Lifestyle and Fashion Expert Lawrence Zarian

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Lawrence Zarian is one of the most sought after on-camera lifestyle & fashion experts in the television industry today with on-air experience of over 20 years as “The Fashion Guy” for The Kelly Clarkson Show, Live with Kelly & Ryan, Hallmark’s Home & Family, KTLA and Extra to name a few. Specializing in styling women in their 40’s, 50’s and UP, Lawrence focuses not just on affordable trends for this key demo of women but also the psychology around dressing for your body type and loving yourself in the process. Lawrence is also the author of the highly successful fashion “Bible,” Lawrence Zarian’s 10 Commandments for a Perfect Wardrobe. He recently launched CAxLZ SUMMER COLLECTION in partnership with CONNECTED APPAREL, featuring stylish items celebrating women of all ages, shapes, and sizes. 

A few years ago, Lawrence made the decision to come out of the closet, so to speak, and stop downplaying his identity as a gay man…and he’s never felt freer or happier. Unconcerned with fitting a network’s mainstream image, he’s here to share his life. On this episode, we chat about the role of fashion in his childhood, sharing his gay life on social media, promoting a positive outlook on life, body positivity, and the importance of being true to yourself…with host Alexander Rodriguez. Check out our in-depth interview with Lawrence at www.Metrosource.com.

This is metro source mini the official podcast to Metro source magazine and home of short form interviews with your favorite personalities from the lgbtq world and beyond. Quick, Fun and informative. It's metro source on the go, out in proud since one thousand nine hundred and ninety. Well, hello, hello, hello, this is metro source minis. I'm your host, Alexander Rodriguez, avid podcaster and lead writer from Metro source. We love fashion, we love body positivity. Today I chat with somebody from our community making both work, and that's work with an e work. Lauren'Sarian is one of the most sought after on camera lifestyle and fashion experts in the TV industry, with on Air Experience for over twenty years as the fashion guy for the Kelly Clarkson show, live with Kelly and Ryan, Hall Marks, Home and family, Katla and extra just fame a very small few, specializing in styling women in their s and S and up. He focuses not just on affordable trends for this for this key demographic, but also on the psychology around dressing for your body type and loving yourself in the process. Again work. Lawrence is also the author of the highly successful fashioned Bible, Lauren'Sarien's ten coud madments for a perfect wardrobe, and he recently launched see a bi LZ summer collection in partnership with connected apparel, featuring featuring stylish item celebrating women of all shapes, ages and sizes. His personality is as vibrant as his instagram. Please welcome, Mr Laurence. Ay and okay, I'm exhausted. That Alex was a lot about me. Well, there's a lot to talk about. You know, you've just you've hit the market so well, talk about your own personal branding. I mean you've really set the bar high for any TV on air personality. So I just have to know when. When did your love affair with fashion first start? What? What were wearing as a kid? Well, first of all, it's great to be with you. You know I'm a big Fan of yours. Likewise, number one, number two, you know, it's so funny. Right before we did this, I'm getting myself ready and I think we all do that. We're always trying to feel the most comfortable in our skin and I think that's where our journey is to find comfort in self and who we are and what we put out to the world, and when it comes to fashion, I'm an identical twin my twin brothers Gregory. I had my own room for seven minutes. My parents dressed us, sometimes as twins, in the same outfits or a variation of the same style. But when you ask me that question in the interview about what, I don't know started my fashion journey. It probably wasn't the best thing, but it played itself out. You know, as a kid growing up, my mother would always talk to me as my mom, but also would talk to me as a friend, and sometimes I think those those boundaries were a little mixed up, because I remember sitting on the toilet when mom was getting ready and putting on the makeup in the clothes and I saw this transformation firsthand of a woman that was struggling with self confidence, self awareness and self and the way the transformation happened with the hair and the style and the makeup and the dress. And as her best friend, I was always saying, mommy, you look beautiful. So I didn't realize this until your article, when you asked me that question, that that's when the seeds were planted and that is why I resonate so deeply with women, especially mothers, on creating something that helps them not...

