Jeremy Brandrick

Age 41, New York City, NY - Out Episode 9

Describe your family?

2 gay men with kids via surrogacy. Very close extended family whom we see as often as possible, but distance from them can be a problem!

Current occupation?

I have worked at super and less super companies, but it has all been fun! Oh but I also worked in clothes shops and shoe shops as well as waitering and bartending whilst putting myself through college.

Pets?

None now. I did have a mother-and-son cat and kitten called Chanel and Fendi when I was younger, as I loved the idea of shouting their names down the garden when it was time for them to come home to sleep.

Nicknames?

None really. Jem is a family nickname. I introduced myself as Jerry for a few years when I hated the name Jeremy, but I’m over that now.

When did you realize you had designer potential?

At high school. I knew my math and physics were no good for architecture, which was my 1st love, so I decided to do a course in interior design instead. That was sooooo boring, and I made a lot of friends on the fashion course and it seemed so much fun that I decided to swap, so did so at age 17 and have never done anything else.

First garment you ever made? 

OMG, that is a long time ago! For my 1st ever college interview I "customized" a few things in a really bad way, but the one thing I do remember designing was a swimsuit with chiffon fish hanging off the legs and huge puffy sleeves! Thankfully, no sketch exists…

What's your design training/schooling, etc.?

As good as it can get. The best college in the world for my Masters, Central Saint Martins in London, the only college to show during London Fashion Week, brilliant tutors for my initial start in fashion as well as my Masters, then a career that has taken me truly global. I have worked for Dolce and Gabbana in Milan, was head of Menswear at Mulberry, ran 1/3 of the Marks and Spencer business in the U.K. and many things in the U.S., celebrity brands and so on. It has been an amazing ride so far.

Have you won any awards for your designs/work related to design?

Yes, at college I won a competition to design outfits for the Olympic committee in England. They were  made by the U.K.’s biggest retailer, which I oversaw, and I won a trip to Milan.

Strengths as a designer?

I have good technical skills and the ability to solve problems. I am also a really good, versatile designer!

Weaknesses as a designer?

I like perfection in everything that I do and am disappointed when something doesn’t quite look how I imagined it to be.

What are your influences?

I love photography but especially American photography from the '50s to the early '90s, people like Nan Goldin, Larry Clarke, Robert Mapplethorpe, etc., more reportage and photographing the seedier underbelly of life as opposed to the slick, polished side. Then I make it slick and polished and modern. I also love architecture and street culture.

What's playing on your iPod when you're designing?

A really broad range: Snow Patrol, Rihanna, Eurythmics, Adele, Glee!

Favorite material or fabric to work with?

Any, no preference. They all have challenges and opportunities.

Item you're most proud of designing? 

Any of my wedding gowns, items when I worked for big companies that sold hundreds of thousands of units. I’m not really vain like that. Everything comes from my fingertips, so I am proud of it all. My mom has gone up to people and told them I designed something that they were wearing, which is nice, and I have seen clothes I have designed in major Hollywood films too, which was a lovely surprise!

Favorite designer(s)?

Raf Simons, Dries Van Noten, Riccardo Tisci, Alber Elbaz, Karl Lagerfeld, some of the oldies like YSL (not what Slimane is doing now, which is rubbish), have always loved Dior.

Sketch or drape?

Sketch 1st.

Patterns or solids?

Both equally.

Favorite colors?

White number one, red, blue.

Biggest fear as a designer?

None.

Fashion must?

Well-fitting clothes.

Fashion faux pas that drives you crazy?

Socks worn with sandals, people who don’t take the labels off clothes or who leave the vents on jackets stitched closed (always men that one), price tags left on shoes, garment labels hanging out the back of the neck.

Ugliest item of clothing/accessory you've worn?

Take your pick! Chiffon jeans, silver lame hoodie, self-customized jackets! But all done for a reason and all worn with pride.

Favorite style icon?

Debbie Harry back in the day.

What would you design for the First Lady?

Something she would love. Perhaps daywear.

Celebrity you wish you could design for?

None, but more than happy to forge those relationships if they want bespoke pieces from my collections.

Favorite supermodel muse?

Kate Moss was always super special through my youth, so probably her. Although all of the "supers" I worked with were divine. I also really like Gisele, as her body is perfect.

If you had to name your label, you'd call it...?

Probably Jeremy Brandrick. It’s a shame, as the names that roll off your tongue like Dior, St. Laurent, Balenciaga, Lanvin, et al all sound so much more chic!

If you weren't designing, you'd be...?

A sculptor or a woodworker.

Places/cultures you wish you could design for?

No, inspiration can and should come from anywhere, and I like introducing different cultures through my design work.

Dream place to set up your business?

New York.

Websites that feature your work?

If you Google my name and "fashion," it also comes up with a lot of hits from various companies I have worked for and with.

How were you described as a kid?

Nice, shy when I was younger, imaginative.

How are you described by your family and friends?

Nice, outgoing, thorough, multitasker, father, creative.

Why do you think you're easy to live with?

I am easy to get along with, respectful of other people's possessions and space. I’m not good with clutter or untidiness.

Favorite hangout?

Anywhere with my friends, East Hampton, hotel rooftop bars.

Hobbies?

Making things out of wood.

Favorite movies and TV shows?

"Torch Song Trilogy," "Moulin Rouge," "Someplace in Time," "Empire of the Sun," "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"; "Modern Family," "The New Normal" before it got cancelled, "The Walking Dead."

Favorite books/authors?

Stephen King

iPhone/Android/Blackberry?

iPhone.

Fast food or gourmet?

Gourmet.

Cooking or takeout?

Cooking.

Favorite foods?

Curry.

Beer or wine?

Wine.

Guiltiest pleasure?

Birds trifle.

Biggest pet peeve?

Slow walkers.

How did you end up auditioning for PR?

I saw the details on a website and took a chance. This was my 1st time auditioning.

Favorite past PR designer?

Anya.

Challenge you wish they'd bring back?

Real people.

Challenge you hope they don't?

Pet Shop food.

Your take on team challenges:?

Don’t mind them either way; teamwork is an essential part of the regular working environment, and I am used to it. I think sometimes bad matches have been made….

What do you look for in a model?

God, I love a model who can WALK! Some of them really can’t, and it makes you wonder how they ever got to be on the catwalk! I like striking, unusual features and a good figure, not too thin. Hair can be added by hairstylists, etc.

Do you think you can win "Project Runway"?

Yes! It could seem that my whole life is leading to this point. I have always been very driven in what I do. *I* got myself into the best college in the world. *I* got myself a job in Milan, *I* moved to America, as it is the land of dreams, and *I* got myself on the show. I work very hard at my goals and ambitions, and I have a huge amount of experience and creativity and knowledge, as well as enough people around me to ensure a subsequent business would be a success. I look forward to building a full lifestyle brand over women’s, men’s, home, etc., and in all product categories, employing people in this country and giving back some of the success it has given me!