Raising Kayne | Out Magazine

Raising Kayne

Raising Kayne

Hes sweet, smart, and sassy, and after the first episode of the new season of Bravos Project Runway, we were smitten with this southern gent. Twenty-seven-year-old Kayne Gillaspie lives in the Oklahoma City, Okla., suburb of Norman with his partner, Warren, where they co-own the boutiques Southern Charm (which boasts the pageant -style gowns Gillaspie is known for) and Alter Ego (which has more urban fashions). We got a chance to chat with Gillaspie, who attended New Yorks Fashion Institute of Technology, before the show premiered.

So in the first episode you come off as really sweet and mellow. But youre really a vicious bitch, right?
[Laughs] Im actually pretty easygoing. There were a lot of sacrifices for me to make to take five and a half weeks off of work to participate in the competition, and were not being paid so its not for the money. I was trying to size everyone up and be super-nice. Everyone deserves respect until they disrespect me. Im a reality TV whore. I know how some people work on these shows. Whos the Wendy Pepper? Whos the Jay McCarroll? I grew up with five sisters and was very easygoing and calmyou kinda have to be waiting on five girls all the time. I was grateful to be [on the show]. Im from a lower middle-class family and we had to work for anything I wanted. I was catty and funny and honest, but we all were.

I have to say, it was strange seeing [host] Heidi Klum so thin after she was pregnant all last season.
I dont know what it is, but taping the opening of the show, I had to run up to her and crouch down, but I held onto the front of her stomach and her back. I was holding her up because she was in five-inch heels. So I felt her stomach and her backtight as a surfboard. I expected a little tummy or a little soft. Theres a reason for that! But, no, its tight.

Did you get to experience any of New York City while you were there?
I did a little bit. I got to stay for four days after we were through taping. I did a ton of shopping, saw a couple of shows, and did a ton of walking.

Did Tim play favorites with anyone? Were you teachers pet?
No. Tim actually hated my casting audition clothes because theyre all beaded and sparkly and over-the-top pageant gowns. Its not a Halston or an Armani, and its never going to be. But Tim appreciated it. Even Michael Kors said before he met me that they were constructed within an inch of their death. Most women have parts that they want covered up. The construction has to be there for most customers. Not everyone has a Hilary Swank body.

Was there someone on the show you bonded with right away?
Robert [Best, from Los Angeles] and I did become best friends very early on. Then my other good bud was Michael [Knight, from Atlanta]. I never made an enemy on the show. I quarreled a little bit back and forth with Laura and was rubbed the wrong way by Jeffrey [Sebelia]s egotistical personality. But I was honest in telling him.

Anyone you are happy to never see again?
I really wouldnt care if I ever saw Malan [Breton] again. And he said something crappy on the runway about the other designers on the runway.

Cant wait to watch that episode! Is there one established designer who has particularly influenced you and your design style?
I have three absolutely favorite designers of all time. Versace, Roberto Cavalli, and Dolce & Gabbana. Theyre my all-time favorites. I follow their lines closely every season. They always produce beautiful things.

Now Im sure a lot of viewers are going to want to know your marital status with Warren
Ill have been with Warren four years on August 26. In gay years thats, what, 21 years?

How is being out in Norman, Oklahoma?
Believe it or not, its not bad. Obviously people know, unless theyre retardedno offense against mentally challenged peoplethat I am gay when they first meet me. Hello, I vomit color every morning when I wake up. Also, I think Im a very nice person. I would love for everyone to be comfortable with my lifestyle, but Im also smart enough to understand thats not going to happen yet. As long as I dont start controversy, we can all live together.

What are you hoping to get from the show?
I would love to get a book dealjust kidding! Any exposure or publicitymy own clothing line. Honestly, I would love to dress celebrities. I would love to do all kinds of things. There are tons of things. Any exposure for people to see the passion for the work that I make.

The show will probably help business at the stores.
Already. The phone has been ringing off the hook. Were looking at expanding and hiring other people. Its already crazy and the show hasnt even started.

Whats the biggest fashion faux pas a guy can make?
The biggest fashion faux pas Can I give you two? The really thin guys who wear womens jeans, I can deal with. But if you can wear a visible thong, thats gross. And the other is socks with sandals with shorts. Especially black socks with sandals and shorts. Hate it.

Kayne has just launched his Web site at: www.johnathankayne.com Check out our interview with Robert Best here.

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