TIM GUNN, born; An American fashion consultant and TV personality, Gunn was chair of fashion design at Parsons New School for Design from August 2000 to March 2007 and is well-known as on-air mentor to designers on the Bravo reality program Project Runway.
Gunn’s popularity on Project Runway led to his spin-off show, Bravo’s Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, as well as his book A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style.
Gunn’s father was an FBI agent and worked for J. Edgar Hoover as his ghostwriter and general amanuensis. Gunn was visiting his father at his office one day. He tells this wonderful story:
“My sister and I used to take the FBI tour once a year. It was a big deal in D.C., and we never missed it. One year, 1961, when I was eight, I was on the tour and my father asked me if I’d like to meet Vivian Vance. According to Helen Gandy, Hoover’s secretary, Vance was visiting Hoover, and she said she’d be happy to meet us. I was a rabid I Love Lucy fan and was beside myself with excitement… My father smiled and took my sister and me into Hoover’s office, where I shook Vivian Vance’s hand and chatted with her. She was charming and I was thrilled.
Years later, I was reminiscing with my sister about the meeting, and suddenly I realized something. “Does it seem odd to you,” I asked her, “that when we met Vivian Vance in Hoover’s office, Hoover wasn’t there?” I’ve since looked at photos of both Hoover and Vivian Vance from that period of time, and the similarities are rather eerie… I’ve called some Vivian Vance experts, including Rob Edelman and Audrey Kupferberg, who wrote Meet the Mertzes: The Life Stories of I Love Lucy’s Other Couple; none of them knew of any meeting between Vance and Hoover. I was able to check with the scheduler for Mr. Hoover and there is no record of Vivian Vance ever visiting him in their files.”