BY Brandon Voss
February 01 2010 7:05 PM ET
So are you easier on gay employees than you are on the straight girls?
Yeah, I am. The girls can get really cranky and mean, but my gay sons and I have a lot of fun during the day.
Gay characters have been conspicuously absent from The Hills and The City on MTV. Will that change since Kell on Earth is on Bravo?
Are you kidding me? Yes, we have the best guys in my office — who, by the way, now want to only be referred to as “the gays.”
Tell me about Andrew Mukamal, your assistant and Kell on Earth costar.
I love Andrew. Isn’t he hot? I once said to him, “I don’t really think you’re gay. I think you’re just trying to get into the fashion business.” He was like, “No, it’s just that no guys want to have sex with me right now.” So we took a survey in the office to see how many girls wanted to have sex with Andrew, and we all raised our hands. But now he has a boyfriend — well, he probably wouldn’t be happy for me to say that because I’m sure he doesn’t want to close his options off, but he met somebody he likes. Andrew’s like my Rob Camilletti and my Wednesday Addams all rolled into one, but sometimes I have to say, “Andrew, you can’t wear skirts during this meeting — and I don’t care if it’s a skort.” He once said, “Yeah, I spend all my money on clothes. What else would you spend your money on?” I was like, “Oh, my God, that’s the meanest thing you could say in America right now!”
Under the heading “Top Ten Career Don’ts — Or, How Not to Get a Career in Fashion” in your book, you write, “Do not overemphasize your nationality or gender as a way of making a point. You may be a gay man, but you still have no right to wear a skirt and twirl around in the middle of the room proclaiming you’re king of the fairies.”
Yeah, that is so not OK. Even if you’re the greatest queen of all time, you have to tone it down in the middle of the day. There’s another Andrew in the office — we call him “Tandrew” — who’s like this pixie version of George Hamilton’s offspring. I tell him he can’t just whiz around calling me “Miss Thing” all day long. Express yourself, but don’t overexpress yourself — unless you’re asked to, of course, and then I expect you to do it immediately. Pablo Olea, our showroom director, only walks as if he’s doing runway — even when he’s just going to the fax machine. He doesn’t say much, but sometimes he wears a cape and sometimes he’ll come by my desk and put the cape over my head like a matador. And every once in a while he’ll put on all the samples from clients who haven’t paid their bills and do a full fashion show in the middle of the office.
Some fashion critics in recent years have blamed many of the fashion industry’s problems — boyish figures of female models, unflattering tent dresses, uncomfortable women’s wear — on gay male designers, which stems from the idea that they aren’t sexually attracted to women and therefore don’t truly understand women’s bodies. Is there any validity to that argument?
No. People don’t understand that it’s society that’s powerful, not the artist. It’s the craziest thing, but the power is really in the hands of the consumer. It’s society that’s pointing younger, thinner, better, more, so the fashion, music, movie, and TV people are just giving the people at home what they want. It’s a gladiator sport. Just from being on TV, I’ve seen how mean people can be and how they want you to conform to and look like what they want to see. They become very aggravated and agitated if you don’t, but I’m not Heidi, so I’m not going to go out and have 10 surgeries until you think I look good.
Speaking of fashionable gays, what do you think about CocoPerez, Perez Hilton’s celebrity fashion blog?
You gotta love the queen of all media.
One major aspect of your life and career you don’t explore in your book is the exposure you’ve received from the MTV shows. Why did you avoid discussing that?
I love The City and I’m really grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to be on that — I’m actually filming the third season right now — but I didn’t want to refer to my television life because I wanted to make a book that could sit on the shelf for a while. I didn’t want somebody to buy my book in 10 years, see me talking about this TV show, and have it be like a “So ’80s, Where Are They Now?” thing.
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