Timothy MacKenzie Gunn
July 29, 1953
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Timothy MacKenzie Gunn (born July 29, 1953) is an American author, academic, and television personality. He served on the faculty of Parsons School of Design from 1982 to 2007 and was chair of fashion design at the school from August 2000 to March 2007, after which he joined Liz Claiborne (now Kate Spade & Company) as its chief creative officer. Over 16 seasons, Gunn has become well known as the on-air mentor to designers on the reality television program Project Runway . Gunn's popularity on Project Runway led to two spin-off shows; Bravo's Tim Gunn's Guide to Style and Lifetime's Under the Gunn , as well as five books. In addition to being an executive producer, Gunn has served as mentor for the teen designers on Project Runway: Junior . He also provides the voice of Baileywick, the castle steward in the Disney Junior television show Sofia the First and narrated the sitcom Mixology .
Gunn was born in Washington, D.C.His father worked in the FBI where he started off as an agent but transitioned into becoming a ghostwriter and speechwriter for J. Edgar Hoover. Gunn attended the Corcoran College of Art and Design, receiving a BFA in sculpture.
Gunn, who had identified as gay,was raised in an intensely homophobic household where homosexuals were viewed as predators. According to a video Gunn created for the It Gets Better Project, he attempted suicide at the age of 17 by swallowing over 100 pills. He denied his sexual orientation until his early 20s, and did not share it with his family until he came out to his sister when he was 29.
After serving as director of admissions for the Corcoran, Gunn started working at Parsons in 1982, served as associate dean from 1989 to 2000, and then became Fashion Design Department chair in August 2000. He was credited with "retooling and invigorating the curriculum for the 21st century."
Gunn began appearing on Project Runway during its first season in 2004, and is known for his catchphrase "Make it work." Gunn received a Primetime Emmy Award in 2013 for Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program.Tim Gunn's Guide to Style , a reality show in which Gunn gives fashion advice, debuted in September 2007 on the Bravo television network. This show ran for a total of 16 episodes over two seasons. Then starting in January 2014 Gunn was the host on a single 13–episode season of Lifetime's Under the Gunn . Gunn is an executive producer for Project Runway: Junior . He is also the teen designers' mentor.
Gunn also played a version of himself as a reporter for the fictional Fashion TV in two episodes of ABC's Ugly Betty in February 2007and later guest starred on Drop Dead Diva in August 2009 as himself.
Gunn left Parsons in 2007 and joined Liz Claiborne, Inc. as the company's chief creative officer in March of that year.
In April 2007, Abrams Image Publishers released Gunn's book A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style, co-written with Kate Moloney, cover photo by Markus Klinko & Indrani. While on tour in Palm Springs, California, the nearby city of Palm Desert honored him with an official resolution declaring April 27, 2007 (the day of his visit) Timothy M. Gunn Day. He was also presented with a certificate by the city of Palm Springs and a plaque by the nearby city of Rancho Mirage in recognition of his career achievements.From 2010 to 2015 Gunn published four additional books (listed below).
In May 2009, Gunn served as commencement speaker at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and received an honorary doctorate from the institution.
He made sporadic appearances on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson 's "Dear Aquaman" segments, helping or standing in for Aquaman (Ferguson), answering letters and dispensing advice.
He guest starred as Barney's personal tailor on several episodes of How I Met Your Mother .
Gunn guest starred as himself on the 6th episode of CW's fourth season of Gossip Girl , "Easy J".
On September 7, 2018, it was confirmed that Gunn, along with Heidi Klum would not be returning to Project Runway for a 17th season on Bravo as they both signed a deal to host a fashion competition show on Amazon Video titled Making the Cut .Making the Cut released its third season in the summer of 2022.
In August 2007, "Tim Gunn's Podcast (a reality chamber opera)" by Jeffrey Lependorf premiered at the Cornelia Street Cafe in Manhattan.It received its first run one year later at New York International Fringe Festival.
Gunn appeared in a backup story in the first issue of Models Inc., a fashion-themed comic book miniseries published by Marvel Comics that debuted in September 2009 to coincide with New York City's style showcase. Gunn appeared on a variant cover of the issue illustrated by Phil Jimenez. In the series, which is written by Project Runway fan Mark Sumerak and illustrated by Jimenez, Gunn dons the Iron Man armor to foil an attack against the New York Fashion Museum.
Gunn appeared in the opening skit on the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards to style Jimmy Fallon to look like Bruce Springsteen, from his Born in the U.S.A. album.
In 2014, he participated in Do I Sound Gay? , a documentary film by David Thorpe about stereotypes of gay men's speech patterns.
Tim Gunn appears in Kate McKinnon's audio drama "Heads Will Roll".
Gunn lives in Manhattan. In a 2010 interview with People magazine, he said, "For a long time, I didn't know what I was. I knew what I wasn't: I wasn't interested in boys, and I really wasn't interested in girls." He mentioned he has "always been kind of asexual."Gunn spoke about his celibacy in 2012. He later stated that he is unashamed of this fact saying, "Do I feel like less of a person for it? No... I'm a perfectly happy and fulfilled individual." He said he started his self-imposed celibacy as AIDS began ravaging the gay community, and that he and many other people simply retreated.
Gunn is an outspoken critic of clothing designs using animal fur. In 2008, he narrated a video about rabbit fur farming in China for animal rights group PETA. He termed the treatment of animals used for fur as "egregiously irresponsible".
Gunn endorsed Christine Quinn's candidacy for Mayor of New York City in the 2013 mayoral election.
