We're in an age where some of our favorite shows like Roseanne, Will & Grace, One Day at a Time and more are getting revivals and reboots to be embraced by a new audience as well as to create a sense of nostalgia. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is getting this treatment with Queer Eye on Netflix with a new Fab5 and new city! We chatted with Tan France, who focuses on the stylish transformation on the show, about being in the cast, his background and some of his favorites.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about how you came to the fashion industry?
TAN FRANCE: I grew up around my grandfather, who owned a denim factory and was always fascinated by it. I decided to go to fashion college, against my parents will, but ended up getting a job in fashion straight out of college. However, I knew I wanted to run my own company one day, so I decided to learn as many aspects of retail operations before starting my own companies, Kingdom & State and Rachel Parcell Inc.
AM: We know that you're the creator or Kingdom & State, the Co-Creator of Rachel Parcell Inc, as well as lead designer of both. How did this come about and are you still with them?
TF: I created K&S 8 years ago, and for the first 3 years I was the only employee. I designed and ran the business alone. However, after the third year, wholesale sales really picked up, so I could hire enough employees to grow the business further. Then, in 2015, my friend Rachel Parcell wanted to start a clothing brand and asked me to partner with her. It was an immediate success, as Rachel is a major US blogger. However, vI left the company at the start of 2017, so I could focus on my new job, as one of the Fab5 on Queer Eye.
AM: With NYFW coming up, what shows will you be attending and what brands are you always excited about seeing in terms of their collections?
AM: Awards Season is in full swing - what do you feel the trend has been so far during the shows and what do you hope to continue or to emerge?
TF: I LOVED the fact that everyone wore black at the Golden Globes, for a great cause. For the Oscars, I hope to see great whites and blacks, but some stunning jewel tones too.
AM: Prior to joining "Queer Eye" had you seen the original show and who was your favorite guy on the show?
TF: I hadn’t seen the American version, I had only seen the UK version. It was a great show, but after I got the audition for QE, I watched the American version online and LOVED what Carson was all about.
AM: What was the process like in auditioning for this show?
TF: It was actually quite easy for me. I came in at the very last moment, just before the audition process closed. I’d never auditioned for TV before, as I never planned on being in entertainment, so I went to the audition wanting nothing more than to make friends….I came away from it with both friends and a show!
AM: What are the similarities to the original show and what is different in this show for those that are familiar or may not be familiar with the show?
TF: The similarities are that we still have a Fab5 and that the show is highly entertaining. The differences: We are a more diverse cast, and we’re now in a position to talk about every aspect of our lives. Nothing is off the table, which is the best part of this show. We are much more accessible.
AM: Did you have the chance to connect with Carson about the show or if not - what would you have wanted to know?
TF: I did. With social media being at our finger tips, I hear from him via IG and we’ve met many times in person. He couldn’t be more supportive, which I’m so grateful for.
AM: When "Queer Eye for the Straight Eye" came out, it felt like it was important to showcase the fact that gay culture existed and was a fiber within the American fabric of who we are. Years later, what is Queer Eye aiming to do in terms of the social commentary and beyond the lifestyle makeovers that take place?
TF: We’re not coming into this saying that gay men are better than other people, we’re saying that we 5 men specialize in these areas, and want to show you how to make the best of what and who you currently are, with the things that are accessible to you. We also want you to get to know who we are, not just as gay men, but as men who are partners, husbands and fathers -Your equals.
AM: How was it doing these makeovers in Atlanta and what was one of the most impactful episodes for you?
TF: I’m so glad we shot in the South. It makes for a more entertaining show, to have the people we help have opposing views to ours. To shoot in NY or LA, with mostly liberals, wouldn’t have been anywhere near as impactful. The most impactful for us was the Cop episode and the coming out episode, for obvious reasons.
AM: For men and women, what are 3 spring trends we should add to our closets?
TF: For men: Pattern play, Corduroy, and Mid-rise/high-waisted pants. For women: Spring Suede, Deconstructed Tailoring, and Mom jeans.
AM: Checks and pastels can be daunting for people - how can this be incorporated into our look as we move into warmer temperatures?
TF: Layer them under light outer layers to break up some of the print, or use those options in an accessory, as opposed to apparel itself.
AM: How do we know when a color may not be our best color?
TF: That’s a tough one and hard to give one, definitive answer on. Go with colors that compliment your skin tone. If you have redness to your skin, avoid red/oranges. If you have tan/olive skin, you have the freedom to play with color more. If in doubt, stick with mostly neutrals and make the pop of color an accent color only.
AM: What projects are you working on that we should keep an eye out for?
TF: I’m currently focused on QE, and getting through this wonderful press tour,
AM: Where are you based and in that city, where could we find you working out, grabbing a drink/bite to eat and where do you shop?
TF: I live in Salt Lake City. I work out at The Gym, I don’t drink, but for coffee I stick with Blue Copper Coffee. I love to eat sushi and Indian food and my favorite place to show out here is Fashion Place Mall.