for our interview with Brad...
Fashionista: In the book, you talk about playing around in the Vogue closet with other interns. You seemed comfortable there, but was it scary at all? Brad Goreski: I was uncomfortable there. I was the oldest intern there. I was one of the only males there and most of the people who were working there were from lots of varying backgrounds, but I was terrified every single day. I enjoyed the experience very much but I definitely didn’t feel at home there.
As a college graduate-age intern--something that I think is becoming fairly common in fashion right now because of unemployment--did you ever feel behind or self-conscious about that? I think in a way, it was actually an advantage, but it was definitely a little uncomfortable doing things with 19-year-olds. I think it's just kind of in my blood. I’m a Leo, so we kind of just go hard or go home, so it was very much part of my personality to make the best out of these opportunities. I was just very happy to be there and happy to do whatever it was that was needed of me on a daily basis.
Do you still keep in touch with people you worked with at Vogue? I do; the fashion world, as you know, is very small. For another website, I actually was interviewed by the person I took over for at the west coast office of Vogue just the other day. You see everybody all the time.
Cool. In the book, you mention you were blacklisted from Condé after taking the job with Rachel Zoe. How did that all go down? Are you still blacklisted? I had worked for such a short amount of time and usually people stay there for at least a year before moving on. In the future, [if I] had applied for another position at a magazine had my job with Rachel not worked out, I probably wouldn’t be getting the job, but obviously since then I’ve worked with Details and have been invited by GQ and all kinds of stuff, so I don't really know if that was true, but at the time, I was obviously a little scared that an entire magazine company was going to [rule that] I was no longer eligible [for a job] at this point.
You talk in the book about being shy--how did you overcome that in social fashion-y situations? I still think weirdly I’m a little shy. I’ve been kind of around the fashion industry for five years or so, so I know a lot of people and a lot of people know who I am and I think you just kind of bridge the gap and you start making relationships with people and they become your peers. Most people are willing to speak to you if you extend your hand and shake someone else’s hand and say 'hello' and congratulate them on the work they do and [tell them] you admire what they do.
As a theme that runs throughout the book, you write about being not quite there or being close to the party or an outsider. Do you still feel that way and if so can you give a recent example? The entire book is about that. People see me as being a fashion insider, but there are always levels of how far 'in' you are. Like, I’m not friends with Carine Roitfeld and part of the enjoyment for me of seeing these people is that they remain my idols. I kind of love the fact that I go to fashion week and I see people and I’m shy to say 'hi' to them. Sometimes being a little bit on the outside of where the action is has been really good.
Where do you think you’d be now if you had turned down Rachel’s job offer? I would probably be a backup dancer for Lady Gaga.
Why do you say that? Because I wanted to be a backup dancer for "Blonde Ambition" and I wanted to be a go-go dancer at raves and I’ve always had this fantasy of being a backup dancer for a big pop star.
Maybe that's a second career option. Maybe, or maybe Gaga will let me do a cameo one night in one of her numbers. I’ll just pop on stage and like pop and lock a few moves and then get off.
That would be amazing. Is there anything in the book that you're nervous to have come out? Too late now! We worked on weeding out what would be featured in the book and it’s pretty revealing, so there aren’t really any secrets...it's not like a scandal tell-all. It’s a story of inspiration; it’s a story of facing challenges and how to deal with those challenges and also celebrating the amazing people...my family and my friends and people I’ve gotten to work with along the way that have helped me get to where I am today.
The season finale of It's a Brad Brad World [in which Gary surprises Brad with a flash mob-style Les Miserables performance] was amazing. Did you see that coming at all? Why is Gary so amazing? Gary’s gestures are very big and he’s extremely generous. It didn't cross my mind that that would be something that he would do for me..I was so busy during that time. It was a miracle that I never questioned one thing. I asked him about his voice and he was like, 'um you know I’ve just been talking a lot' and [wondering] why are all these lights on the roof and they were like, 'oh we just need it for filming so that everybody can be lit' and I was like, 'okay.' Gary has set the bar really really high for boyfriends across America.
So will there be a second season of It's a Brad, Brad World? That’s a question for Bravo at the moment. We don’t know but the show just ended, so only time will tell but yeah we would be excited to continue sharing stories with everybody.