In June 2020, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first LGBTQ Pride parade, Queerty named him among the fifty heroes "leading the nation toward equality, acceptance, and dignity for all people".
Isaac Mizrahi is an American fashion designer, actor, singer, television presenter and chief designer of the Isaac Mizrahi brand for Xcel Brands. Based in New York City, he is best known for his eponymous fashion lines. Mizrahi was previously a judge on Project Runway All Stars. In 2022 he played Amos Hart in the long-running Broadway revival of Chicago.
Project Runway is an American reality television series that premiered on Bravo on December 1, 2004. The series focuses on fashion design.
Santino Quinto Rice is an American fashion designer and television personality. He is best known for his appearances on the reality television programs Project Runway, RuPaul's Drag Race and On the Road with Austin and Santino.
Nick Verreos is an American fashion designer, fashion commentator, former Project Runway contestant, educator and author.
Project Runway Season 3 was the third season of Project Runway, Bravo's successful reality competition for fashion designers. The third season of the show, with Heidi Klum returning as the host and Tim Gunn as the designers' guide, began airing on July 12, 2006. This broke tradition from the previous two seasons, which premiered in December, with the finales taking place at Olympus Fashion Week in February.
Daniel Vosovic is an American fashion designer and a finalist in season 2 of the reality show Project Runway.
Tim Gunn's Guide to Style is an American reality television series on Bravo. The series debuted on September 6, 2007 based on the self-help book A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style and is hosted by Project Runway's Tim Gunn, and co-hosted by model Veronica Webb in the first season and Gretta Monahan in the second season. Gunn and his cohost offer to make over guests following their style as long as they adhere to a set of style rules.
Project Runway Season 4 was the fourth season of Project Runway, Bravo's reality competition for fashion designers. The season premiered November 14, 2007. Returning as judges were supermodel Heidi Klum; fashion designer Michael Kors; and Nina Garcia, Elle magazine fashion director. Tim Gunn, chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne, Inc., again acts as a mentor to the contestants.
Steven Rosengard is an independent American fashion designer. He designs his eponymous line in Chicago, Illinois, and was a contestant in season four of the Bravo reality television show Project Runway.
Christian Vincent Siriano is an American fashion designer and member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Siriano first gained attention after winning the fourth season of American design competition show Project Runway in 2007, becoming the series' youngest winner. He launched his namesake "Christian Siriano" collection in 2008, which brought in revenue of over $1.2 million by 2010 and was estimated to have reached $5 million by 2012.
Austin Scarlett is an American fashion designer and artist known for his appearances on the first season of Project Runway, 2012's Project Runway: All Stars, and his own series, On the Road with Austin and Santino.
GK Reid is an American producer, known for his work with celebrities from David Bowie to Rihanna and Lady Gaga, producing numerous films, music videos, ads, marketing campaigns and commercials, for his creative direction and regenerative fashion design and social good impact projects. He was raised in India, then moved to New York.
Project Runway Season 12 is the twelfth season of the television show Project Runway, appearing on Lifetime. The season began airing on July 18, 2013 with 15 designers competing to become "the next great American designer." Kate Pankoke, a designer from Season 11 returned to compete once again for the grand prize. Pankoke was voted back by fans in an online poll, winning against Ra'mon Lawrence Coleman of Season 6, and Valerie Mayen of Season 8.
Under the Gunn is an American reality competition series that premiered January 16, 2014, on Lifetime. Production of the series began in November 2013, with the finale filmed on December 17, 2013. The series was filmed at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. Guest judges included: Heidi Klum, Neil Patrick Harris, Macklemore, Jaimie Alexander, Zoey Deutch, Zendaya, Georgina Chapman, Sarah Hyland, Trina Turk, and Wendy Partridge.
Project Runway Season 14 is the fourteenth season of the television show Project Runway, appearing on Lifetime. The season began on August 6, 2015. There were 16 designers competing to become "the next great American designer." Supermodel Heidi Klum, Marie Claire creative director Nina Garcia, and fashion designer Zac Posen all returned as judges this season. Tim Gunn maintained his role as the workroom mentor.
Project Runway: Junior is an American reality television series that premiered on November 12, 2015 on Lifetime. It is the eighth direct spin-off series of another series, Project Runway, which airs on the same network. It featured twelve teen designers aged between 13 and 17. The designers were described by Tim Gunn as "kids [who] have grown up watching this show".
Project Runway Season 16 is the sixteenth season of the television show Project Runway, appearing on Lifetime. The season began on Thursday, August 17, 2017. There are 16 designers competing to become "the next great American designer." Supermodel Heidi Klum, Marie Claire creative director Nina Garcia, and fashion designer Zac Posen are all returning as judges this season. Tim Gunn maintains his role as the workroom mentor. This was the last season to air on Lifetime and the last to feature Klum, Gunn, and Posen.
Project Runway Season 17 is the seventeenth season of the television show Project Runway, returning to Bravo for the first time since season 5. The season began on Thursday, March 14, 2019. Sixteen designers compete to become "the next great American designer." This was the first season to feature: Karlie Kloss taking over for Heidi Klum, Brandon Maxwell as Zac Posen's replacement, additional judge and former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, Elaine Welteroth, as well as returning judge and editor-in-chief of Elle, Nina Garcia. In addition, Season 4 winner Christian Siriano replaced Tim Gunn's role as mentor throughout the competition.
The second season of the American reality television series Project Runway: Junior premiered on December 22, 2016 on Lifetime. It featured twelve teen designers aged between 13 and 17. The designers were described by Tim Gunn as "kids [who] have grown up watching this show".