...only look in the mirror love what they see, but the most important part is feel beautiful. I'm going to be honest, I'm getting a little emotional here. I was raised by my mom and my grandma, and so my grandma was my best friend growing up and she was just known for being so elegant. She used to be a model, even, you know, into her s and s and she will always just so beautifully put together and I would sit and watch her tease her hair and match everything. And you know, we would have to dress up to be on the plane. We would dress up to go to Disneyland. We just always dressed up and it was she didn't do it at a place of snobbery. She wasn't so concerned about the labels. But what she always taught me is when you dress really well, you're not just showing respect for yourself, you're showing respect for the people that you're around. And so anybody whenever you talk about my grandma, you know we lost her about two years ago, which is why I get emotional, but you know, these are the memories that really are ingrained in us. And that's what I always remember is, you know, presenting yourself is it's for you too, and but it's also out of respect for the other person. And you know, Alex, I loved the questions that you ask me because you know, to me life as a journey and we peel back the onion more and more and more as we get older, and so many people go out instead of going within, and especially over this past year of the pandemic, nobody could go out. So I spent a solid year going deep inside, finding out more about myself, my wants, my feels, my needs, my desires, and doing I'm actually in therapy. I love therapy. I think there is so important for everyone and and in my journey and in my work I realized so many things, but it was that question that made me realize. Yes, I think my mother sharing as much as she did with a child was wrong, but I was a long time ago and people didn't know how to do it differently. Now we have so many, many other tools and outlets. But what my Mother did is give me the tools to help women because I understand women. So many people have said to me, how do you know so much? Well, I was brought up in the trenches and when you especially as a gay man, there is nothing more more sacred and special. I feel then a gay man has with his mother, because in a straight had her sexual lifestyle, the boy gets married and the wife takes over sort of that space and I think for a gay man our Mama's are the loves of our lives. And I'll tell you this, I'll tell you what got me a little emotional before the interview. I was going through my fall collection, see XLZ and partnership with connected apparel, and we pulled out of the rapping the Doris and my mother's name was Doris and it is this beautiful long sleeved black sheer overlay. That is Doris to a T. and she would be so proud of me because my mother put on things that made her feel beautiful when she was having one of those days. And all women struggle. I think the toughest drive in the world is to be a parent and for a mom to be married, sometimes be married, have a job and take care of the kids. You're not only responsible for the home, in the household and the husband, you're responsible for those beautiful, precious long lives. So why not put on something, even if it's just for a minute, make you feel beautiful, which is why...

I designed the collection. It's sequin t shirts, it's Black Palazzo Pants, it's something that's special. But my grandma would always say the soap in the bathroom, wrapped up in plastic, was for a special occasion. I love the concept, but every day is a special occasion world right. So put on something that means something. Why do you wear your Sunday best only on Sunday? We're on Wednesday like that's we woke up. How are you today? I woke up, I'm uppy and so well, I want to know about a sea X L Z, like you talked about the collection. Where I love is that it's a blend of that Hollywood glamor, but it's also practical where, and it's especially practical for a budget. And after you know Covid we're all we're all looking at our budget and, you know, trying to prepare again for, you know, the worst that could happen. What was most important about putting this collection together and what did you learn about yourself? I've been in the fashion business now for twenty five years and I believe that God your higher power, whatever you choose to believe in, moves this like chest pieces. And God moved me into this place as a fashion expert. I was an actor, I was writing soap operas. The fact that I'm sitting in this space is all divine intervention. And from day one, Alex I knew that women had to be celebrated at every shape and size. I would not go on television into a fashion segment unless I had a curvy woman. I just wouldn't. It didn't feel right to me. So I've been singing this tune for so long. And also I've never been Madison Avenue, I've never been rodeo drive, because only two percent of the world can afford that lifestyle. I'm fashioned for everybody, every shape, every size, every age. So when I met the people at Connected Apparel, divine grace put me in contact with these people. It happened for a dinner, unexpected. We realize that we want the same thing, fashion for every woman, but it's something special. So and I've named every single piece after an important woman in my life that means something to me. Beautiful, strong, powerful and loving. So, like my Tony T's, it's a sequin t shirt. It's forty five dollars. I cut the arm just a little bit longer because women want to have a little more arm coverage and I drinked it just a little bit longer. But it's a sequin t shirt. Yeah, it's a sequin t shirt that's forty five rose goold antique gold silver. Instead of putting on a jogger pet or a sweat pant, put on my plots so pet, named after shering or the show stopper, my foxy tunic named after one of my fashion icons, Patty Fox. I mean it's I designed dresses, my Kim dress, a rose gold fit and flare dress with pockets, under a hundred bucks. And you know, I really think it's that attention to detail because you know, body positivity is such a hot topic right now and I'm going to ask you in a minute whether you think it's just a hot topic or you think the fashion industry is really going to pay attention. But you have labels and because it is a hot topic, you have labels pumping out these for all sizes kind of fashion line, but it's not paying attention to the details because they're not understanding that kind of model they're not understanding that woman. So they're not doing the details, like you said, like a little bit lower on the arms, to really make somebody feel comfortable and work with, you know, parts of somebody's body that they might not, you know, loved to showcase, and you have done that to such detail, and so that really is truly representative that you that you think you've been thinking about this. It's not just a fat but do you think that the...

