Born to Be Brad

Born to Be Brad by Brad Goreski

Book: Born to Be Brad by Brad Goreski Read Free Book Online
Authors: Brad Goreski
out what was next for me. Until then, I would drive myself to school at five thirty in the morning, because I preferred to go to the cafeteria and get work done than sit in rush-hour traffic. I was enrolled in general education classes, taking the lowest level of math. I took yoga classes and art history classes and journalism. I bought new spiral notebooks and new pens and pencils. The scene at school reminded me of Clueless, when Alicia Silverstone gives Brittany Murphy a tour around campus, explaining to her about the different cliques. We, too, had burnouts on the grassy knoll. We also had kids who hoped to transfer to bigger schools. We had wealthy kids in Range Rovers and head-to-toe Gucci and full makeup and blown-out hair. It was this great cross-section. I hung out with the Japanese exchange students. They have amazing style and they love fashion. They gave me exotic Japanese candies and I returned the favor by helping them with their English, and we exchanged stories of our cultures. I took French. In a prescient sign of the future to come, Guinevere van Seenus sat in front of me in class. I told her she should be a model. She smiled politely. When I went home and googled her, I found out she’d been on the cover of Italian Vogue at least twice. Uh-oh.

    Here I am posing with model Amber Valletta at a benefit for the Friendly House in Los Angeles. This photo has surfaced before, and people often use it as a chance to say, “Brad Goreski wasn’t always so stylish!” But I disagree. This hat? It’s leather and it’s Tom Ford for Gucci. And it’s amazing. And it hides the fact that I had a blow-out for this party.
    The joke of being a twenty-four-year-old college freshman was not lost on me. But I refused to take this lightly. I felt I had been given a second chance at life, and I didn’t want to waste it. And for the first time in my life my eyes were wide open. I vowed to learn the importance of looking at one’s surroundings. Of taking notes. Of observing. But what was I going to do with my life? Where was I going?
    Gary and I were sitting on the couch one afternoon, and I was flipping through V magazine, talking about the photo shoots I loved and why the styling was so perfect. “You’re always talking about clothes and reading fashion magazines and looking at what people are wearing,” Gary said. “Why not do something in fashion?”
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    “I felt I had been given a second chance at life, and I didn’t want to waste it. And for the first time in my life my eyes were wide open.”
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    It was like the heavens parting. It’s odd that I didn’t think of fashion myself. But looking back, it just seemed too far away, too impossible. How would I get there? How would I break into one of the hardest industries in the world? How would I take the first step when I could see only how far away the goal was?
    But now I knew this was what I needed to do. Looking back, my childhood was all about listening to my heart. And this is when I heard it again: the voice of Barbie calling me. I saw an eleven-year-old, overweight Brad Goreski in front of the television watching Jeanne Beker interview Marc Jacobs on Canadian TV, talking about his grunge collection for Perry Ellis. This was what I loved. Fashion was my calling.
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    “ This was what I loved. Fashion was my calling.”
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    I had opened myself up to the possibilities of a new life. This new life started with my telling anyone who would listen that I was looking for a job in fashion. I was sent an unlikely guardian angel in the form of Sara Switzer, an editor at Vanity Fair, who also happened to be Sandra Bernhard’s girlfriend. I was—and am still—obsessed with Sandra’s show Without You I’m Nothing. Gary and I were at a dinner party, and I was introduced to Sara. She was asking me all kinds of questions about what I was studying at school and what I wanted to do later. She took a vested interest in me and my future. I told her that a dream of

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