Carson Lee Kressley
(born November 11
in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
) was the fashion expert on the American
television program Queer Eye
, where he was one of the show's "Fab Five" members.
Kressley was born and raised in Claussville, in the Lehigh Valley
area of Pennsylvania. His family raised ponies
and he competed in equine events from an early age, and was a member of the U.S. World Cup Saddle Seat equitation
Growing up, he attended Northwestern Lehigh High School in the Northwestern Lehigh School District. He graduated from Gettysburg College with a degree in management and fine art in 1991, with Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude honors. While at Gettysburg College, Kressley became a brother of Alpha Phi Omega.
He currently resides in New York City, where he is active in numerous gay-rights, animal and health-related charities.
Carson Kressley was a vocal supporter of Hillary Clinton's campaign for President and headlined a number of events in her honor. At one such rally in Philadelphia on April 12, 2008, Kressley exclaimed, "I'm a native Pennsylvanian and I'm not bitter -- I'm fabulous!" in response to the controversy over Barack Obama's "Bittergate" comments.
He began as an independent stylist, then worked for Ralph Lauren from 1994 until 2002, working in several areas including menswear and corporate advertising. His leap into television took place in 2003 when he gained great exposure as the "fashion savant" on Queer Eye when the show debuted on the Bravo cable television network. He remains active and visible on television as a fashion critic or commentator. Kressley has frequently appeared on The Today Show and for the E! Network, among others, and has critiqued red carpet fashions at high-profile events such as the Oscars and the Golden Globes. In 2005 he acted as a judge for the Miss Universe pageant, which aired live from Bangkok, Thailand. In 2006 he returned to the Miss Universe pageant, but as commentator, and was also commentator for the 2006 Miss USA pageant.
In February 2007, he was announced as the host of new Lifetime makeover show, How to Look Good Naked (a U.S. version of a British series). The show's premiere episode on January 4, 2008 drew record numbers for Lifetime—1.6 million viewers, which included significant numbers in the adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 demographics, as well as the network's target demo of women 18-34. As of January 2008, the debut episode of How to Look Good Naked is Lifetime's highest-rated premiere in those three demographics.
In May 2007 he acted as a judge on reality series Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants where mother and daughter teams compete in a beauty pageant. Crowned debuted on The CW on December 12, 2007.
Kressley appeared as the Master of Ceremonies on Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Tour 2008.
In September 2008, Kressley will shoot a pilot for his own daytime talk show on Lifetime.
Since the success of Queer Eye
he has pursued various acting opportunities. In 2005, Kressley made his film debut in the movie The Perfect Man
starring Heather Locklear
and Hilary Duff
, playing Lance, a bartender. In July 2006 he announced he had started production on his second feature, The Year Without a Santa Claus
, playing the elf costumier. This TV movie also stars John Goodman
as Santa, and aired December 11th, 2006 on NBC
. In October 2007 he started filming his third movie, the independent comedy Duck Farm No. 13,
in which he plays a cameo role.
He also has moved into fashion design. In November 2006, Kressley debuted "Perfect
", his own clothing for men and women, on QVC
. He cites his experience as a stylist with Ralph Lauren and on Queer Eye
as inspiration for the line, and says he "...realized a lot of people are missing great basics in their wardrobe. I consider my Perfect collection for QVC to be 'basics with a twist.'"
- Author of the 2004 book Off The Cuff: The essential style guide for men and the women who love them (ISBN 0-525-94836-8).
- Author of You're Different and That's Super, a 2005 children's story deriving inspiration from the classic tale "The Ugly Duckling," featuring a unicorn who grows up among a herd of horses from foalhood to maturity.
- Co-author, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: The Fab Five's Guide to Looking Better, Cooking Better, Dressing Better, Behaving Better, and Living Better (Clarkson Potter, 2004), with the four other cast members.
In April 2006, Kressley became ordained over the Internet
as a minister of the Universal Life Church
, in order to be able to perform a wedding ceremony during an episode of Queer Eye. During the episode he mistakenly announced he had been ordained by the "Universal Unitarian Church of Modesto, California," and the slip aired, much to the amusement of the Unitarian Universalist Church
in Modesto, California.
Kressley is also known as an owner of American Saddlebred horses and respected for his success as a horse show exhibitor. His interest in horses combined with his interest in promoting respect for diversity, resulted in his authorship of 'You're Different and That's Super!', illustrated by cartoonist Jared Lee.
Kressley is an ambassador for the Melbourne Cup, recently playing a part in the 'Fashion On The Field'.
Kressley competed on a celebrity edition of "Jeopardy" placing second place, losing by one dollar.
- In 2004 Queer Eye won an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Reality Program." It was nominated again for that category in 2005.