By Laura Schmidt ~ “A top-tier New York City-based stylist and image consultant, as well as a Cherry Grove resident who has worked with fashion leaders and A-list store directors, Brescia dresses women for a living,” is how FIN Book Review columnist Rita Plush described George Brescia in 2018 when she reviewed his book “Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life: Because You Can’t Go Naked.” He is now living in Pennsylvania and is a full-time presenter on the home shopping channel QVC.
Fire Island News (FIN): So, George, you’re a style expert, television personality, author and brand ambassador on QVC, but before we get into that, I wanted to talk a little about your life before the red carpets. I read that your mother was also in the fashion industry. What did she do and how did it influence your own career path?
George Brescia: (GB): You did your research! Yes, I grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut. My mother had a clothing store and she had sort of worked her way up in fashion. It affected me because she used to bring me into New York on buying trips, it was a huge part of our life. My mom and dad were very young when they had me. So that was kind of fun because she was a young mom and she loved fashion. She was very expressive and stressed how important it is to look your best, feel your best and how clothing can really affect the way you feel when you put yourself together.
FIN: Can you tell me a bit about your relationship with Cherry Grove?
GB: I started coming to Cherry Grove, I’m going say 15 or 20 years ago. And I had never seen anything like it. The people are so friendly and so inclusive there. I remember the first year we rented a house and it felt like being at camp. Because in New York, living in the city, you have friends but you would go out to dinner. Rarely would someone have you over because you had such small spaces. But Fire Island it’s dead opposite. You meet friends and [they say], ‘Oh, come over for dinner tonight’ or ‘Come sit with us on the beach.’ The inclusivity was so amazing to me that I just loved it and we developed friends. It became such a happy place for me.
FIN: Your career has taken you all over. Most recently, you’re a brand ambassador on QVC, can you tell me how you got into that role and what’s that been like?
GB: In the last year or so, I met and was brought in to be the brand ambassador for a brand called LOGO by Lori Goldstein, a really famous stylist who worked with Annie Leibovitz and did covers for Vanity Fair. She won the MTV Style Award and she’s dressed every celebrity in the book. And she’s developed her own line for QVC and then they brought me in to be the brand ambassador when she’s not available. I was doing it freelance for a year and then, in May of 2020, they approached me about being full-time and moving to Pennsylvania. It’s been amazing. I love it here in Pennsylvania.
FIN: How did you get to be so cool and collected talking on live television on top of interviewing A-list celebrities?
GB: I had been a performer, a singer, done some acting and certainly dancing so I’m comfortable in that way. And I also had a whole career in fashion. I worked for Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karen. So I really put the two together. It felt very natural to me. I mean, I get nervous, but it’s a nervous excitement. So it was never debilitating to me to be on television talking about fashion because I love it! And I also love performing so I try to present the information in an entertaining way while still helping people so they always have a takeaway. Fashion is fun. If you’re not having fun, something is wrong.
FIN: Of your many services (private client styling, on-air segments, red carpet styling) which do you get most excited about and why?
GB: I love it all! The thing that excites me the most is when I’m helping anyone. Doesn’t matter who they are. If it’s a man, a woman, a celebrity, it doesn’t matter. It’s when they look in the mirror and they discover themselves. That I have put clothing on them, and it’s always a partnership, and they look in the mirror like, ‘Oh, wow, this looks great’ or ‘I feel great,’ and they stand up straighter and they smile and their eyes are twinkling a little bit and they become the person that they want to be and they see that. I call it discovering themselves. That brings me the most joy.
FIN: You have been featured on NBC’s “Today Show,” CBS, ABC and FOX. With all these platforms to share your fashion wisdom, what inspired you to write your book “Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life: Because You Can’t Go Naked”?
GB: The inspiration of writing my book was that I was dressing all of these Broadway and Hollywood actresses, and I realized that when we would help them dress for an audition, how they dressed could make all the difference on whether or not they got the part. So I thought to myself this is what happens in real life. When you see someone, you make a story in your head about what you’re seeing. Maybe what their job is, where they’re from, how old they are. I needed to write a book about this and all the tips and tricks I’ve learned through the years of making people look and feel their best and how I can get people to be present to the way they’re being perceived and the clothing that they’re wearing and how to take that and work it to their advantage. In other words, it’s like dress for the job you want not necessarily the job you have. But you can do that every day. And that’s where “Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life” comes from because you’re worth it. You have to put something on, you’re required to wear clothing by law, so you might as well wear the clothes that make you look and feel fantastic and have people perceive you the way you want to be perceived.
FIN: How has the pandemic affected your personal style?
GB: Like everyone, we’ve all become much more casual. We’ve all been basically living in some form of loungewear. At the same time, doing all the Zoom calls, being seen by more people than we’ve ever been seen by because any time you want to talk to someone, nine times out of 10, especially in business, we’re on a Zoom call or FaceTime or Skype. So because of that, in some ways, I think people have had to get themselves together a little bit more than they’ve ever had to. Especially in terms of grooming and hair and putting on a great color and putting on a shirt that looks really good on camera. So I think it’s made everyone, myself included, a little more self-aware.
FIN: What are you most looking forward to this summer as the world re-opens safely?
GB: I’m looking forward to spending time with people and being able to hug. I’m Italian and I’m very affectionate and I like being able to show that affection. So I’m really excited to be able to do that and feel safe doing it. And for my career, I think it’s fun sometimes to be in the studio and I’m excited to get back into the studio at some point at QVC so I can be with the host and the models in person and have fun and play together for the audience.
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