Brad Goreski, the celebrity stylist and star of Bravo's "It's a Brad, Brad World," can now add "author" to his resume. His new memoir, "Born to Be Brad," recounts how a pudgy boy from a tiny Canadian town became a fashion guru working alongside Rachel Zoe.
However, the road to fashion fame has had its ups and downs. Along the way, Goreski battled a drug addiction, interned at Vogue and found personal happiness with his partner, Gary Janetti. He talked to The Huffington Post about his journey, addressing what it was like to have been bulled growing up, his feud with Zoe and the current state of his relationship.
In "Born to Be Brad," you write about how you were bullied in school. All of the recent teen suicides related to bullying must have really hit home for you.
They really do and that was a factor in writing the book. I feel like the bullying is so out of control right now and I feel like we're kind of backtracking a little bit. It feels exactly the way it was when I was in school. I support organizations like the Trevor Project. I feel like it's very important that if you have any kind of platform and you're out and gay and had any kind of exposure like that and made it through, it's important for that story to be out there for people to see and read.
Did you ever contemplate suicide?
There were obviously times when I thought about it, but I didn't really take any actions to do so. I was definitely terrified to go to school every single day and that went all the way through high school. It never really stopped until I moved out -- moved to college and found my tribe of people.
You also write about your drug addiction. Was it a hard decision to include that in your book?
That was another kind of question in my mind -- if I was going to talk about it -- because I've been sober for 10 years now and I haven't really talked about it on a public level. A lot of people who watched the show wondered why I was always so happy and how I stayed calm in situations and didn't overreact. I would say, "Well, that's because this is new Brad. The old Brad was a completely different story."
It was another thing I wanted people to see. I have been through things in my life that really could have held me back from doing what I wanted to do and kept me in Canada, living my life, which probably would have been a very short life. I wanted people to see that actually anything is possible if you set your mind to it. You can be bullied, you can go through drug addiction and you can come out on the other side of it and go after whatever you want in the world. There's no reason why I should be going on a book tour or have a TV show or be working with celebrities, and there's no reason why, if it happened to me, that it can't happen to other people if that's what they want.
Your former boss, Rachel Zoe, doesn't talk to you anymore.
I don't really know what's at the bottom of all that. I just know that, for me, I really kept my side of the street clean and I was as honest as I could possibly be when I left. I hope when people read the book, they'll see how fondly I write of Rachel, how much I learned from her, how grateful I am for the ride she took me on, and as hard as it was, how much fun it was.
Having the chance to work with her was really great and unfortunately, at this point in our lives, she's not speaking to me. That's really her choice. I hope that one day that perspective will shift and we'll be able to move on and at least speak to each other at shows. At this point, that has not happened, so I have to stay focused on the things that are really important, which are my boyfriend, our dogs, my family and my career.
I just find it strange because normally, after a while, assistants eventually move on. She couldn't have expected you to stay.
I find it strange because there's enough to go around for everybody. I didn't just pick up one day and say, "I'm leaving." It was a drawn-out process. I helped find the person who replaced me. I gave two and a half months notice and I did everything I could to try and ensure that I would leave on good terms. That's not the way it turned out, so I have to accept that. For me to try and get into the nitty gritty of why, I just don't have the time. I'm not interested.
When you left, you had no clients. Was that a scary feeling?
Yeah, for a while. It was terrifying because I had a moment the next day where I woke up and was like, "Now what?" To say I had this whole ulterior motive … No, I didn't, because actually I didn't know what I was doing, and I just figured out what I was doing about three months ago. So it's been a really long process putting all of those pieces in place. Now I'm getting a lot of requests, but at the time I was writing the book it wasn't the way things are right now. It was definitely daunting.
Do you cringe when watching yourself sob on "It's a Brad, Brad World?"
No, because I feel like when you sign up to film a reality show, you have to have the good, the bad and the ugly, and the ugly for me comes from my crying. They're really deep, guttural, ugly cries. That's who I am. It's become kind of a joke and I like that.
Do you and your partner Gary act like an old married couple?
Let's just say, last night we were having dinner at the Manzo's (Caroline Manzo from "Real Housewives of New Jersey") and we were playing "Celebrity" and I was the person who wrote all the names. It was Gary's turn and he goes, "Is it an actor?" and we all say, "Yes," and he says, "Is it Zac Efron?" And everybody says, "Yeah! How did you know?" He said, "Because I looked around the room and I saw what other people Brad had written down, and Zac Efron was the only one left out." So that's the state of our relationship. That explains it all.