Someone needs to style the guests on reality television shows.
Or at least that was the thinking behind the producers of Millionaire Matchmaker when they hired a relatively unknown designer, Peter J. Curti, over a decade ago. Grit Daily caught up with the now-famed prodigal designer who’s taking on the world with his own fashion brand, the eponymous House Of Peter James.
Grit Daily: You’re best known for your role on Millionaire Matchmaker. But we want to know: how did you get that gig?
Peter J. Curti: They literally just called me and asked because I was known as Tiffany’s Stylist from “Flavor of Love.” She’s currently a contestant on “Celebrity Big Brother” now as well. They asked me if I was single, and of course, I said “yes I am very single.” Then they asked if I would be on the show. Tiffany and I had a loft in Los Angeles, and that’s how everything started for me related to fashion and entertainment.
People had the impression that I was not pleasant. But honestly, I am just really shy and inside my head all the time. It isn’t until people really get to know me that they then realize that I am the exact opposite of the persona on “Millionaire Matchmaker.” That experience truly forced me to come out of my shell and not be afraid to show the world the true me.
GD: You’re a long way from Long Island. Share that early journey.
PJC: I grew up in New York and was born and raised in Long Island. I had the perception that “Hollywood” is what making it meant, whether as a movie star or working with the stars. My grandma was the one who pushed me in that direction.
She wanted me to knock on doors. I moved to Los Angeles at 17 years old and decided that I was going to bite the bullet, not let fear rule me, and just go for it. My parents supported me, but I had to sell my possessions and car, and work to get a one-way ticket to Hollywood—thankfully, I did. Home will always be New York, but Hollywood stole my heart.
GD: How do you want people to see your brand?
PJC: I want people to see their best selves through my brand. Everyone’s best is different. This brand is created for “Everyone and All”—not a specific look, body type, or image. It’s about embracing who you are as an individual and being the best version of your self, not living up to someones else’s standard or mold.
The House of Peter James is for people to fall in love with who they are, acceptance, and really giving people the confidence to be their authentic self… not trying to live a lie to fit in. The brand is all about helping people to find their inner voice and expressing it through fashion, and staying true to who they were created to become.
GD: What next productions are you involved in?
PJC: “Dating No Filter” just aired. You can see it here.
GD: What’s coming up next for designer Peter J. Curti?
PJC: We are getting ready for a global launch of my newest collection. It’s for Spring and Summer. The unveiling of my love child will be happening in New York and Miami. Viewers can expect over-the-top looks, fun, sassy, and spontaneous designs in my fashion line. This show will involve all sensations and will really give people the complete Peter J. Curti experience.
Located in the heart of city foot traffic, this collection will stop people in their tracks from the unique display and draw people in with the scents, music, dancing in my designs, and festive vibes drawing crowds to engage with the fashion collection as well as receive complimentary style advice and an autograph on site. Keep a look out for more information about this exciting debut.
GD: What’s one token of conventional fashion wisdom that’s just plain wrong?
PJC: The biggest misconception is honestly that what I do is all glamorous and easy, when actually its not at all. This career path is not that glamorous at all, and it’s a lot of hard work. You really have to work at it, no matter how great your designs are.
You have to keep trying, and know that things are going to fail sometimes. You have to remember that it’s not going to happen overnight. You have to have the right team behind you who understands your vision—because it’s not a one-man show.
Jordan French is the Executive Editor of Grit Daily. An award-winning journalist, he is on the editorial staff at TheStreet.com and a Fast 50 and Inc. 500-ranked entrepreneur.
He is the founder of Notability Partners and the co-founder of BNB Shield, Lisbon Hill Farms, Status Labs, BeeHex, BlockTelegraph, and Grit Daily. A biomedical engineer and intellectual-property attorney, French is the author of upcoming book, The Gritty Entrepreneur.