December 26th-31th, Sprudge.com is revisiting some of our favorite stories from the very exciting past year in coffee. Enjoy!
Our intrepid Hollywood reporter Julie Wolfson recently attended a grand opening gala at the Nespresso Boutique in Beverly Hills. In attendance was Nespresso brand ambassador and fashion icon Tim Gunn, who spoke to Sprudge about coffee, barista fashion, and the future of aprons. Photography by Sofia Wolfson.
The grand opening celebration of the new Nespresso Boutique Beverly Hills was exactly as swanky as you'd imagine. The VIP entrance “red” carpet was a rich shade of espresso, and inside, Nespresso machines and colorful wall of Grands Crus coffee capsules gleamed. Belying their Swiss roots, everything about this space has the intentionality and sleek style of a well-crafted watch.
For opening night in Hollywood, Nespresso enlisted the star power of Tim Gunn, an ardent fan who has been enlisted to represent the design-forward company at gala events. I was offered some one on one time with Mr. Project Runway himself, and so to Beverly Hills we go, for a coffee-forward interview with one of the great American style icons of the 21st Century.
Tim Gunn calls himself a coffee geek, and is old school about many things, including his love for reading a physical copy of The New York Times each morning, having fetched it himself from a favorite newsstand near his Manhattan apartment. When it comes to coffee, Gunn like to drink it at home, in the quiet of his no doubt tastefully appointed abode. His coffee of choice? The Nespresso Dulsao do Brazil.
Tim Gunn laughs easily and is as charming as you'd hope. Personally I have seen every episode of Project Runway, and in real life Mr. Gunn's warm smile, gentle spirit, and self-deprecating comments made it feel as though he and I were really sharing a moment together, there in the middle of that splashy party, like some kind of dream interview turned coffee klatch. Commenting on our surroundings, he told me: “This space would be beautiful even if these were art pieces. Look over there, doesn’t that look like the Museum of Modern Art?” With Tim Gunn at your side, you want to believe that elegance is all around us, and that class and grace are always there, on the surface of our lives, even at the opening gala for a single-use coffee pod. The man is that convincing.
In the course of our interview I acquired a few key quotes from Tim, which we'll share with you below in easily meme-able images. Please enjoy.
Tim Gun on his coffee consumption:
“Nespresso called my agent and said they wanted to promote Nespresso in the US. They heard a rumor that Tim Gunn does not drink coffee. If anything I am a coffee-aholic.”
On drinking coffee in the morning:
“Before I even shower I make a coffee. Then I shower and shave and get dressed. I go out and buy a copy of the New York Times, I come back and I can just relax. I sit at my computer and I have a coffee. It’s all very civilized. I have a compact U machine in my tiny NY kitchen.”
The importance of coffee on the set of Project runway:
“It’s very important. The show is sponsored by Green Mountain, so that is the coffee you will see on camera. We all drink a lot of coffee.”
Tim Gunn’s thoughts on barista fashion:
“I believe in the semiotics of clothes. They send a message about how the world perceives us. For me it goes beyond clothes, it’s grooming. It’s accessories. It’s the whole head to toe look. The baristas I have encountered have a very personalized look that goes along with their own particular coffee culture. I like that and I like that you can brand yourself that way.”
Tim Gunn on barista aprons:
“Aprons have become very fashionable, part of the whole get up. You know they are going to be on the runway eventually. It is going to happen. Popular culture works its way into fashion with so much frequency we are going to see shows inspired by baristas.”