Brad Goreski has gone from Rachel Zoe's assistant to reality TV superstar, celebrity stylist and now, designer. Our Deputy Fashion News Editor Hannah Banks-Walker caught up with him to chat about his new collection for C.Wonder, and to find out what working with Jessica Alba is really like...
Even if you haven’t heard of Brad Goreski, chances are you’ve seen his work. He has been a celebrity stylist for years now, amassing an A-list clientele that includes Jessica Alba, Rashida Jones and Demi Moore. You may, however, have seen him on Fashion Police on E! or even as the star of his own reality TV series, It’s A Brad, Brad World.
As if that wasn’t enough, Brad now also works as the Creative Director for C.Wonder, designing his own collection for the brand and acting as the salesman on QVC. As the AW16 collection is available now, I wanted to know exactly what it’s like moving from stylist to designer, and what it’s really like to dress the super famous…
So, Brad. Tell us a bit about the collection…
Well, I’m the Creative Director of C Wonder and we’ve been on QVC in the UK for around 6 months or so. And the collection is very much… we like to call it an uptown New York twist with a bohemian vibe. You see a lot of prints, bold colour and a lot of luxury in the details and the trims. And the super soft fabrics. The autumn/winter collection is full of really wearable pieces that you can wear across every aspect of your life. We’ve taken a lot of the things women love like pea coats and flannels- we’ve taken them and made them a bit more whimsical. They’re conversation pieces.
Did it feel like a natural progression for you from stylist to designer?
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It did, yeah. Taking my experience from red carpet styling and also my experience contributing to a magazine in the US, which has a really wide audience… I’ve really listened to what women want and put my own spin on it through colour and print and the things that are staples in my wardrobe. I just want to encourage women- and men- to put their best foot forward every day. The idea behind the collection is that it’s no-brainer fashion; everything goes together. So it’s kind of like being styled by me as well as having the clothes designed by me.
So it’s the perfect capsule wardrobe?
Essentially yes. Taking the guess work out of it. And also making those pieces that you look forward to wearing over and over again.
What inspires your designs?
I’m inspired by a different destination for every collection. The whole idea behind C Wonder is the element of discovery. I want the QVC customer to put on the TV and see an item she’s never seen before. That element of when we’re travelling and we find unique pieces nobody has ever seen before- that’s what we want the collection to be like.
How did the partnership with QVC come about?
I had always been interested in doing something that could reach a lot of people. And also a collection where I was actively telling people how it worked and showing them how they could wear it and incorporate it into their lives. So it just seemed like the perfect match.
It must be exciting when people call in and want to buy your clothes?
It’s amazing, it’s so instant. And the customers are a major teaching tool for us.
Most designers don’t get that access to their customer so that must be nice…
Yes, it’s so important to us. We reference people’s reviews and encourage them, too. We want to hear what they think about the fabric, or what she thinks about the price. We work really hard to provide a high end product at a super affordable price.
Do you ever feel a bit like Joy Mangano?
Yes! Actually, I always feel more like Jennifer Lawrence than Joy.
We all do in our own way.
I was actually interviewed by Joy’s daughter. She was so lovely.
Do you think you’d ever have your own line like Adam Selman?
I don’t know. I feel like I’m going full throttle right now with this because we have to prepare so far in advance. This feels right for the time being. And the QVC customer is exactly the woman I want to be designing for.
Do you still do lots of styling work?
Yeah, I’m full force into awards season!
Can you tell us who you’re working with this season?
Yes, I’m styling Bella Thorne, Lea Michele, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Rashida Jones…
Is Rashida Jones a megababe? Because she seems like one.
Yes. You would not be disappointed. She’s wonderful. I adore her. And I’m also working with Sarah Hyland, Joanne Froggatt… Kayley Kuoco.
Wow, you’re going to be busy.
I mean, last year I had five people at the SAAG Awards and I was also on the carpet doing interviews so my assistant was running around to all five people. And I interviewed them on the carpet, which was interesting!
That must be really difficult, trying to adhere to five different people and their personal styles while also trying to create what you want to create. How do you get your head around that?
Well, I go into awards season knowing what my clients have worn in the past and try to crate a different look. Especially now with so many events in between the actual big events, I always like to use the big red carpets as an opportunity to show my clients in a really different way. Last SAAG awards I put Kayley in a black one shoulder dress with a huge cut out and she had a top knot like Golide Hawn in Overboard and exaggerated eye make up. People were like ‘oh my god she’s so beautiful and sexy!’ I like to throw people off kilter a bit and show people in a different way.
Do you have specific designers you always go to or does it depend on the person?
It depends. I love J Mendel, one of my favourites for the red carpet. I think his clothes are beautiful and really well made and interesting. I love Versace, Oscar de la Renta. I mean, I feel like about 8 years ago it used to be that everyone would just wear big designers but now it’s about the best dressed always wins. Clients are less concerned with who they’re wearing and more with the overall look.
Which is great, because it’s more thoughtful…
I think so. It’s opened up possibilities for so many more designers, younger designers. You don’t have to convince anyone to wear new designers anymore because people want to be the first.
Is there anyone you’d love to work with?
I’d love to work with Adele. I worked with her years ago on a beauty shoot and she was amazing. I’d love to work with her again. I think it would be so fun to create so many custom looks with her. She looks incredible.
Did you see her bespoke Chloé dress at Glastonbury?
No! That sounds fabulous. I do like to work with people who make me laugh and who I have a really good time with. So when I’m drawn to somebody’s personality as well as their talent, it makes the job so much more… fun.
Is there anyone whose style you love?
I’m always a fan of Diane Kruger. The hair, the make up, the choices she makes… it’s always spot on. I think she’s always a front runner. I also love Dakota Johnson. She has very enviable style. If I were going to copy anyone’s style, it would probably be Dakota Johnson. It feels quirky enough, sexy enough, young enough and fashion enough without being too forceful.
Have you ever worked with anyone who’s been a nightmare?
I think I’m dealing with celebrities but also human beings who have children, relationships, families. I don’t look at it as diva anymore but more just maybe they have stuff going on… you just have to keep the beat going. You have to pull out your arsenal of comedy and make people have a better day. It’s one of the great things about the job because people can come in feeling one way and then they start feeling better. In everybody’s profession, you have to deal with people who are not having the time of their life. But I don’t react. It’s a job so you just have to keep moving through it.
Who was your first client?
Jessica Alba. She was on a shoot with Elle, and told creative director Joe Zee that she was looking for a new stylist. He mentioned my name and Jessica and I got on the phone and then I was dressing her two weeks later. We worked together for almost three years.
And what’s she like?
Incredible. I loved working with her. I worked with her through her pregnancy, through the beginning of her company. We had so much fun. She loves fashion and we did a lot of really fun looks together. I was lucky to have her as a first client because she was so game to try on different looks and do different things. We did a hair makeover and changed her whole look. I was very lucky because it got me noticed very quickly.
Is it more difficult to style a pregnant woman?
No, actually. I think when she told me she was pregnant, I didn’t know what I was going to do but I learned so much about style, fashion and the human body. It was a great experience to go through that with somebody. We kept it really fashion all the way through. I think she had a premiere maybe three weeks before she gave birth! So it was fun. And then I had a lot of pregnant celebrities call me after that. Dolce and Gabbana maxi dresses became my best friend!
It must be so much fun to pull all the outfits together, especially for something like a press tour…
It used to be way more difficult because the talk show appearances and things that aren’t red carpet never used to be photographed, so designers were a bit wary of lending depending on the actress. Now though, everything is photographed and now those press tours can be like gold- they can show off such a wide range of their style in such a short space of time. That’s the power of celebrity.