fbpx vie magazine subscribe button

A Self-Made Man

Living the American Dream

Interview by Lisa Burwell

What is it about Christian Siriano that makes him stand out from the crowd? One can speculate that it’s his raw talent and eye for design, uncanny entrepreneurship, unwavering belief in himself, and tireless dedication to growing his brand.

These are all necessary ingredients in the recipe for success, but what makes him shine above and beyond is his heart for people and his kindness toward all. He’s very comfortable in his own skin as well—and why shouldn’t he be? He led the way for inclusivity in the fashion industry long before it was adopted by a slew of retailers and fashion designers in more recent years. His mantra is that all women matter, and he showed the fashion industry that they were missing out by ignoring a large segment of the population of consumers. The message that “People Are People”—a Depeche Mode song whose title has appeared on a T-shirt collaboration Siriano did with the band and is now the name of his latest fragrance—reinforces that he is a disrupter and a champion, and people have taken notice.

From including body-positive and gender-fluid models in his runway shows to dressing actor and singer Billy Porter in a showstopping tuxedo-style top with a full ball-gown skirt at the Oscars this year, Siriano makes waves just by being himself and helping others to do the same. He knows and loves just about every celebrity, and they love him back. A genuine appeal is felt by all ages, sizes, colors, and creeds as he’s able to connect with people. Watching the trajectory of his career from winning Project Runway Season Four to being where he is today is awe inspiring. I am generally not one to gush, but as I watched him on Project Runway over a decade ago, I felt a connection to him; I loved his style and the way his creations draped a woman’s body. I recall telling my husband that I would wear all of the clothes he made on the show. Fast-forward to several years later, and I am frequently wearing his designs. So there you have it—I’m unabashedly a big fan.

His story is big, so it’s hard to know where to begin. As one of the stars on the current incarnation of Project Runway on Bravo a decade after his win as a contestant, Siriano is now passing on his wisdom and support to the next generation of designers. The show even filmed an episode inside Siriano’s retail brainchild, The Curated NYC, located at Five West Fifty-Fourth Street near Fifth Avenue in Midtown, now celebrating its one-year anniversary.

The Curated NYC opened in April of 2018 as a unique collaborative retail venue that is not only Siriano’s flagship store but also a designer potpourri of original art, jewelry and accessories, and home decor, as well as fashion lines by other couturiers. The midtown Manhattan store is a gorgeous late nineteenth-century neo-Renaissance townhouse that was originally designed by Robert H. Robertson for a wealthy neurologist and his socialite wife. The mansion has since been repurposed as a respite home for veterans returning from World War II and as offices for various businesses, including Fabergé from 1948 to 1970. It was meticulously restored in 1974 and then renovated again when Siriano took over the building in 2017. “I wanted customers to feel like they are in a home, that they are dressing in a beautiful closet,” the designer said following his grand opening. Lots of natural light, stunning crown moldings, rich hardwood floors, and delightful blush-pink carpet help achieve that goal.

As Siriano celebrates The Curated NYC’s first year in business and the many celebrities, friends, and customers who have already passed through its doors—not to mention having Project Runway on-site this season and creating some incredible looks for the 2019 Met Gala in his studio there—he shares his thoughts with VIE:

VIE: How has your first year been at The Curated? Congratulations on meeting this milestone!

CS: The first year of The Curated has been amazing. We have learned so much about our customers and their wants and needs. I think I reached all my goals with the store—we just wanted people to have a place where they felt comfortable to shop and excited about fashion again.

We just wanted people to have a place where they felt comfortable to shop and excited about fashion again.

VIE: What has been the response from the retail community as you’ve created a concept very different from the norm?

CS: I think other buyers and retailers have noticed that this could be a very successful business model, and it is exciting for the customers to try something new. I also think this is a business that can grow in so many cities.

Billy Porter in custom Christian Siriano at the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Billy Porter in custom Siriano at the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party | Photo by DFree / Shutterstock

VIE: How many celebrities have strolled through the doors of The Curated in the past year?

CS: We have had pretty much everyone and anyone walk into the store. It has been a mix of young and old and all different sizes of people. I love that some of our celebrity friends, even when they have a fitting for something else, find something in The Curated that they love. Our beautiful friend Christina Hendricks bought some art the other day, and we can’t wait to see where she hangs it!

VIE: How has it felt for you to return to Project Runway ten years later, sitting on the other side of the experience and being a mentor instead of a contestant?

