Brad Virata of 'Survivor: Cook Islands' Interview

So, was Survivor a one-off thing for you, or do you want to use that as a launching pad for something else, or don't you think that far out?

I think Survivor is going to open a lot of doors for me. I'm never going to turn down a conversation. I'm going to stay in fashion. I don't want to pursue any type of acting, just because I'm not interested in that. But if anyone needs something to do with fashion or a critic or makeovers or comment on Hollywood red carpet, whatever, I'm prepared for that. And it would be cool to do fashion segments on different entertainment networks. So, that's something I'm looking into.

So, being a fashion person, did it bother you to only have, was it, one pair of clothes to wear for so many days?

I'll never wear a kelly green tank top for the rest of my life! It was pretty bad, but you know what? You just have to deal with the elements and realize that camo shorts are for every season.

And were you outfitted in Lucky Brand clothes?

Yeah, that was one of the contingencies, for me to take off the time, that I had to wear strictly Lucky Brand, which is fine because I love the product. And I'm part of the whole concept of design, all the way from concept to in-store. It's exciting to wear your own brand and to really believe in a company that you work for.

What drew you to fashion? Has that been the trajectory all along?

I've always known that I wanted to be in fashion, oh my God, since I was probably 18 or 19 and just working part-time in a retail store. I worked for Guess for a number of five years, and then I launched a new line, through Guess, called L.A.D.A. (Los Angeles Denim Atelier) and from that I propelled my career into the Lucky Brand as the director. We're based in downtown L.A., in the fashion district, and it's a great company. The owners are hippies and they treat me fantastic. It's a good role right now.

Do you eventually want to design, or do you like being behind the scene and pushing the whole thing forward and just being part of the creative team?

No, I love what I do. In terms of design and having my own line, probably not. I love being able to filter out trends and identify what's going to sell to the masses, and what's special. Just being able to predict what's going to be the latest, greatest trend is a very cool thing to be able to do.

Well, I read that you're already doing the Holiday 2007 line now...

Yeah, we're always four quarters ahead. I bought spring and summer already. I'm buying fall the first week of December. And, yeah, just trying to make it happen for the American male.

So, we've got a young gay audience here, give us insight. What is spring? What should we be doing? What should we be gravitating toward?

For denim, it's all about lighter-weight, drape-y denim, like 9-10 ounce denim. Colored denim is going to be a big concept going forward from Spring-Summer into Back to School for Fall, like browns, grey denim. Really great, colored washes without a lot of abrasion and detail. In fact, I just had this meeting a couple hours ago! Giving them trend forecasting for denim washes for back to school. So, you're going to see some really great, cleaner washes moving into the next couple seasons. Do away with the abrasion and all the whiskers, and it's really about back to basics.

Hmm, I've been doing a whole urban communist thing, so lots of green cargos and no labels, but I'm looking for my next thing... I'll have to consult you over MySpace.


Well, 30 more pounds before I'll be looking for new clothes... right now, it's stick with the Old Navy, keep it cheap, and soon as I get the body I want, then I'll be hitting the names.

It's not even about names. It's about how you feel in the clothes. If you feel comfortable and you feel like you look good, then it doesn't really matter what label you're wearing.

If you need the D&G on you to feel good about yourself, you're going in the wrong direction...

Exactly! You've got bigger issues if you're a label whore.

Well, I should let you get going, let you have some downtime between Lucky and Survivor..

I haven't had any downtime. I literally flew back into the States on August 7, and back in the office on August 9.

Oh well, so do you have any advice for gay youth in general? Any words of wisdom to the young gay crowd?

Wow, that's a big weight. I guess it's all about timing and where you're at in life. If I could give any advice to gay youth, it would be: Feel comfortable with yourself, and not to be afraid showing your true colors regardless of where you're from or where you live, and just be able to express yourself whether it be through creative outlets or athletic outlets... Just try to be yourself...

Even if it costs you a million dollars...

Even if it costs you a million dollars, exactly!

Brad photos courtesy of CBS.


the mouse that roared's picture

Hey Jeff, This guy seems

Hey Jeff,

This guy seems really cool and everything, and I like the fact that we're getting articles and interviews on Oasis. Don't get me wrong; they're fun to read. But it would be nice to have more representative people if you're going to do interviews. Surprisingly, there are not just gay males on this site. Not even just lesbians. In fact, there are bisexuals, queers, transgenders, genderqueers, and some mixture thereof. Just think about it.


No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless; there is too much work to do.--Dorothy Day

jeff's picture

The initial interviews...

Have all been done in this order for timing reasons.

Jim Fall, posted three days before his movie aired nationally.
Jeff Manabat, needed to go up in advance of the holidays to coincide with holiday CD contest.
Brad Virata, Survivor Finale is this weekend.

The initial hope was the site was launching in November, so I've just been pushing the interviews that have to go up first. A lot of the more celebrity-driven interviews always happen moreso around timing with books, CDs, DVD, movies, etc. than anything else, though. Harder to get people to do interviews when they aren't promoting something. Many of the interviews will coincide when people are hitting San Francisco on book tours, concerts, etc., as well, so that's also an element out of my control.

But what you are asking for is definitely not off my radar. The next interview will be female. And we have a diverse mix on the schedule. Hey, at least they haven't all been gay WHITE males. :-)

In the next couple of weeks, there will be reviews of Broadway shows that are more suitable to a youth audience, because I'm on the east coast right now and getting review tickets to shows (but steering toward shows with some angle for cheaper tickets (student rates, contests, lottery seats, rush prices, etc.) to sync it with our audience a bit. So, it will never be even, it's sort of what hits my radar, where I am, etc.

Of course, the best strategy... send me private messages such as: Why don't you interview (fill in author's name), and point me at their website, etc. There's a safe bet a lot of people aren't even on my radar yet. And, once I get the Oasis groove going better when I'm back home in January, there will also be more opportunities for ya'll to start reviewing books and other stuff.

There will be a page going up in the near future (once I get all the back interviews manually entered (it takes me about 2 hours to post a year's worth)) about what the criteria is to be interviewed in Oasis, as well.

It's early, lots of time to tweak things yet.

I'm a total myspace whore (and by whore, I mean I use it to sleep with people, I'm not on it often), so ADD ME AS A FRIEND

the mouse that roared's picture


Sounds like you've put some thought into it. I have been reading stuff on afterellen, and it is good to hear some gay male stuff going on. Just as long as it doesn't stay that way. :)

No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless; there is too much work to do.--Dorothy Day