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As the cohost of E! Entertainment’s “Fashion Police” and the new spokesperson for Century 21 department stores, George Kotsiopoulos is getting the last laugh on style.
WWD: The hilarious “Fashion Police” panel loves to dish on everyone’s style, but you are in fact the only one of the cohosts with actual street cred in the industry. How does that play out?
George Kotsiopoulos: I was hired as the fashion expert, the voice of reason. We all have our roles: Kelly [Osbourne] is the It girl, G [Giuliana Rancic] is the face of E! and the most accessible voice, and Joan [Rivers] makes everyone laugh. I’m definitely the one defending incredible lines like Rodarte and Lanvin.
WWD: You began your career as a publicist, then went into styling for The New York Times Magazine, and now you do TV. Explain the transitions.
G.K.: When I was a publicist I was, in a word, miserable. I remember saying to myself, “I want a job where I don’t begin dreading going into work on Sunday.” I kind of fell into the New York Times and I loved the job, the publication and [stylist] Elizabeth Stewart, and it gave me credibility. But in the end, editorial was not going to make me financially secure. Getting into TV was a lot more practical for me than some quest for fame. And let’s face it — I didn’t want to be schlepping dresses around when I’m 60.
WWD: Between the show, the Century 21 gig and your freelance styling, that’s a whole lot of fashion. What do you do to unwind?
G.K.: The usual. I travel, shop, entertain friends at home. The nice thing about L.A. is it’s sort of like a vacation year round. There are always fun social things to do that fill up my calendar, and everyone’s friends — everyone being personalities, editors, publicists. I just went to the amfAR gala as a guest of Piaget and Katy Perry performed, and Calvin Klein invited me to the Elle Women in Hollywood event. It’s fun out here and it keeps me busy.
WWD: You’ve worn things such as a silver lamé smoking jacket, or bright yellow pants that looked fun and playful rather than garish. What’s the secret for a man to wear a statement item well?
G.K.: If you’re going to wear a wow piece, everything else has to be conservative and kind of nothing. I just got this Adam Kimmel tropical-print jacket and the only thing that works with it are a pair of dark pants, a dark shirt and tie. I mean come on, I love fashion but I don’t want to look like a clown.
WWD: What are your guilty pleasures?
G.K.: “RuPaul’s Drag Race” — it just makes me happy, and my latest obsession is “Love It or List It.” It’s filmed in Canada and their accents are all “PRO-gress” and “OW-t” and “a-BOUT.” And don’t get me started on The Hub. It’s this network dedicated to old sitcoms and let’s just say if “The Facts of Life” is on, I’m watching it.
WWD: Any aspirations for the future?
G.K: Well, a book and a clothing line are some things I’m working on. But at this moment I think “Two Broke Girls” is the new “Laverne & Shirley.” God, I’m so not an actor, but insert plug here: I want to play the rich girl’s stylist from her former life. Just saying.