By Jimmy Kontomanolis | December 3, 2018 | People
He may single-handedly be the busiest man in showbiz. He interviews America’s A-list every weekday morning alongside Kelly Ripa and plays us our favorite tunes on American Top 40. He’s currently on a tour across the country searching for the most talented aspiring singers for the 17th season of American Idol. He has a fashion line sold exclusively at Macy’s and a skincare line with one of the most renowned celebrity dermatologists. He produces some of the top-rated cable television shows (ever heard of Keeping up with the Kardashians?). He rules the red carpet each awards season. And what’s New Year’s Eve if you don’t celebrate it with this guy?
Yes, we’re talking about the one and only, Ryan Seacrest. If you’re wondering when he sleeps... well, so are we. Between hosting gigs, Idol auditions, development meetings, and so on, Seacrest took the time to chat with us. And just when you thought he’s done it all, think again—because there’s a lot more he wants to do. Here, Ryan tells us about creating his menswear line, working alongside Kelly Ripa, and what he loves most about NYC.
The Fall/Winter 2018 collection of your line, Ryan Seacrest Distinction, is a beautifully tailored range of menswear. How closely do you work with Distinction’s creative director Matteo Gottardi?
RYAN SEACREST: Thank you for the kind words. I’m always hands-on with everything that I do, and our menswear brand is no exception. I work with Matteo, and all of the very talented design teams from our various partners, who help create the Distinction collection every season. We work together on ideas and specific executions, but they’re really the ones with the talent and creative skills. I’m just an enthusiastic interloper.
Do you enjoy the design and development process?
RS: Yes, it’s fun and inspiring. Our creative and brand team develops a seasonal theme, which also suggests colorways, fabrics and textures that are on trend which we share with the creative designers for each classification.
There’s usually an inspiration point for these themes and while it’s always a collaborative process, it’s been fun because we’ve generated a few of them from places I’ve traveled—like the Amalfi Coast in Italy—or cultural or architecture influences that I appreciate—such as Frank Sinatra’s modern home in Palm Springs.
My personal inspiration comes from my surroundings, traveling, what I’m reading, or what new artists I’ve discovered through my work with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Also, given my daily jobs on radio and television, pop culture is infused in everything that we do creatively, one way or another.
A look from Ryan Seacrest Distinction's Fall/Winter 2018 Collection.
How has the line evolved since its launch in 2014?
RS: We’ve learned so much since we launched Ryan Seacrest Distinction in fall 2014. We’ve listened to the feedback we’ve received from consumers, especially regarding different fits and design elements. For example, we’ve incorporated more active fabrics in most of our apparel. We also continue to integrate masculine signatures, geometric shapes, texture, pattern, and color in unexpected ways and details while grounding the collection in classic tailored clothing and accessories to remain timeless.
On to another collaboration, tell us about Polished by Dr. Lancer.
RS: Dr. Lancer is the true architect of the skincare line. He created specific formulas for men’s skin based on his experience with male patients in his practice, including me now for more than a decade. Dr. Lancer has taught me that taking care of your skin should be a priority in whatever wellness program you embrace. I trust him and I’m excited that we have partnered on this business, as we’ve made the skincare line very accessible to men everywhere. I also like to credit him with helping to keep me looking young.
What inspired Polished by Dr. Lancer?
RS: Dr. Lancer and I were talking about how much women’s and men’s skin differ, and the lack of skincare products formulated for the specifics of men’s skin. Men tend to be lazy on the grooming front and don’t like to change things up too much. Because of this, we came up with this special regimen for the modern man. It’s easy to follow, and each and every product in this line targets the specific needs of men in a way that’s simple, effective, and affordable.
You’re in your second season of co-hosting and executive producing Live with Kelly and Ryan. What do you love most about working with Kelly?
RS: There’s no one better than Kelly. She’s smart, funny, and has truly become one of my dearest friends. Working by her side is a privilege, as she’s such a talented host. She also makes every morning so much fun—we laugh a lot. I’m actually excited to come to work every day because I know we’re guaranteed to have a blast.
You’ve been hosting Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest for more than 10 years now. With 2019 approaching, what can we expect from the show this year?
RS: Live shows are thrilling for me on so many levels—and being in Times Square on New Year’s Eve is a remarkable experience. I’m so grateful to be a part of this show because the genesis of my role came from my good fortune to have worked with my mentor, Dick Clark. I still get goosebumps when I get ready to do the countdown because I remember watching him do this for years from my own living room as a kid. It’s still surreal for me, watching the ball drop at the epicenter of the world with millions of people watching. It’s live TV. It’s loud, chaotic, romantic and exhilarating all at once!
You’ve accomplished so much in your career. What has been the biggest learning lesson?
RS: It’s a hard question to answer because I’ve learned so much. What I tell students that I meet is you’re going to be told “no” at some point; we all have heard this word. It’s not fun, but it happens. Most important, don’t let that word hinder you—let it motivate you not to quit. Keep at it—whatever your pursuit—because focus and persistence are key.
What other projects are in the pipeline that you are excited about? Is there anything you still want to try your hand at?
RS: I am most proud of the work my family’s foundation has done building broadcast media centers in 10 pediatric hospitals around the country. At some point, we want to connect these studios, so that’s definitely something I’d like to accomplish.
What do you love most about being in New York now? What are your favorite things to do in the city or favorite places to visit in your down time… if you ever have down time!
RS: I’d say that NYC has taken my food hobby to a whole new level. New York has endless restaurants with so many different cuisines to choose from. There’s also so many things to do in New York, and I love trying new activities with my girlfriend. Recently we started taking tango dance classes.
Photos courtesy of Ryan Seacrest