...fashion industry at large is going to take this in consideration, that it's going to be reflected on the runway, or do you think it's just a present day hot topic to be talking about being body positive? First of all, they should have always been a part of it. And you know, people have said to me when did that shift and change, and I think, you know, in the late s with the supermodel twiggy, the name, the wealth, the style, and then we had in the s late s we had Kate Moss, that waife influence and to me, when you're anything, should never be all or nothing. Life is a party, in a celebration and I'm so frustrated that so many designers feel hey, we're going to cut you off at this size, this shape. To me, this world is meant for everybody. So who knows what the future is, but we have such a strong presence of women at look at look at may musk. She's over seven be and she's gray hair. And look at Ashley Graham. She is taking the curvy world by storm. Every time you turn on the television right now, every race, every size, every shape, every age is being represented and hopefully, with all these voices saying we belong and we matter, that will never go out of vogue ever. But Alex women at every shape, every age, every size should be celebrated and represented. So should the LGBTQ community. Everybody has a spot and a place and a home on this earth and we should all have access to everything because we all matter. We just do you know, being a gay man, we have so many body issues, just as humans. But then you know, with the gay community, and I'll tell you as somebody whose weight goes up and down so so often, one of the things I remember, and this is from the media, this is being an entertainment industry growing up. I we still remember this headline so vividly. It was people magazine and it was when Beverly Hills nine hundred and two when I had first come out and they did a story about Luke Perry. The headline said Luke Perry Twenty eight inch waste, and so to this day all I can think of is twenty eight inch waste, twenty eight inch waste, and then that's what's so important about him or his role or the show. And it's so damaging because how can you hold yourself accountable to a twenty in each waste? And so much so that it's still in my mind every time I buy a pair of pants, any time I go up a size or other size, it's it's gaging it, it's just, you know, it's so frustrating. So your your identity in the gay community. Were you ever afraid to be open with your lifestyle or sexuality? Because we know there has changed. Let me just tell you this. Let me just tell you this. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I said my name is Lauren Zarien and I'm gay. I never said it, I couldn't say it. You know, when queer eye for the strike guy came out so long ago, my agent called and said there's a show called queer eye for the drake. I and they're very interested in talking with you about being the fashion expert, and I had a fullblown anxiety attack and I thought my father can't handle this, I can't do this. So I would say that I spent the first ten years of my career on television. I don't want to say I was playing straight by but I alluded to it. And then, as I got older and I saw so much of our community struggling and suffering, I thought, if I don't start showing a voice, that you can be authentic, be yourself, live your life and have a life, why am I living my life just for myself? So it's literally been the last couple of years that I have said my name's Lauren Zarien and I'm gay and I'm smiling because I am having the best time being...

...my crew effing authentic self. Yes, I have body Dysmorphia, yes, I struggle with way, yes, I do this, yes, I do that. We all excuse my language. We all have our shit. It's my stuff, my journey, but I work on it every day and the one thing that I don't think about or struggle with any more is being gay, because I love it. I am having so much fun being who I am and I have to tell you, you know, I've been a fan of yours for a number of years and I've known you for a number of years and I've really seen that shift on your social media and you know, you do represent a lot of networks on networks have advertisers and you and I come from a very different generation of being open and what being gay even meant, and so I thank you. I don't think anybody should be forced to come out of the closet. You know, somebody can make a statement when they feel right for it. And Look at you, look at the platform that you've established because of your time in the industry, and look who now you're speaking up for. You're speaking up for the gay community, you're speaking up for women who don't necessarily fit every stereotype, or men. You were just talking about Harry, and let me just say this. We are in a very interesting time in our lives where the good news is we have social media, so a young a young child struggling with identity can google something and go directly to the Trevor Project. They can go and find somebody that is just like them. I think that is a blessing from above. You will never be alone because there's somebody just like you, struggling like you. That's the positive. The downfall is so sure media hurts. There's a filter, there's an APP that makes you look thinner, there's APPs that are doing let's let's not celebrate who you are, but let's lay or lay or layer, layer, layer, and put all these layers on in front of you. You got to knock it up and you got to find your balance, because I believe we are all a couture. Cut Your coulture addresses one event, one night, one person. God designed each one of you to your perfection. You might not be a certain height, if you want to get healthy, get healthy, and with getting healthy and eating healthy and working out and all of that, you have a healthier body, a healthier mind, healthier spirit. You look better, you feel better. Those are all choices we get to make. But don't compare yourself to somebody else, because there's only one you. You know, and it is funny because we have come out of this period of covid where we've all gotten so confident in ourselves because all we had to do was hang out with ourselves, us. We didn't have the peer pressure we didn't have the events, we didn't have the scheduled that we had to conform to other people. We got to watch on TV what we wanted, we got to wear sweats or nothing around the house if we wanted to. We got to eat whatever we wanted to point to. So there's this continent's I gained twenty pounds and I still have it on. And you know what, can tell you something you don't look. I'm honest. If you don't, if there's another guy that thinks I'm hot and doesn't like makers I have a stomach, then you know what, you're not the right guy for me, because at a certain point that six pack is going to become a four pack, a two pack, it's going to become a gut. You gotta love who you are. And come on, wasn't it nice to say a lot to ice cream again, ice cream, ship Burgers, all of it. But it's funny because we're leaving, you know, we're it's post covid and we have this confidence. But you know, I've started doing live events for the first time, you know, a few weeks ago, and I put my clothes. They did not fit. None of my fancy jackets fit and it was such a wakeup call. But it was this kind of like you're talking about this is energy. It's like, okay, who cares, I'm still me, I'm still going to go out there and do an amazing job. But it is kind of this kind of shift, an energy, and we saw the shirtless selfies get really boring during covid so it's now, you know, I seem even that kind of shift where you actually have to have a personality to be an important and you know what,...

