Gunn, the "den mother" for contestants on the Bravo reality series Project Runway, spoke to students as part of the annual Dom Luke Childs' Lecture series: "Making it Work with Tim Gunn."
Tim shared tips with students and faculty that apply to life both on and off the runway.
In a talk based heavily on one of his books, Gunn's Golden Rules, Tim provided several anecdotes to tell the students why it's important to always take the high road and take responsibility for their own actions. Tim's experience in the fashion industry has included a few encounters with substantial egos, and Tim urged the students to recognize the fact that none of them are entitled to anything and they must earn what they want to achieve.
"The world does not owe you anything," Tim said. "It is very important that you make your own place in this world."
Tim also spoke about how success in life does not always follow a neat, linear pattern and can come in many ways and forms. After many years at Parsons, Tim said he would have been shocked to think of himself as an educator when he was young.
"I hated school," Tim said. "I loved learning but it was the social interaction that was so hard."
Students were excited to hear more from Tim and asked several questions that ranged from personal fashion to the school dress code to his Project Runway co-stars. Tim made sure that everyone left knowing that Heidi Klum is great to work with, that wearing sweatpants at a nice occasion is the fashion blunder that offends him the most, that he loves the fact that Portsmouth Abbey students wear blazers and ties to class.
Following his presentation, Tim spent time with students one-on-one to answer questions, sign copies of his books and take photos.