The Making of Success
Style expert and author George Brescia's clients include Oscar, Emmy, and Tony winners, society folks, Wall Street guys, and soccer moms. He's become the go-to-guy for many celebrities who are eager for just the right look for a Broadway premiere, a red carpet interview, a press junket, or perhaps even a stroll up onstage to grab a Tony Award.His story is the kid-who-made-good fantasy.... (With a lot of talent and hard work added in, of course!) He came from a big family, and had always been his family's song and dance man, starting when he was four! "My grandmother especially encouraged me to tell stories and sing for her friends, the next-door neighbors, even people on the city bus when she would take me shopping. I loved entertaining! Making folks smile! ...and, of course, getting applause! I could see from the start that I could make people feel happy with my performing, and that I could actually change the energy in a room by doing what I loved. As I grew up, I was in school plays and then on to college, and I had a lot of success with my singing and dancing, training constantly. But I needed a job, and I was always drawn to fashion and the beauty of clothes, mostly from my Mom’s influence and her great taste. She insisted that my brother and I always be dressed perfectly even at a young age, and she had her own career in fashion at her own clothing store, The Glass Door in Connecticut. Everything that I first learned about style and fashion came from her. My Mom’s love and influence sits on my right shoulder everyday, and I am so grateful and honored that she's mine."It was easy for George to get jobs during Summer vacations at stores around Hartford. He started as a promotional model featuring men's fragrances, then, after graduating from college, went directly to Ralph Lauren in sales. After a few years of working his way up through the ranks at the Ralph Lauren Mansion on Madison Avenue, he was put in charge of special events and merchandising Women's product in all the Polo stores nationwide.George was promoted to travel the country doing "trunk shows" where he spoke and did presentations in front of hundreds of different customers each week, coast to coast, and then regular in-store seminars motivating and educating the sales teams on the new seasons' products. Every time he returned to NY, he would be called to do promotional videos to be distributed to the stores. He got regular exposure to every branch of the business, all the big names both within the company and among their exclusive clientele, and to Ralph Lauren himself, and it influenced and enlarged his perspective on what fashion means and what it can actually accomplish in transforming a person's outlook on the world and how they function in it.He was performing in front of people and cameras constantly. "Everything I do now, I learned the basics of at Polo." George's biggest break came about in 2010, when red carpet events began to take on a life of their own both in television and in the press. Magazines had been featuring red carpet spreads on celebrities as they arrived at the great award presentations, but those pages were tucked into the back with a jumble of
George's biggest break came about in 2010, when red carpeteventsbegantotakeonalifeof their own both in television and in the press.
thumbnails and ten-word captions and credits! It all escalated when the red carpet was used on television as both a fashion runway and an interview-op. The public began to really connect to the chance to see and hear everything from the stars before they walked into the "Big Event".Since he was known for doing speaking engagements, public appearances, trunk shows, and motivational seminars, George's transition was easy. He began to appear on TV on NBC's NY Live, on CBS's "On The Couch", on FOX's "Good Day New York!", as well as on the networks' evening news shows for special fashion segments and commentaries. He became the NY 1 style commentator both for the big Fashion Weeks at Bryant Park and at the Tony Awards red carpet events.With the evolution of the internet, he was approached by Stage 17, an online digital-media company affiliated with Broadway producers that created webisodes for subscribers. It was the new broadcasting method done over the internet, and George was given the opportunity to create his own show, DRESS UP!, a docu-series where he styled celebrities in their opening night looks for Broadway premieres, press junkets, and red carpet galas; he became their on-air correspondent at every Broadway opening night and the Tony Awards. He'd be running from one couture showroom to another and then another and then off to Verdura on Fifth Avenue to pick up a quarter of a million dollars' worth of Art Deco jewels.With all that exposure, George's styling career was on its way and the clients began to pour in; Tony winners and nominees like Victoria Clark, Shuler Hensley, Lea Salonga, Kate Baldwin, Marin Mazzie, Lauren Worsham, and Carolee Carmello. The men came too; Jonathan