Brad Goreski Models 4 Spring Looks — & Spills Some Serious Dish

[UPDATE: This story was originally published on March 8.]
Full disclosure: We remember Brad Goreski from way back when, before the TV tear sheds and red-carpet coups (we’re still reeling from Jessica Alba’s Golden Globes moment last year). We’ve all rejoiced in his sky-rocketing success story because, at the end of the day, it took oodles of elbow grease and killer wit to become Bravo’s It’s A Brad Brad World It Boy.
But, after our revealing interview, we learned things about the 34-year-old Toronto native that made us adore him so much more. Yes, he talked a tad about his feud with Zoe (although he’d rather not), but with his memoir, Born To Be Brad: My Life and Style, So Far hitting shelves today, he actually opened up about so many more important skeletons that were previously in his closet (did you know that being 10 years sober is his secret weapon, or that he used to rummage around in bins full of the Goodwill's toss-offs?).
And don’t worry, we got into his literal closet, too, snagging shots of him donning looks loaded with spring tips and tricks that work for guys and girls from every walk of life. With a fresh gig as Kate Spade’s stylist and a slew of celebrities banging down his door, this may be the last time he comes up for air for a long while. So, take a good gander—and notes!
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You have so much going on, we must give you a big congrats! How did your Kate Spade deal come about?
"After I styled for them last season, all parties involved were happy. And it makes a lot of sense for me anyway, because I so identify with the brand, and the Kate Spade aesthetic (she's insanely talented). You know, they're also totally reinventing themselves, so being a part of that, and getting to come in at a time when there is so much change happening, it's really exciting!"

Let's get this silly question of the Zoe feud out of the way right now — how are you coping?
"I think it is stupid, and I always get asked about it — it happend a year and a half ago, so I don't know why everyone still cares. Like if a dental hygienist left a dentist to start his own practice, no one would care! I pursued the job with Rachel for a year, I wanted it, and went after it. And getting that job was like a dream for me. Period."

Hilfiger Collection Jacket and Shoes Tommy Hilfiger Shirt and Pants, Happy Socks, Dolce and Gabbana glasses.

Photography by Mike Rosenthal
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On The Rachel Zoe Project, only your work life was in front of the cameras. How has it been baring everything for Bravo, on your own show?
"At first, Gary (my boyfriend) was just going to pop in and out and be a side character, but the producers made it about our lives. I love how we were portrayed — it was very realistic, and we remind many people of a married couple — we love each other, but we fight. The best compliments I receive are from straight guys who stop me on the street and say how much they love me and Gary together. During Fashion Week, there were truck drivers shouting out of their windows at me that they love the show. Ha!"

But is the stress of life on camera ever just too much for you?
"I was bullied every day of my school life, but I came out of it and got to where I wanted to be. Seeing the suicide rates today, I really want people to take away from the show that you can do whatever you want to do. I was in a very dark place for ten years, and I think that makes me stronger because I can handle missing a FedEx package, or if someone didn't like how I was dressed. Like, come on, fashion is a joke compared to what I've been through!"

Photography by Mike Rosenthal
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You really get personal about your drug issues in your book (which is out today). What's been the most poignant part of writing it?
"I feel like sometimes people get thrown away, like a lost cause, but everyone around me was like 'we will not let this person go.' My mom, my friend Trish, my friends from theater school, it was very much like I had a lot of hands extended to me, and a lot of kindness shown to me in that period of my life, by very special people. And I hope it comes across in my book that I actually do believe in angels. That's why my book is dedicated to my mom, my sister, my grandmother Ruby, and all the other strong women in my life, because I have constantly been surrounded by these ladies — and I'm not talking about women in Manhattan, these are just real strong women. These are not city girls, these are small town Canadian legit ladies.

Like, I remember my kindergarten teacher in the '80s telling my mom, 'your kid is really special, but he is going to have a tough road in front of him; don't ever let him change," and my mom understanding that advice when I was so young. I never changed, she refused to let me. They always encouraged me to be the way I am. All of those people who supported me literally saved my life."

Photography by Mike Rosenthal
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The tongue-in-cheek bulletin board in Brad's studio made us giggle.

Photography by Mike Rosenthal
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Okay, let's move on to some fun questions now. Where on earth do you find such a great variety of bow ties?
"My favorite spots are in London: Mint Vintage in Covent Garden and Seventh Isles."

Where else do you like to shop?
"Weirdly, I get asked this question all the time, but I'm not a huge shopper! If I do shop, I like to have it shipped to me because I find that whenever I go into the stores they never have my size. Ever."

So, who's your L.A. go-to tailor then?
"I use George Clinton. He does all of my tailoring and all my clients', too, so I'll sneak in a pair of pants during fittings!"

Gucci Sweater, Michael Kors Shirt, Dries Van Noten Pants, Christian Louboutin Shoes.

