If you’ve watched anything on Bravo over the past decade, you can be certain that Andy Cohen had a hand in it, whether in developing hugely influential shows like Top Chef, hosting countless Housewives reunions, or presiding over the nightly hijinks on Watch What Happens Live. And whether or not you follow Nene, Kenya, Bethenny and the rest of the Bravolebrities the way some guys follow sports, there’s one thing we can all agree on: Andy Cohen knows how to look sharp. (Pick up a copy of his memoir, Most Talkative, out this week in paperback, and you’ll learn the man knows how to write, too.) We were so impressed with Andy’s classically colorful style that we asked him to curate a sale on Gilt, which goes live Wednesday, April 3, at noon ET. First, though, get the lowdown from Mr. Cohen on what inspires his signature look.
How do you define your style?
I like a modern take on classic menswear: classic suiting that’s maybe a little more fitted, and maybe being a little more bold with mixing plaids and color. In menswear, it’s so hard to make a statement because there aren’t that many variations on a standard suit. I don’t want to look foolish, but I want to have fun, and I want my clothes to express my personality.
You have a very assured sense of color. Where does that come from?
I’m very specific. I think you saw that when we were going through what we’re including in this sale. I’ve never been afraid to mix up patterns and color. It’s just part of my personality. All the clothes combine to make exactly the kind of suits and combos that I would wear on TV. It’s a mix of classic with color and fun, and the ties are all the width that I wear.
Did getting in front of the camera influence the way you dress?
No, I’ve always appreciated a good suit. We made a conscious choice when I started the show that I would have a suit on, and I think one of the challenges with wearing a suit every day is you want to keep it fresh.
And you’ve got great taste in shoes.
I have gotten a lot more experimental with shoes over the last year. When the show got stripped [TV lingo for going from weekly to daily], Michael Davies, my executive producer, gave me a very beautiful pair of brown Ferragamo shoes that he got me to “stomp over the competition,” as I think the card went.
You’re a pro at wearing a brown shoe with a gray suit.
I love a brown shoe with a gray suit, and I love a brown shoe with a blue suit. And I occasionally get crazy emails and tweets that say “you can’t wear a brown shoe with a blue suit, or a gray suit!” and I say “You’re absolutely wrong!” The only shoe I wouldn’t wear a brown shoe with is a black suit, but otherwise I love a brown shoe. I think I’m going to wear a brown shoe tonight, as a matter of fact.
Well, good. We’ve accomplished something here.
Yes we have.
One thing I do want to talk about is the pony tail…
Yeah. I put every bad hair decision and every embarrassing photo I had in my book because it’s fun to laugh at others, and I think it’s fun to laugh at me. I did have a pony tail in the early ‘90s. I kind of went through a Deadhead thing in the late ‘80s and had wild hair, and it culminated in me getting a makeover on the morning show at CBS, and once I got my haircut it was like, “What was I doing all these years?” It was ridiculous.
There’s a lesson in there for all the folks back home.
There’s hope for all those guys with ponytails.
Aside from yourself, who’s the most stylish guy on Bravo?
It’s the guys from Million Dollar Decorators, Jeffrey Allen Marks and Ross Cassidy. They’re incredibly stylish.
Somewhere, Brad Goreski is fuming right now.
Brad of course is the most stylish—what am I thinking! He’s also the most daring. And then on TV in general, I think Anderson [Cooper]’s pretty stylish, and Matt Lauer, I think, is amazing.
Big congrats on the release of the paperback of Most Talkative, which — in addition to expanding the 360-degree brand that is Andy Cohen — also happens to be quite hilarious. When’s the next book coming out?
I’m working on it—and by that I mean I haven’t started thinking about it. I love writing, it’s very fun, but I’m very deadline oriented—I need a deadline. Writing this book was a really fun experience, and like nothing I’ve ever done in my life.
What advice do you have to all the kids out there striving to get their mugs on Bravo?
Oh my gosh. Be talented at something, other than just being a great personality. Look, the Housewives are their own entity, but I would say that everyone else is a great chef of stylist or businessperson… so I think just be talented. That’s my advice for anybody.
Shop Andy’s picks — including signed copies of the book — starting April 3 at noon ET, and don’t miss his Gilt City sale, which also goes live April 3 and includes great spots like The Palm; The Standard, High Line; The Mondrian Soho; STK Downtown; and Barry’s Bootcamp.