Groff, Bryce Pinkham, George Takei, Aaron Lazar, Jefferson Mays, Telly Leung. And the folks he interviewed on camera read like a who's who of entertainment giants! Gloria Estefan, Debra Messing, Megan Hilty, Bernadette Peters, Sting, Dianne Wiest, Bryan Cranston, Crest Love, Fran Drescher, Kristin Chenoweth....the list goes on and on. Because of his wide exposure in the Broadway theatre community, he became a regular contributor to Playbill, com with his Red Carpet Best Dressed column.George's break-through in the publishing world was equally serendipitous. He managed through an accident to meet Jen Bergstrom, a publisher at Simon & Schuster, and right on the spot, he told her he'd like to write a book! She asked him what would it be. Without missing a beat, he said simply it would be a spiritual approach to dressing for your life-- a sort of Vogue-Magazine-Meets-The-Secret. He wanted people to know that clothes can serve as tools to enrich and expand their options, and that, although our culture would like to think that appearance doesn't matter, (and that people should only care about their "insides", not their "exteriors"), the truth is that personally and professionally, people make up their minds by what they see of another person, (and it's a great deal!) within two minutes, and it can change the outcome of a job interview, an office conference, even a first date. George’s title said it all: “Change Your Clothes! Change Your Life”--and the subtitle: "...because you can't go naked!". George summed up his philosophy, "We are forced societally to wear clothes, and they may as well serve us. Let your clothes tell the world what you want to say about yourself. Let your clothes truly reflect your interior... your dreams, your aspirations, your goals, and your intentions." Dressing unconsciously need not be an option anymore, and it doesn't have to be intimidating, depressing, or expensive. George thinks of fashion as another form of entertainment...and enlightenment!!George’s schedule has gotten crazy-exciting with multiple appearances on NBC's TODAY Show opposite Matt Lauer, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Hoda Kotb. He has appeared regularly as a style expert on HSN’sTHE LIST with Colleen Lopez, and travels the country doing in-store appearances and fashion segments on regional television including Los Angeles' KTLA. His recent projects include being the brand ambassador for the Bo & Nic Company. He now numbers his styling clients from all over the country, and he'll soon be announcing exciting new ventures for the Fall, including projects on television, internet, and radio. He can be found on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and on his website, GeorgeBrescia.comWhat is the one styling tip that can turn anyone from drab to fab? I would have to say having the best accessories! A great pair of statement earrings, a really cool necklace, and a fierce pair of shoes can make any outfit go from drab to fab. Accessories can make a simple outfit, like a pair of jeans and a T-shirt or even an amazing dress look cool on anyone.In terms of clothes and choosing what to wear, what color makes the biggest impression and why? Red! Power red, which just happens to be one of the big trends this fall, because it is such a rich and vibrant color. Red really gives off a message of confidence and self-assurance. Whether you are giving a speech, in a job interview, on television, or in a meeting, red is a color of power, and people, in turn, will respond to you in that way.What are the three biggest mistakes that people make when choosing their wardrobe? I think the three biggest mistakes are when people choose something to wear because it is trending, although it may not look good on them, choosing colors you like, but that don't look good on you, and having a closet full of all black or too much of the same thing.What do you love most: Hosting TV such as HSN, dressing Broadway Celebrities, or styling the everyday woman? Explain why.I love it all, but I really love styling the everyday woman, because the moment she looks in the mirror and discovers who she really is, is the most rewarding part of my job.What inspires you as a creative?Talent! Talent of any kind, whether it's artistic, singing, dancing, acting...etc. Any kind of special talent I see from anyone is very inspiring. Raw talent moves me.Looking back, what would you describe as the tipping point in your career?The first time I was on television. I was doing a ‘Spring Must Have Items’ segment for NBC New York Live, and I looked around and saw all of the cameras and models, and I just remember thinking... whoa this is it.What words of wisdom would you share with other inspiring creative entrepreneurs? If you are truly doing what you love, and you're thinking about what you can give versus what you can get, you will find that roadblocks won’t feel like roadblocks, they will feel like part of the journey to something you love. Every obstacle you encounter will become a fun challenge.