...no one hears. What's interesting. All the influencers shot themselves in the foot because what they were doing is they were showing the world how amazing and fancy and filtered they are. Then, when the black lives movement really came in, and everybody deserves a voice and a space in this world, you're these influences that were standing outside like black lives matter, and you see the boyfriend taking their picture. Yeah, that that has destroyed that, because who are you other than a Selfie? Show me who you are, but what are you about? And I do things now, Alex, like tomorrow on a show here in Los Angeles called the KTLA morning show. I love that. So we're doing swimsuit segment and I'm like, we need a curvy model. We've got a beautiful model that's in there, and I'm certain the segment like saying hey, I remember last time I was on I said I'd be one of your models. I've gained twenty covid pounds, so I am not in a bathing suit. Be I love who I am and see, let's bring out the models. I love to see you every single time you're on camera. You just have this positivity and what I also have to fan fan girl out about is, you know, there's a lot from our community that are on screen presences and the tendency is to give that Sassy one liner or beat caddy or to be that you know, gay guy. That's kind of Snarky, thinking that that's the only way to be funny or that's the on way present himself. You have always been so positive, even with your red carpet coverages, you know, for the Oscars. You are always so positive, with this enjoyable energy that you don't have to resort to that. To be a leader in what you're doing and also to be an expert, you don't have to resort to that kind of stereotype, and so that's also I will tell you this. I have lost so many jobs because I just won't be mean spirited. And I said something once and it wasn't mean, it wasn't nice, it just wasn't me, because they kept saying, we need more, we need more, and I said it. Do you know? I'm still talking about it. It affected me so much that I could have ever said something that would have hurt somebody else. Because, look, whether you like something someone's wearing or not, there was effort put into it. And I always say, you know, look, I'm a fashion expert. Everything's a choice. I might not have chosen this dress, I would have chosen this one, because I always look for the one thing that I like and then I build from there, because we always can see the bad. Why not start with seeing the good and expand on it? All right, learns. This one's for social media. What are the biggest know knows that people make with their everyday outfits? You know, I think that's changed so much because of covid. Yeah, so I think sort of anything thing goes. Like right now I have this great shirt on the top that I got an Amazon for ten dollars. Hello, amazing. Yep, and I'm naked on the bottom. So you know what, everything's everything's the choice. Lawrence after dog. Now I'm after where. You wearing nothing. Social Media. Here's here's what social media is. It is an expression of self. It's an expression of who you are, and you're right. How many different shirtless selfies can we see? Here's a Selfie, here's this. Your body looks the same bed. Who Are you? Tell me something about you, make me want to get to know you better. That, to me, is where social media should go. That's what social media should be a part of. H I love chatting with you so much. Please tell everybody where they can find and follow you. Follow me on Instagram at Laurence Zerian, and let...

...me also just say this for anybody that is watching this that is struggling with who they are, you are more than welcome to reach out to me on instagram send me a DM because I, even though I've had dentical to I've an identical twin brother, I thought that I was all alone and I didn't think other people felt like I did. You are so not alone. You matter, you mean something and there's so many people in this world that love you for you. You can't go back. Who knows what tomorrow is? Celebrate Yourself. My name is Lauren Jerien and I'm gay. Who Are you? Celebrate it, on it and love it, because we are all in this lifetime together, all of us. I love it. I love it. What's your instagram handle again, laurence LAWRENC Zerian, and my friends call me. I'll see L Z. I can talk with you for hours and hours and hours. I'm a huge fan. Thank you. Thank you so much for joining me today. Love you so much. That has been my chat with Lauren Zeren. You can check out my indepth interview with him on Metro Sourcecom, where we really get into the nitty gritty. You can also see some pictures from his collection, which is also very exciting. And that's our episode. I'm your host, Alexander Rodriguez. You can find me on Instagram at Alexander is on air and until next time, stay true and do you boom. That has been another metro source mini like share, subscribe on your favorite podcast player and check out the latest issue of Metro Sports magazine on newstands or online at Metro sportscom. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, at natural source and on twitter at Metro Sports Man, until next time he pass.

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