“I think when we first started shooting Fashion Police, they were like, ‘George is laughing too much. Tell him to stop with that fake laugh.’ And then they realized it wasn’t a fake laugh.” This is the first time George Kotsiopoulos unleashes the loud belly laugh we love to hear each week on E!’s exercise in fashion critiquing, usually following a snarky comment by legendary comedienne Joan Rivers, but it’s not the last. “They were like, ‘It’s so over the top. Why is he doing that?’ Joan just makes me laugh. She’s funny! Am I supposed to sit there and have a straight face? She’s killing me!”
That hearty laugh is partly why I’m talking to the famed celebrity stylist, who in the past has worked—and still works—with just about every Hollywood starlet imaginable. It’s George’s laugh that shows he doesn’t take life too seriously. He has a cheerful, upbeat sense of humor, and as many can attest, that’s the sexiest attribute in a man’s arsenal. George’s sex appeal—which includes his bubbly personality and the fact that he’s cemented his (hard to pronounce for some) last name into the country’s fashion lexicon—is why this year he’s L.A.’s most eligible bachelor.
George is a first-generation Greek-American, both his parents having moved to the U.S. from Greece, and he grew up in Skokie, Ill., a northern suburb of Chicago. “I pride myself as being 100 percent Greek, because most people can’t say that about themselves. With me, the Greek thing is more about the culture and less about the religion,” he says.
Fashion and style were always of interest to George, who remembers being fascinated with the changing of style trends on old television shows as a kid—and secretly going shopping with his older sister, who trusted his already tasteful opinions. George was named ‘Best Dressed Senior’ in high school, and he remained interested in clothing and tailoring throughout his teens.
“I kinda threw it aside when I went to college, because being raised by Greek immigrants, it was very important to get a college education and be serious,” George says. “So I went to business school and got my degree in accounting. Then I realized that if I lived life as an accountant, I would be incredibly miserable, so I switched gears and ended up working for The New York Times Magazine in the fashion department.” And that was that.
George’s credits as a fashion and style correspondent run long and cover both print and televised projects. Last year, The Hollywood Reporter named him one of the “25 Most Powerful Stylists in Hollywood.” With a long list of accomplishments and appearances in his repertoire, the world now knows George as the sole male voice on Fashion Police, where he has taken a seat next to Joan Rivers, Giuliana Rancic and Kelly Osbourne since 2010.
Asked whether filming the show is as fun as it looks, George replies, “Filming the show is more fun than it looks.” He goes on to say that his relationship with his co-hosts is great—”We don’t really think of it as work”—and working with Joan Rivers is a dream come true, particularly for a stylist, when you consider that Rivers singlehandedly brought red carpet critiquing into the mainstream.
“Joan definitely made the red carpet what it is today. You may not remember which film won best film of the year, but you remember what someone wore. When Joan started doing red carpets, that’s when stylists were becoming huge and designers were placing a big price tag on the value of having someone on the red carpet at the Oscars wearing their gown. Joan was there on the forefront. Fashion Police started over 15 years ago. The show is accessible. People care about it. People care what celebrities are wearing, and they talk about it.”
Coming from a celebrity stylist background with years of industry schmoozing under his belt, George may have had some hesitation with criticizing his fellow stylists and celebs, but “only for a nanosecond.”
“I realized that sitting next to Joan Rivers every week was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” says George. “I think somewhere in the back of my mind I know, ‘Oh, wait, that’s my really good friend who styles her,’ or, ‘I know that actress, I just worked with her.’” George’s concern is geniune. “It’s not about criticizing for the sake of being nasty. Any idiot can say she looks like crap, but my job is to say, ‘Here’s why.’ It’s about identifying the cause and giving a solution. I want women and men at home to learn something and take something away from the show.”
In addition to his work on Fashion Police, George is hard at work getting his own clothing line and a book out into the world. He also works closely with P.S. ARTS, a nonprofit dedicated to securing arts education in underserved communities. Most of all, though, George wants his own show. “It has to be the right project,” he says. “I don’t want to get a reality show and be a clown. I’m not interested in doing that. I want it to be fun, something that people will learn from and be entertained by at the same time.”
As it turns out, reality TV is a sore subject. “I actually get kinda offended when people are like, ‘You’re a reality star, you’re on a reality show.’ No, I’m on a talk show. It’s not a reality show. I don’t get into fights with my friends on camera”—pause—”Well, maybe I do get into fights with my friends on the show.” Here comes another belly laugh, even bigger than before.
It’s hard to believe that a guy as handsome and successful as George Kotsiopoulos could be looking for love here in Los Angeles. And while you may assume George is a dating machine, hobnobbing with the city’s ‘gay-listers,’ as he says, “It kinda comes in spurts. There will be times when I have a lot of dates, and there will be times when I don’t.”
When asked whether he enjoys being single, George replies, “I enjoyed being single. I think I’ve just been focusing on my career for the last 10 years, and if something came up, great, but it was never a major priority in my life. And I also know so many people—gay and straight—who are in a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship, and that’s never really been my thing. I don’t need to be with someone just to be with them. I want to be with someone because they’re my best friend and I want to devour them all the time.” Even through the phone, George’s grin is audible.
With so much on his plate already, thanks to a demanding career and upcoming projects, George is looking for a full-package guy who has his life in order. Within 10 years of George’s age, 43, is best. He tends to go for guys taller than his 5’8”, and a gym-goer is a plus—”I want someone who takes care of himself, but being physically fit and being an underwear model are two different things. I want someone physically active.”
And while a lack of ‘fashion sense’ isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker, having great taste is a requirement. “He has to be completely adaptable, and he has to have great taste. I’m not saying high-end luxury taste, but knowing about the finer things in life and being well-educated is important.”
So where can you find George? When the 22-year L.A. resident isn’t working, he does have a few favorite haunts, mostly upscale bars around town like The Tower Bar at Sunset Tower Hotel, Soho House, St. Felix and Chateau Marmont. If you find yourself out and about, chances are you’ll know George is nearby by the sound of that great laugh.
You can catch George on E!’s Fashion Police every Friday night. eonline.com/news/fashion_police
Photos by Andrew Durham. Mathias Alan, mathias4makeup.com, using AVEDA skin, hair and cosmetics. Photo 1: George wears Jacket by Dolce & Gabbana, shirt by Band of Outsiders, ascot by Brooks Brothers, jeans by Gap 1969; Photo 2 & 6: Suit by Burberry, shirt by Paul Smith, tie by Salvatore Ferragamo, pocket square by Brooks Brothers, vintage tie bar; Photo 3, 5 & 7: Sweater by Brooks Brothers, shirt by Prada, tie by Dolce & Gabbana, jeans by H&M; Photo 4: Sweater by Gucci, shirt by Paul & Joe, watch by Movado; Photo 5: