Robert Verdi is ringing in a decade and a half of being in the biz. So, obviously, we had to grill him on how he’s stuck around and who he truly digs sidling up to at a fashion show…
Happy fashion birthday, Robert! What are you proudest of so far?
The thing that didn’t work: my reality show. My show was inked, signed, and ready to go in 2006, before any gay man had a self-titled show.
Where do you think you get your sense of humor?
My mother. She’s a big personality. On Golden Girls, she’d be Bea Arthur. She’s funny and super bossy.
What’s the secret Verdi formula?
I know who to ask, what to ask, and how to ask it. I’m fearless about asking. I can be at the table and talk the talk. In pitch meetings, you’re told to pitch one or two solid ideas. I’ll come in with 40!
What’s an especially wacky pitch that didn’t fly?
I developed my own ice cream flavor, called Sweet, Sticky Stuff. I tried to get Ben & Jerry’s to do it.
Who are your favorite seatmates?
I’ve been next to really great people, like Beyoncé. Kate Betts is a great seatmate, too. She’s dry, brilliant, and she makes the most fantastic, ironic observations. I’ve sat next to Fran Lebowitz twice. She’s hysterical.
Ever been caught snarking at a show?
Oh, I always talk sh*t. Any favorites on the fashion calendar?The Blondes! They’re incredibly creative, and everybody’s always there—freaks, weirdos, rock stars, royals, socialites, losers, crackheads—everybody. On the total other end of the spectrum, I love going to a spectacle like Michael Kors. I always leave his show covered in cashmere fuzz.