He may never live down that big ugly Oscar day cry on the first season of Bravo series, The Rachel Zoe Project, but Brad Goreski, the stylist formerly known as the stylist-turned-designer Rachel Zoe’s assistant, is nobody’s doormat.
Just weeks after the final episode of his own Bravo series, Goreski hit the road for a book tour of his newly released memoir “Born to Be Brad: My Life and Style So Far,”(!t, $25). He makes an appearance in Atlanta on Friday.
Goreski recognizes it may be a bit premature for a 34-year-old to write a memoir, but he’s crammed a lot of living into just three decades.
“The big message of [the book] is if I can make it, anybody can,”said Goreski by phone while making (and burning) his lunch. “I believe the challenges I talk about in the book propelled me to get to where I am today.”
Today, Goreski is at the helm of a burgeoning business as a major celebrity stylist with a client list of actresses that includes Jessica Alba, Demi Moore and Rashida Jones. His struggles to make it on his own are the topic of his new Bravo series, It's a Brad Brad World, which premiered in January. The show documents Goreski's ups and downs -- professional and personal -- after parting ways with Team Zoe. The book, Goreski said, is an attempt to show everyone just how far he has come as well as share some of his personal style philosophies.
Not long ago, Goreski was an overweight misfit from Port Perry, Ontario. Early on, he discovered he was gay and later on he buried his pain and insecurities in cocaine and alcohol addiction. It was the eve of his high school graduation when Goreski revealed to his mother that he thought he was gay. His dad would later hear the news from another family member.
“For my dad, it was unfortunate and is one of those things I wish I had been able to talk to him about myself,” Goreski said. “We didn’t speak to each other for six to seven months. He came around. It wasn’t any mystery to either of my parents that I was going to be gay.”
But as Goreski embarked on a life of theater, fashion and romance in the big city of Toronto, no one seemed prepared for what was to follow. He partied all night and worked retail and restaurants by day. A growing dependency on drugs and alcohol would land him on probation at theater school (he did graduate, only to discover he didn't want to be an actor) and suddenly the good life all came crashing down around him as did his love affair with a 43-year-old father of two. Goreski, then 23, admitted he had a problem and hauled himself off to Alcoholics Anonymous and out of Toronto.
It would take a few years, a fateful trip to Greece and a vaunted fashion job at Vogue before Goreski began to get his life back on track. He describes stalking Zoe directly and indirectly for the chance to work on her team. When the opportunity finally came, Goreski faltered, in part because signing on with Zoe meant agreeing to be filmed for her reality show. Goreski, who had seemingly been seeking stardom all his life, wasn't sure he was ready for prime time.
Of course, Goreski has found his niche in reality television displaying enough star-quality to warrant a leading man role of his own.
The key to letting his star shine, he said, is the same whether he is acting, working as a stylist's assistant or just living his life. It all boils down to an improvisational technique he learned in actor training in which one actor makes a statement and the next actor says, "yes and..." before coming up with a response.
“Life is just a really big game of yes and,” Goreski said. “That has been the key for me…being very ‘yes and' about everything. It has very much been like that my entire life.”
Brad Goreski, “Born to be Brad: My Life and Style So Far,” (!t, $25). 7 p.m. Friday. Free. Barnes & Noble, 2900 Peachtree Road N.E. www.barnesandnoble.com. 404-261-7747.
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