CS: Being a mentor on the new season of Project Runway has been exciting. It is very different to be on the other side, but I think the young designers are getting a real-world mentor who is an actual designer. I try to give them advice based on the real-life experiences that I’m living in right now. So, when the designers had a red-carpet challenge, and I just happened to have dressed six people for the Met Gala, I might know something about what it takes to do a great red-carpet look. I can’t wait for everyone to see The Curated when it makes its TV debut in an upcoming episode of the show!

VIE: How do you have the courage to take so many risks and then succeed each time?

CS: I love to take some risks and think that’s the most exciting part about fashion. I think if you’re not taking risks, then this isn’t the job for you. I also think a lot of my success has had to do with all the risks that I’ve taken—everything from dressing certain people on the red carpet to collaborating with mass retailers like Payless. It is all part of a bigger picture.

VIE: What are your plans for the future of The Curated?

CS: We have so many future plans and tons of projects that we are working on right now, and the goal is to grow The Curated as much as possible—maybe even venture into another city. We are bringing on new brands all the time and are very excited to celebrate our first anniversary!

— V —


The Curated NYC is open at Five West Fifty-Fourth Street in New York City. Learn more online at TheCuratedNYC.com and ChristianSiriano.com.



Read Responsibly

VIE NOV19 Goodness Issue
VIE Magazine, September 2019 Art & Culture Issue, Paul Hanninen
VIE Magazine - August 2019 - The Architecture and Design Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2019 - The Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - June 2019 - Fashion Edit
VIE Magazine - May 2019 - Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine - April 2019 - The Health & Wellness Issue
VIE Magazine - Special Entertainment Edition - March 2019
VIE Magazine February 2019 Luxury Homes & Technology Issue with Robbie Antonio of Revolution Precrafted
VIE Magazine - January 2019 - Southern Sophisticate Issue Cover
VIE Magazine - Special Anniversary Travel Edition - December 2018
VIE Magazine - The Goodness Issue - November 2018
VIE Magazine - The Art & Culture Issue - October 2018
VIE Magazine - Home & Garden Issue - September 2018
VIE Magazine - August 2018 Animal Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2018 Architecture & Design Issue - Subscribe to the magazine!
VIE Magazine - June 2018 Travel & Tech Issue
VIE Magazine - May 2018 Couture Issue
VIE Magazine - The Culinary Issue - April 2018 Cover - Chef James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst
VIE Magazine - The Entertainers Issue - March 2018
VIE Magazine - February 2018 Destination Travel Issue
VIE Magazine - January 2018 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine, The Sophisticate Issue, December 2017
VIE Magazine - November 2017 Art & Culture Issue
VIE Magazine - October 2017 Home & Garden Issue
VIE Magazine | September 2017 | The Stories and Storytellers Issue
VIE Magazine - The Adventure Issue - August 2017
VIE Magazine - July 2017 - Art & Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - The Voyager Issue - June 2017
VIE magazine 2017 March-April Cover South Walton Fashion Week
VIE Magazine - January/February 2017 - The Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Nov/Dec 2016 The Sophisticate Issue
christian siriano vie magazine september october 2016 vie magazine
the modern minimalist issue
Summertime!
the culinary and couture issue march april 2016 vie magazine
the voyager issue alys beach vie magazine january february 2016
cultural issue vie magazine november december 2015
home and garden issue vie magazine september october 2015
the art and style issue vie magazine july august 2015
the wedding issue 2015 May June vie magazine
the food and fashion issue vie magazine march april 2015
the travel issue vie magazine january february 2015
the music issue vie magazine 2014 november december
The Animal Issue vie magazine september october 2014
the home and garden issue vie magazine july august 2014
the wedding issue vie magazine may june 2014
emeril lagasse food and fashion vie magazine
the men's issue january february 2014
the music issue november december 2013 vie magazine
the home and garden issue 2013 october september
the wedding issue vie magazine july august 2013
the artist issue may june 2013 vie magazine
the food and fashion issue march april 2013
the men's issue january february 2013 vie magazine
The Holiday Issue
the love issue july august 2012
the all american summer may june 2012
the entertainment issue march april 2012
the fashion issue vie magazine winter 2011
the home and garden issue vie magazine fall 2011
the anniversary edition vie magazine summer 2011
the wedding issue vie magazine spring 2011
vie magazine the holiday issue 2010 Dec
vintage swimsuits vie magazine 2010 Fall
judith march designer vie magazine summer 2010
wedding giveaway vie magazine spring 2010
holiday gift guide vie magazine winter 2009
emarketing explosion vie magazine fall 2009
tribute to mother's day vie magazine summer 2009
james and robert redford vie magazine spring 2009
zz top vie magazine fall winter 2008
project dreams vie magazine new york fashion week
Sign-up for VIEmail

Sign up for VIEmail

X

A LIFESTYLE