Once clad in Saved-by-the Bell-inspired parachute pants and keyboard ties, fashion guru Carson Kressley committed fashion faux-pas too.
“I do make mistakes and I think that’s something people shouldn’t be so afraid of,” he said. “I’d rather see a mistake being made because someone’s experimenting and enjoying the process than always being so safe and boring.”
And that’s what he brings with him to all the towns he visits for his new OWN network show Carson Nation, spicing up the lives of hardworking individuals with a little fun, style and humour. He does what he calls “make-betters” to help people change their lives for the better. From fashion interventions to interior design, Kressley does whatever the situation calls for.
He rolls into each town to find individuals with the most inspiring stories who could use a helping hand.
“We talk to people and local officials to find out who really needs a makeover. It’s not just who has a bad perm, it’s who has a great story, who’s inspiring,” he said. “We have amazing transformations both on the outside, but I think more importantly, on the inside.”
Kressley is no stranger to makeovers, with years of experience as the host of Queer Eye. And from what he has seen, there is usually a recurring theme in all the makeovers he does.
“People just stop paying attention,” he said. “You get busy with work, family or with your life, and it’s really important for people to remember that they’re worth taking care of.”
A good way to stay out of the rut, Kressley says, is to keep educating and inspiring yourself. Whether it is from fashion magazines, watching runway shows or just going out on the streets to see what people are wearing – which is exactly what he does to stay up to date.
But Kressley says it’s not just about transforming people on the outside. Like the story of a 61-year-old woman who had lived as a man for 58 years before having sexual re-assignment surgery.
With no experience with makeup or how to dress as a woman, Kressley helped her get comfortable in her own skin. But it was the amount of support she received that surprised him, and is just the kind of story that sums up the essence of his show.
“It was one of those eye-opening moments where it’s much bigger than just a makeover show,” he said. “It’s a show about our society and how people are embracing diversity, so it’s pretty cool.”