Gunn, Tim 1953-
Gunn, Tim 1953-
Born July 29, 1953, in Washington, DC; son of George William (an FBI administrator) and Nancy (a CIA employee and librarian) Gunn. Education: Corcoran College of Art & Design, B.A.
Home—New York, NY.
Writer, designer, fashion consultant, television personality, lecturer, public speaker, and educator. Project Runway (television program), BravoTV Network, consultant and advisor, 2004—. Corcoran College of Art & Design, Washington, DC, assistant director of admissions; Parsons, The New School for Design, New York, NY, began in admissions, 1983, became associate dean, department of fashion design, chair, 2000-2007, honorary chair of fashion design, 2007—. Liz Claiborne, Inc., chief creative officer, 2007—. Tim Gunn's Guide to Style (a reality television program), host and star, 2007. Worked in architectural firms in Washington, DC. Frequent guest on television networks, including CBS, NBC, and the Metro Channel, and on programs such as Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, Rachael Ray, Tonight Show, The View, Today, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Entertainment Tonight, Colbert Report, and the Megan Mullally Show.
(With Kate Moloney) Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste, & Style, Abrams Image (New York, NY), 2007.
Tim Gunn is a fashion consultant and educator who, through talent and determination, has risen to become one of America's best-loved television personalities. Well known to viewers of Bravo TV's Project Runway, a reality show pitting a group of fashion designers against each other in a variety of real-world creative challenges, the immaculately dressed and serenely mannered Gunn is an avuncular figure offering practical advice to the struggling designers on the show. Gentle but firm, considerate but honest, Gunn encourages the contestants to put forth their best effort, and, in what has become his well-known catchphrase, to take a project and "make it work."
Gunn attended the Corcoran College of Art & Design, where he earned a B.A. in sculpture. After working as a model-builder for a number of Washington, DC, design firms, and a stint at Corcoran as assistant director of admissions, he accepted a position at Parsons, the New School for Design, in New York, NY. His first job at Parsons, as a member of the admissions staff, would echo a theme that continues to be an important part of Gunn's professional mission. As a part of the admissions office, he began as an advisor to incoming students, offering advice on their projects, portfolios, and creative work. Gunn advanced through the ranks at Parsons to become the associate dean, and in 2000 was named the chair of the department of fashion design. Gunn's creative input and administrative savvy helped the Parsons school remain among the top design schools in the country.
In 2004, Gunn was hired by Bravo to serve as mentor and advisor to the sometimes volatile contestants on Project Runway. His on-camera appearances meshed with the viewing audience, and soon Gunn had become a full-fledged television star in his own right. Gunn has expressed some bemusement, and gratitude, at becoming so well-known after the age of fifty. "I think it's a huge advantage," he stated in an interview on E Online. "I'm experienced enough and mature enough to have a perspective on all this and to know to enjoy it, because it's going to go away as quickly as it arrived. I'm also extremely pleased that people respond to the person they see on the TV, because that is who I really am."
In 2007, Gunn left Parsons for an executive position as chief creative officer for Liz Claiborne, Inc. There, he works with the designers of the diverse Claiborne group of labels and helps them to solidify their goals. "It's a role that's very much like my role here at Parsons: I'm a mentor, I'm a cheerleader, I'm a truth-teller, I'm an advocate," he told Margeaux Watson on EW.com.
Still involved with Project Runway and with a new Bravo series, Tim Gunn's Guide to Style, Gunn is also now an author, having penned Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste, & Style. In the book, Gunn focuses on all aspects of creating an individual personal style, one that accentuates positive features and reflects the person's own distinct tastes. A Joplin Globe reviewer called Gunn's book a "fun and informative read." Gunn's "fans will be very satisfied with this all-encompassing how-to, especially those of us who could use a little polish," remarked Anna Garner on the Divine Caroline Web site. Christopher Cappiello, writing on the IN Los Angeles Magazine Web site, observed that "Gunn dispenses his pearls with wit, clarity, and an appealingly wry humor."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Connecticut Post, April 30, 2007, Eileen Fischer, "Tim Gunn Adds Author to His Resume," review of Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste, & Style.
Daily News Record, February 5, 2007, Jean Scheidnes, "Making Waves," interview with Tim Gunn, p. 14.