Photography by Mike Rosenthal
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What are your favorite online shopping haunts?
"I do lots of damage at Mr. Porter. I like to go to Gilt Man or Barneys and poke around, usually at seven o'clock in the morning, with a cup of tea and a dog in my lap. And I love a sale, especially when you get the notification that there is an extra 30% off! I'm a bargain shopper ALL the way — I'll wait for third mark down. [Pointing to his outfit] These were 70 percent off, and Uniqlo is already cheap, so it ended up being 8 pounds..."

What makes you want to bargain shop when you get your pick of major showroom freebies?
"I've been inspired by times when I had money, and by times when I didn't, and was rummaging through bins. There was a place in Toronto that is still near and dear to my heart. It's next to a Goodwill that was full price, but you could buy its castaway clothes for 25 cents per pound; it was amazing! The last two years of high school, all of my clothes were from there. It's just been like 33 years of dress up so far. Some good, and some bad. But I think you have to go through the bad to get to who you ultimately become, and whatever your style becomes. I never pictured that I would be like this — to get to dress in a way that I feel is refined, handsome, and gentlemanly, and yet it's kinda like a clown, ha!"

Photography by Mike Rosenthal
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Where do you suggest we look for inspiration — besides Refinery29, of course?
"T magazine, and Red Carpet Fashion Awards is a great resource to see who wore what. It's also good for me to know what designer is being overexposed right now, who is being really choosey, and who is getting their things on what girl. It's good to see what the demographic is for each design house. And then I also love Just Jared. It's good for street style photos. Well, not really street style photos, but like Jake Gyllenhaal leaving the doctor's office — everyone is always leaving a medical building!"

Photography by Mike Rosenthal
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Runway shots of looks that Brad has styled double as collage-style artwork along an entire wall.

Photography by Mike Rosenthal
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What are your top three secret weapons in your prop kit that every girl should use?
"Top stick, a Jiffy steamer, and nipple covers. You gotta protect against those headlights, ladies!"

Dolce and Gabbana Jacket, Christian Lacroix Pants, Jil Sander Shirt, Ferragamo Shoes, J. Crew Socks, Garrick Anderson Tie, IWC Watch, Hoorsenbuhs Ring.

Photography by Mike Rosenthal
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Let's talk about your aesthetic for a minute. You have a very signature look, and we're curious how that evolution happened.
"I was always preppy as a kid, and you'll see in one of the first photos in the book, I'm like three years old in a three piece suit with a big fat velvet bow tie. I was actually surprised while putting my memoir together, going through old photos, I was like, 'Oh I had no idea I was so concerned even at that young of age.'

I was very opinionated and clear on how I wanted to look [as a kid]. My hair was much blonder then, and I'm devastated that it's darker now. It was so blonde and stringy and cute, but whatever. I was always into labels and trends — and especially into wearing the Prada ombré when that was big."

Photography by Mike Rosenthal
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What are your three best pieces of advice for spring dressing?
"Prints! Not just wearing them but mixing and matching them. I'm crazy for denim on denim, like even over a bikini as your cover-up this summer. And it's time to amp up the color in your wardrobes — don't be afraid to get a little zany, ladies!"

Photography by Mike Rosenthal
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Who are your all-time top style icons?
"For women, it's the blondes: Madonna, Marilyn, and Gaga. For men, it's Ryan Gosling, Cary Grant, and a new one I will throw in is Freddie Mercury."

Really? His aesthetic is so different from yours....
"Yeah, but look at what he was doing at the time he was doing it. All the drama he brought..."

Photography by Mike Rosenthal
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Naturally, the Kaiser found his place on Brad's bookshelf (which doubles as an altar of style).

Photography by Mike Rosenthal
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How on earth do you stay so organized? You've gotta be pretty OCD, right?
"I think after so many years of wild abandon, I thrive under structure! And being sober is my secret weapon; I can stay out until four a.m. dancing, then wake up at nine a.m. fresh as a daisy."

Givenchy Blazer, Uniqlo Shirt, Burberry Pants, Lanvin Shoes, Vintage Bow Tie, Happy Socks.

Photography by Mike Rosenthal
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What's your earliest fashion memory?
"My comic book scarf, but you have to read my book to find that out about it. Ha! I played with it a lot."

Where did your thirst for glamour come from?
"Barbie. Plain and simple."

Photography by Mike Rosenthal
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Who would you die to get your hands on, as far as dressing celebs?
"I really love Elizabeth Olsen."

Photography by Mike Rosenthal
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What's your number one piece of advice for people hoping to break into the business?
"Figure. It. Out. No one cares if you're tired; we're all tired!

Never think you are above a job. I remember emptying the trash can at Vogue, and coming back from Jamba juice with 12 orders, walking across Times Square thinking, 'I only have two hands, but I'm gonna come in with a smile.'

Always think ahead about what your boss wants. I would always keep myself busy organizing scarves and shoes in the closet, even if there was nothing else to do."

Photography by Mike Rosenthal