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Tim Gunn

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Tim Gunn

Tim Gunn
Gunn attending the 81st Academy Awards
Born Timothy M. Gunn
(1953-07-29) July 29, 1953
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Residence Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Nationality American
Education BFA, Sculpture
Alma mater Corcoran College of Art and Design
Occupation Fashion consultant, television personality, chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne, Inc.
Known for Fashion
Home town Washington, D.C., U.S. (raised),
New York City, New York, U.S.
Board member of
Liz Claiborne, Inc.

Timothy M. "Tim" Gunn (born July 29, 1953) is an American fashion consultant, television personality, actor, and voice actor. He was on the faculty of Parsons The New School for Design from 1982 to 2007 and was chair of fashion design at the school from August 2000 to March 2007, after which he joined Liz Claiborne as its chief creative officer. He is well known as on-air mentor to designers on the reality television program Project Runway. Gunn's popularity on Project Runway led to 2 spin-off shows, Bravo's Tim Gunn's Guide to Style and Lifetime's "Under the Gunn", as well as his book A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style. He also provides the voice of Baileywick, the castle steward in the Disney Junior television show Sofia the First.

Early life

Gunn was born and raised in FBI agent during the administration of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.[1][2] Gunn was a champion swimmer throughout high school,[1] and later attended the Corcoran College of Art and Design, receiving a BFA in sculpture.[3]

Gunn, who is gay, was raised in an intensely homophobic household and viewed homosexuals as predators.[3] According to a video Gunn created for the It Gets Better project, he attempted to commit suicide at the age of 17 by swallowing over 100 pills.[4] He denied his sexual orientation until his early twenties, and didn't share it with anyone in his family until he came out to his sister when he was 29.[3]


Gunn started working at Parsons in 1982 and served as associate dean from 1989–2000, then became chair in August 2000. He was credited with "retooling and invigorating the curriculum for the 21st century."[5]

Gunn began appearing on Project Runway during its first season in 2004, and is known for his catchphrase "Make it work." Gunn received a Primetime Emmy Award in 2013 for Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program.[6] Tim Gunn's Guide to Style, a reality show in which Gunn gives advice to the fashion-challenged, debuted in September 2007 on the Bravo television network.

Gunn also played a version of himself as a reporter for the fictional Fashion TV in two episodes of ABC's Ugly Betty in February 2007[7] and later guest starred on Drop Dead Diva in August 2009 as himself.

Gunn left Parsons in 2007 and joined Liz Claiborne, Inc. as the company's chief creative officer in March of that year.[8]

In April 2007, Abrams Image Publishers released Gunn's book A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style, co-written with Kate Moloney, cover photo by Markus Klinko & Indrani. While on tour in Palm Springs, California, the nearby city of Palm Desert honored him with an official resolution declaring April 27, 2007 (the day of his visit) "Timothy M. Gunn Day". He was also presented with a certificate by the city of Palm Springs and a plaque by the nearby city of Rancho Mirage in recognition of his career achievements.[9]

In May 2009, Gunn served as commencement speaker at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and received an honorary doctorate from the institution.[10]

He makes sporadic appearances on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson's "Dear Aquaman" segments, helping or standing in for Aquaman (Ferguson), answering letters and dispensing advice.[11]

He guest starred as Barney's personal tailor on the 100th episode of How I Met Your Mother.[12]

Gunn guest starred as himself on the 6th episode of CW's fourth season of Gossip Girl, "Easy J".[13]

In other media

In August 2007, "Tim Gunn's Podcast (a reality chamber opera)" by Jeffrey Lependorf premiered at the Cornelia Street Cafe in Manhattan.[14] It received its first run one year later at New York International Fringe Festival.

Gunn appeared in a backup story in the first issue of Models Inc., a fashion-themed comic book miniseries published by Marvel Comics that debuted in September 2009 to coincide with New York City's style showcase. Gunn appeared on a variant cover of the issue illustrated by Phil Jimenez. In the series, which is written by Project Runway fan Mark Sumerak and illustrated by Jimenez, Gunn dons the Iron Man armor to foil an attack against the New York Fashion Museum.[15]

Gunn appeared in the opening skit on the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards to style Jimmy Fallon to look like Bruce Springsteen, from his Born in the USA album.

In 2014, he participated in Do I Sound Gay?, a documentary film by David Thorpe about stereotypes of gay men's speech patterns.[16]

Personal life

Tori Spelling and Gunn co-presenting at an event in November 2007.

Gunn lives in Manhattan.[17] In a 2006 interview with Instinct, Gunn stated that he had not been in a relationship since the early 1980s, following the abrupt end of a six-year relationship, and that he still loves his former partner, though they are not in contact.

Gunn came out as celibate in 2012. He later stated that he is unashamed of this fact saying, "Do I feel like less of a person for it? No… I’m a perfectly happy and fulfilled individual.” [18]

Gunn is an outspoken critic of clothing designs using animal fur. In 2008, he narrated a video[19] about rabbit fur farming in China for animal rights group PETA. He termed the treatment of animals used for fur as "egregiously irresponsible".[20]

Gunn endorsed Christine Quinn's candidacy for Mayor of New York City in the 2013 mayoral election.[21]


Published works


  1. ^ a b "10 Things You Need To Know About Tim Gunn". Radar Magazine. 
  2. ^ "Marilyn Frazier Dies". 1995-06-08. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  3. ^ a b c Randy Shulman (27 September 2007). "Naked Gunn: Bravo's style maven and gay icon, Tim Gunn". Metro Weekly. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  4. ^ "Tim Gunn Reveals Suicide Attempt, Urges Gay Youth to Reach Out". 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  5. ^ "Tim Gunn's Bio",  
  6. ^ "Project Runway |". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Tim Gunn and Kathy Griffin to guest-star on Ugly Betty",  
  8. ^ "Liz Claiborne Press Release",  
  9. ^ "California Gunn",  
  10. ^ "Corcoran Gallery of Art". 
  11. ^ "Craig Ferguson - Dear Aquaman with Tim Gunn Season 6 Episode 980".  
  12. ^ Kate Stanhope. "Tim Gunn and Kenny Rogers to appear on How I Met Your Mother". 
  13. ^ "Tim Gunn to Guest-Star on Gossip Girl". Retrieved August 17, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Jeffrey Lependorf composer / performer". Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  15. ^ "Introducing Marvel Comics' Hired Gunn",  
  16. ^ "'Do I Sound Gay?': Toronto Review". The Hollywood Reporter, September 8, 2014.
  17. ^ McClear, Sheila. "‘Project Runway’ mentor takes no prisoners". New York Post. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  18. ^ Lynch, Rene (2012-01-25), "Tim Gunn's 29 years of celibacy: Yes, it's unusual, expert says",  
  19. ^ "Fashion Victims, Narrated by Tim Gunn". Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  20. ^ "The Discerning Brute Chats With Tim Gunn About Going Fur Free". February 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  21. ^ Belonsky, Andrew (2013-07-25). "WATCH: Tim Gunn In For Quinn". OUT magazine. 

External links

  • Tim Gunn at the Internet Movie Database
  • Lifetime TV's official websiteProject Runway
  • Chicago Tribune (December 1, 2005): "A chat with Tim Gunn of 'Project Runway'"
  • The New York Times (Apr. 12, 2007): "The Headmaster of Fashion"
  • Interview: Sarah's Backstage Pass: Sarah Adamson "Style for the Suburban Woman"
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