How Tim Gunn Found Celebrity, Not by Design but by Chance (WaPo)

By Teresa Wiltz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 6, 2006; Page C01

Celebrity, especially the American variety, is a random thing. One minute you’re toiling in academic obscurity, the next you’re the unlikely star of a reality show that you originally thought was a “horrible” idea, and suddenly there are bobbleheads made in your likeness, online petitions demanding that People mag crown you “The Sexiest Man Alive,” even a techno song sampling your trademark phrases — “Make it work!” and “Where’s Andrae?”

So yes, the unfailingly elegant Tim Gunn found “far-fetched” the whole notion of playing the mentoring mensch to a cast of dueling design divas on Bravo’s “Project Runway.” His mother, he recounted yesterday afternoon to a standing-room-only crowd of several hundred at the Corcoran Gallery, had an even more incredulous reaction to the news:

“But you’re so old !”

Thanks, Mom. (more…)