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Q&A with Tim Gunn

Liz Claiborne Inc. and Project Runway’s Tim Gunn chats with the Current about the “Lucky You Runway Contest,”

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Best known as the sharply dressed mentor of developing fashion designers on Lifetime’s Project Runway, Tim Gunn has recently emerged as an actor (Gossip Girl, Sex and the City 2, The Smurfs) and bestselling author (A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style and Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making it Work). Also an LGBT-rights advocate, Gunn has spoken on behalf of the It Gets Better Project ( and The Trevor Project ( The former Chair of the Department of Fashion Design at Parsons The New School for Design ― where he was a member of the administration and faculty for more than two decades ― Gunn is now chief creative officer of Liz Claiborne Inc., the company behind brands like Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Mexx, and Lucky Brand. Gunn comes to The Shops at La Cantera for Saturday’s “Lucky You Runway Contest.”

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.
Thank you for talking to me. What time is it there?

It’s 9 in the morning.
Oh, OK. So you’re an hour behind. I was worried it was two hours. And I thought, if it’s 8 o’clock he’ll kill me.

No. So will this be your first time in San Antonio?
It really will be, I’m looking forward to it.

Well, it’s a lovely place and we’re excited to have you.
Thank you.

I’m curious. With this fashion show, does it matter if people buy something at Lucky Brand or is it for anyone?
Anyone can attend. There's no charge for attending. … But for purchases of $100, we have a professional photo taken.

That part makes sense; I was curious more about the participants in the show, the casting and all that. Do [the models] have to be customers?
No, no, not at all. We're promoting, I'm not sure how we're promoting it, but we're doing an open call for models ― for regular people, men and women — to walk in the show alongside professional models. But no, no they don't have to be Lucky customers at all.

I love the idea that it’s all shapes and sizes.
Well that's what I love too. Because there are a few things that are more off-putting than fashion shows with models who are not even remotely like your own size and shape. You just think, well of course she or he looks good in that, they're 16 years old, they're built like a reed.

So Fashion Week just being over in New York, did you enjoy it this season?
You know, I have to tell you I was barely there this season. We had our Project Runway show the second day of fashion week, which was a Friday, and I saw a couple of shows on Saturday and Sunday and that was it because I had to travel. I had to be in Washington during Fashion Week with Mrs. Obama.

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