Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tim Gunn is the best!

Well it finally happened!  I had the opportunity to meet one of my favorite inspirational public figures Tim Gunn!  He is every thing I expected him to be and meeting him was totally a pleasure!

The first male speaker to take part in the “Smart Talk: Connected Conversations” speaker series, Tim Gunn regaled a diverse crowd with his experiences, insight, wit, and inspiration at the Arnoff Center for the Arts.  To an auditorium full of people Tim maintained the genuine and personal communication style that has placed him in the hearts of so many.

Tim described stories of the excitement and challenges of his career path. Knowing he was influential at Parson’s school of design it was interesting to hear of the polarizing nature of the reinvention and the rarely heard challenging side of this work. It was an opportunity to hear about his friendships with a number of notable fashion figures in a way that was humorous and endearing.  He provided the back ground for Project runway, and colorful behind the scenes instances.  He also spoke a bit about his upcoming show “The Revolution” ( starting Monday on ABC at 2pm EST.   Just as Project Runway was the first style show of its kind and filled a void in evening television for the fashion focused, “The Revolution” is a collaboration of inspirational figures with a common goal to bring out the best in people that, in my mind, is poised to fill the inspirational void left on daytime with Oprah’s retirement.

While Tim is most noted for his knowledge on style, his consistent message during this engagement, and woven through his books and other work, is a broader focus on helping people realize their full potential.  This evening he described his passion for making style work for women above a size 12, and making good fashion accessible to all.  He highlighted his focus on embracing what works for each person.  He also described the growing need for manners and mutual respect; a topic that is a focus in Gunn’s Golden Rule (expect a future stylish book report on this one in the future).  This evening Tim continued to prove he is not just stylish but full of relatable good taste for all areas of life.

With so many experiences to speak of it would be easy for a person to develop a cavalier attitude but not Tim.  Consistently he expressed gratitude for the opportunities of his life, the people he has worked with over the years, and the student relationships he valued through his career as an educator.  The unintentional take away lesson from these stories was the benefit of being honest, authentic, and the best person you can be.  Tim has achieved success while continuing to be honest, authentic, and truthful.  Tim not only demonstrates this but also encourages each person that it is possible to carve a path to success and maintain your best self.

The speaking engagement concluded with a question and answer session with Amy Tobin and an impromptu meet-and-greet session as fans approached the stage and formed a line to shake hands with Tim.  Being absolutely awesome Tim crouched on the stage until it became evident crouching may be uncomfortable for the line that was forming.  He hoped down off the stage, still maintaining his pristine suit and composure, continued greeting, and then there was an announcement the meet and greet would be moved to the lobby.  Not sure what to do we all shuffled around until a location was designated and a line quickly formed.  Tim took time to chat with each group, no time limit or process specified he was open and calm. 

When it was our turn for a visit I continued to be totally impressed.  He made sure to shake each of our hands while looking each person directly in the eye with a personal moment, as if the line did not exist.  My friend, God love her, pointed out that I was a jewelry designer and had auditioned for project accessory to which Tim responded, “You know what about that show?  You are a jewelry designer, how are you supposed to make a shoe?”  Yes!  Didn’t make sense to any of us at the audition either!  He is totally logical as well as gracious!  I think I stammered something about learning to make a shoe and trying again before we took a picture and I reiterated, “You are the best.  Just the best,” about three times.  It’s the truth.  Tim Gunn is the best. 
"What a good looking family!" -Tim Gunn thinking we may have all been related.

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