BiographyKressley was born November 11, 1969 and raised in Claussville, in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. His family raised ponies and he competed in equine events from an early age, and was a member of the U.S. World Cup Saddle Seat equitation team.
Growing up, he attended Northwestern Lehigh High School in the Northwestern Lehigh School District. He graduated from Gettysburg College with a degree in management and fine art in 1991, with Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude honors. While at Gettysburg College, Kressley became a brother of Alpha Phi Omega.
He currently resides in New York City, where he is active in numerous gay-rights, animal and health-related charities. Kressley was a vocal supporter of Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign for President and headlined a number of events in her honor.
CareerHe began as an independent stylist, then worked for Ralph Lauren from 1994 until 2002, working in several areas including menswear and corporate advertising. His leap into television took place in 2003 when he gained great exposure as the "fashion savant" on Queer Eye when the show debuted on the Bravo cable television network. He remains active and visible on television as a fashion critic or commentator. Kressley has frequently appeared on The Today Show and for the E! Network, among others, and has critiqued red carpet fashions at high-profile events such as the Oscars and the Golden Globes. In 2005, he acted as a judge for the Miss Universe pageant, which aired live from Bangkok, Thailand. In 2006, he returned to the Miss Universe pageant, but as commentator, and was also commentator for the 2006 Miss USA pageant.
In February 2007, he was announced as the host of new Lifetime makeover show, How to Look Good Naked (a U.S. version of a British series). The show's premiere episode on January 4, 2008 drew record numbers for Lifetime—1.6 million viewers, which included significant numbers in the adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 demographics, as well as the network's target demo of women 18-34. As of January 2008, the debut episode of How to Look Good Naked is Lifetime's highest-rated premiere in those three demographics.
In May 2007, he acted as a judge on reality series Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants where mother and daughter teams compete in a beauty pageant. Crowned debuted on The CW on December 12, 2007.
Kressley appeared as the Master of Ceremonies on Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Tour 2008.
In September 2008, Kressley filmed a pilot for his own daytime talk show on Lifetime.
He has also appeared on Big Brother Australia, giving fashion advice to the housemates.
He is a judge on True Beauty, along with Vanessa Minnillo and Beth Stern.
ActingSince the success of Queer Eye he has pursued various acting opportunities. In 2005, Kressley made his film debut in the movie The Perfect Man starring Heather Locklear and Hilary Duff, playing Lance, a bartender. In July 2006, he announced he had started production on his second feature, The Year Without a Santa Claus, playing the elf costumier. This TV movie also stars John Goodman as Santa, and aired December 11, 2006 on NBC. He had a cameo role in his third movie, the independent comedy 16 to Life.
Fashion designHe also has moved into fashion design. In November 2006, Kressley debuted "Perfect", his own clothing for men and women, on QVC. He cites his experience as a stylist with Ralph Lauren and on Queer Eye as inspiration for the line, and says he "...realized a lot of people are missing great basics in their wardrobe. I consider my Perfect collection for QVC to be 'basics with a twist.'"
- Author of the 2004 book Off The Cuff: The essential style guide for men and the women who love them (ISBN 0-525-94836-8).
- Author of You're Different and That's Super, a 2005 children's story deriving inspiration from the classic tale "The Ugly Duckling," featuring a unicorn who grows up among a herd of horses from foalhood to maturity.
- Co-author, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: The Fab Five's Guide to Looking Better, Cooking Better, Dressing Better, Behaving Better, and Living Better (Clarkson Potter, 2004), with the four other cast members.
Other vocationsIn April 2006, Kressley became ordained over the Internet as a minister of the Universal Life Church, in order to be able to perform a wedding ceremony during an episode of Queer Eye. During the episode he mistakenly announced he had been ordained by the "Universal Unitarian Church of Modesto, California," and the slip aired, much to the amusement of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Modesto, California.
Kressley is also known as an owner of American Saddlebred horses and respected for his success as a horse show exhibitor. His interest in horses combined with his interest in promoting respect for diversity, resulted in his authorship of 'You're Different and That's Super!', illustrated by cartoonist Jared Lee.
Kressley is an ambassador for the Melbourne Cup, in 2007 playing a part in the 'Fashion On The Field'.
In November 2006 Kressley competed on a celebrity edition of Jeopardy and placed in second place, losing by one dollar.
- In 2004 Queer Eye won an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Reality Program." It was nominated again for that category in 2005.