Daily Variety, January 5, 2007, Robert Hofler, "Tim Gunn," p. 16.
Entertainment Weekly, July 28, 2006, Margeaux Watson and Hannah Tucker, "Top Gunn," profile of Tim Gunn, p. 32; September 7, 2007, Tim Stack, "Letting It Out: Tim Gunn," interview with Tim Gunn, p. 30.
Fortune, April 16, 2007, Christopher Tkaczyk, "A Reality Star Takes on a Dowdy Brand," profile of Tim Gunn, p. 29.
Hartford Courant, April 23, 2007, Greg Morago, "Advice for Students of Style: Designer Tim Gunn Thinks of Himself as a Fashion Educator, Not Arbiter of Taste."
Houston Chronicle, September 5, 2007, Joy Sewing, "Q&A; Tim Gunn Takes Aim at Real Women; Style Icon's New Show Offers Up a Fashion Education," p. 1.
Joplin Globe (Birmingham, AL), October 12, 2007, Linda Cannon, "Make It Work with Tim Gunn's New Guide," review of Tim Gunn.
Newsweek, September 10, 2007, Ramin Setoodeh, "Newsmakers," interview with Tim Gunn, p. 59.
New York, July 9, 2006, Tara Ariano, "Sharp-Dressed Man: Tim Gunn," interview with Tim Gunn.
People, May 14, 2007, Beth Perry, "Smoking Gunn," profile of Tim Gunn, p. 113.
Redbook, August, 2006, "60 Seconds with Tim Gunn: Perfect Your Look with Tips from Project Runway's Head Fashion Honcho," p. 23.
Seattle Times, March 14, 2006, Pamela Sitt, "Smoking Gunn: The Project Runway Guru Speaks," profile of Tim Gunn.
Tribune (Mesa, AZ), November 24, 2007, Marija Potkonjak, "Top Gunn: A Fashion Guru Talks about What Clothes Say and Why So Many People Trust His Design Sense," interview with Tim Gunn.
USA Today, August 20, 2007, Olivia Barker, "At Home: Tim Gunn Makes It Work in His NYC Apartment," profile of Tim Gunn.
WWD, February 1, 2007, Whitney Beckett, "Liz's Hired Gunn: CEO McComb Makes Exec Moves," p. 3; May 1, 2007, Whitney Beckett, "Liz Claiborne Sponsors Tim Gunn Scholarship," p. 12.
After Elton,http://www.afterelton.com/ (August 29, 2007), James Hillis, interview with Tim Gunn.
AOL Television,http://television.aol.com/ (January 17, 2008), "Project Runway Guru Makes It Work with ‘Style,’" interview with Tim Gunn.
Associated Content,http://www.associatedcontent.com/ (November 26, 2007), Nancy Lichtenstein, review of Tim Gunn.
Bravo TV, Project Runway Web site,http://www.bravotv.com/Project_Runway/ (January 17, 2008), biography of Tim Gunn.
Divine Caroline,http://www.divinecaroline.com/ (January 17, 2008), Anna Garner, review of Tim Gunn.
E Online,http://www.eonline.com/ (January 17, 2008), "Always in Style: Project Runway's Tim Gunn."
EW.com,http://www.ew.com/ (January 17, 2008), Margeaux Watson, "Making It Work," interview with Tim Gunn.
Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (January 17, 2008), filmography of Tim Gunn.
Oasis Magazine,http://www.oasisjournals.com/ (May 11, 2007), Jeff Walsh, interview with Tim Gunn.
Parsons, the New School for Design Web site,http://www.parsons.newschool.edu/ (January 17, 2008).
Salon.com,http://www.salon.com/ (September 11, 2007), Sarah Karnasiewicz, "Conversations: Tim Gunn."
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Web log,http://blog.seattlepi.nnsource.com/ (January 17, 2008), Melanie McFarland, interview with Tim Gunn.
Time Online,http://www.time.com/ (January 17, 2008), Deirdre Van Dyk, "Ten Questions: Tim Gunn."
Washington Post Online,http://www.washingtonpost.com/ (September 26, 2006), "Tim Gunn's Take on Fall Fashion," transcript of online chat with Tim Gunn.