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Most people know George Kotsiopoulos as one of the good-sport foils to Joan Rivers on E!'s popular Fashion Police. The Illinois native started his career at the New York Times magazine, but—little-known fact!—he almost became an accountant. A graduate of the "do what you love" school, the fashion industry veteran is in town this Saturday for an appearance at the Gap Factory Store at Grand Prairie Premium Outlets. We recently caught up with the style-savvy guru.
You've been quoted as saying: "I learned everything about fashion during my time at the New York Times." What are the top three things you learned on the job there?
It was a unique situation—I worked for the New York Times but lived in LA. My family wanted me to become an accountant, but I left and pursued what I love and what I'm good at. This is the main lesson. Another thing, is that you need to speak up; you need to get your ideas out there, on everyone's mind if you want to be heard, not only in fashion, but in any career. Ultimately, I learned how to become an editor, being able to filter through and navigate my way through all the fashion noise to find the best of the best in design.
Most people know you from Fashion Police. What in the world is it like to work with Joan Rivers?
Joan is incredible, she blows my mind every day. She is so talented, but she works harder than any person I know—she is unstoppable. We often talk about fashion, but she is a master at her game, no advice from me needed. But she gives me life advice, and lots of it; she knows everything.
Do you know her jokes in advance or do we see your honest reaction when she goes off?
No, I don't! Joan's sense of humor is legendary—and I must say rightfully so! She jokes off-camera too, all the time.
Have you ever been offended by one of her jokes?
You can't be offended by Joan. It's such a great experience being on the show, and it has changed my life. My opinions often differ from others, but I've worked in fashion for almost 20 years and come at it from a different point of view.
What are the outtakes like?
There's lots of laughing and many jokes way too racy for broadcast.
So you're in town promoting your work with Gap. What are some trends people will see from there this fall?
Yes, I'm here with GAP Factory Store as their brand ambassador. I've been a fan of the brand ever since I was a kid so this is a wonderful experience. This fall collection combines an old-school sports look with modern sports-luxe dressing.
Is there a must-have item from the collection?
The collection is full of great jackets, which is an essential piece of the perfect fall wardrobe.
If you had to give one style tip for people who live in Texas and deal with the hot weather (almost year-round) what would it be?
Texas is similar to Los Angeles where it gets colder at night. In LA, I'm all about layering. You constantly need to be able to either take it off or put it on. Luckily, both locales are car cultures so you can keep extra pieces in your backseat.
Who are your favorite brands to wear and what do you wear in your downtime?
I love mixing and matching pieces from different brands. It's a great time because fashion is accessible to everyone at every price point so you don't need to break the bank to look chic. Of course I love GAP Factory which I mix with Prada, Lanvin, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Ports 1961 and Dolce. I love to get dressed up, but nothing beats the perfect pair of jeans.