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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Exclusive Q&A with Fashionista Ted O'Ryan Sheppard

I consider Ted and his partner, Grey Garden's Jerry Torre, friends. They are a wonderful couple and just two of the nicest guys I've ever met. But here, fashion maven Ted talks to me about the fashion world... and more!

Buddy B: You have worked for many of the big names in the fashion world. Lacoste, Kenneth Cole, Saks, Donna Karan. How did you break into this business, what is the nature of your work, exactly, and -- of the above list -- which has been your best experience? 
Ted O'Ryan Sheppard: Hmm, I don't quite remember to tell you the truth! My mom and I have always loved fashion when I was a kid. It was after the realization that fashion (true fashion) is a form of art. Anything esthetic attracts me, be it architecture, history or fashion. 

BB: You are in a relationship with Jerry Torre, the Marble Faun of Grey Gardens. How did you two meet, and could you tell our readers about your relationship? 
TOS: We found each other via the computer. Jerry and I have an amazing relationship. We've been together about 10 years and live together. I've never met anyone so in sync with me. In a good relationship, we try to do everything together. Wonderful thing about our relationship is my mother has embraced Jerry as a son. Jerry is always supportive of my demanding schedule and travel.

BB: I always enjoy your company (I'm sure you know). What was your favorite Grey Gardens experience with Jerry? 
TOS: Being guest of Ben Bradley at The Grey Gardens estate in east Hampton. 

BB: What is it in the world of fashion that drives you crazy? What is most gratifying? 
TOS: Indecision drives me crazy. Gratifying to me: I've gone to work with some of the most talented people in the business. Kenneth Cole gave me the best advice on styling. Indecision drives me crazy. Gratifying to me: I've gone to work with some of the most talented people in the business. Kenneth Cole gave me the best advice on styling men. "When styling a guy, always make him feel he could be Steve McQueen."

BB: What do you like to do when you're not working?
TOS: I love spending time home with Jerry and traveling.

BB: It's Gay Pride month. Any events or plans for you and Jerry? 
TOS: Nothing planned yet but if you know anything please let us know.

BB: What made you decide to go for -- or steered you in the direction of -- a career in the fashion world?
TOS: Growing up, I've always had a strong passion for films and loved the costumes. I always felt the costumes and films told a story. I went off to school to the Art Institute of Philadelphia to study fashion marketing then it clicked for me and I loved display and merchandising presentation. After school was done, I worked as a freelancer in Philadelphia. My big break came when I worked for Kenneth Cole and moved to New York. I've been so lucky in my career. Besides learning from the masters of fashion and visual display, I've gotten hands on work of styling. I've had some fun experiences working on (what not to wear) behind the scenes. Dressing models for fashion week. One thing I really enjoyed is dressing celebrities for events. My good friend, the late actor Taylor Negron: We always had fun pulling great New York fashion moments for him.

BB: Do you consider yourself a "people person"? 
TOS: I think with fashion, you have to be a people person; you can't be cold. If you're not a people person in fashion, then you're in the wrong industry because you have to touch so many people.

BB: How are you planning on spending your summer? 
TOS: In fashion you always have to be a season ahead so I already feel summer is over. 

BB: I last saw you and Jerry at the Return to Grey Gardens show. I know you enjoyed yourselves as much as I did. What are some of your brief recollections about that show?  
TOS: Lucky enough to be in your company. It was so great to see a lighthearted presentation of Grey Gardens.

BB: Most important question of this interview: So, when are we all getting together again? 
TOS: Soon I hope.

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