In the Past decade, Reality TV has become a major force in Americas homes. We rush home to catch our favorite reality stars and shows, that satisfy our guilty pleasure with interesting and hilarious entertainment. From Big Brother, Survivor, Real World, Americas Next Top Model to I Love New York, Project Runway, Housewives and the newly Fashion Show, these contestants and entertainers keep us wondering and tuning in week after week. And, this is where we find Reco Chapple.
Reco was a contestant on the very first season of the Fashion Show. A competitive show on Bravo where contestants showcased their skill and ability in fashion design. Week after week, the contestants had to create unique and wearable designs based on various challenges, assignments, and personal style. In the end, the winner got to take home $100,000 and a chance to sell their line. Although, Reco came in 4th place, his skill, talent, and personality created a loyal and honest fan base that will soon help propel him to winning success. Born in Chattanooga, TN, Reco has been in the fashion business for over 10 years. He describes his style as uber sexy and glamorous, creating pieces such as ballroom gowns, two-piece suits, and streamline pants and jeans. Reco currently owns a boutique, ‘423 Clothing’, and is creative director for his line, “House of Chapple”.
BE Style: When did you realize that you were talented in fashion design?
Reco Chapple: My mother was crazy obsessed with clothes. She used to come home from work with new clothes cause, at the time she was working for a department store. And, I used to remember being intrigued with the different clothes and colors, and after that design and fitting never left.
BE Style: I know that ballroom and pageantry dresses are your forte. Is that the direction you want to go in or are you looking into high fashion, menswear or contemporary also?
Reco Chapple: Well I have two lines. “Reco Chapple” is the high end/luxe line featuring gowns, cocktail dresses, and suits. “House of Chapple” is the lower end line. This line showcases signature denim and T-shirts. I also am designing menswear. You’ll see a lot of denim and T-shirt things I enjoy but, also suits and jackets for men, as well.
BE Style: On the show, Isaac Mizrahi said, “You need to do more research on high end designers. Visit European cities.” Do you think being raised in the south has a tremendous effect on the way you design and on your vision?
Reco Chapple: No. I have traveled throughout the U.S. Although, I haven’t traveled outside the U.S., I thinks it’s all about your creative ability and talent. I believe that remark was a way for me to exit the show. I’ve definitely researched European and high fashion designers.
BE Style: Do you think your aggressiveness and outspoken nature on the show helped or hurt your experience?
Reco Chapple: I believed it helped and hurt my chances. It helped, because, I was able to speak to America as a Designer. I’m a real person, and I wanted to display who I really am. It hurt my chances in winning the money.
BE Style: You know sometimes on these shows black contestants seem like they get so close, and probably should win, but don’t. What’s your take on this?
Reco Chapple: On Bravo it’s obvious that no black contestant has ever won. From Karasun, Mychael Knight, Top Chef shows. But in fashion there’s a blackout anyways. From models, designers, and stylists. So, I’m defintely not surprised.
BE Style: Do you feel they picked Kelly Rowland because she has celebrity status, or do you think they should have selected a judge with a fashion background?
Reco Chapple: I did wish Kelly was more aggressive. She doesn’t know sewing or the technicalities of fashion. She may have an eye for what she likes and what’s in. I feel they could have picked someone like Naomi Campbell or Veronica Webb who could still bring viewers, but, also have that fashion background and insight on the industry.
BE Style: Do you think your time came too soon on the show, or do you think it happened the way it should have?
Reco Chapple: I believed it happened the way it happened. I’ve tried out for Project Runway, since the very first show and feel like the producers wanted to hold off on me for this show because of my aggressive nature and video submittal.
BE Style: Do you feel Isaac and Fern were solid judges?
Reco Chapple: Isaac: Yes. Fern: No. I feel Isaac has been in the industry, and has that insight. He knows how to be successful in fashion. Fern based many of her decisions on opinion, personal taste, and what she thinks is in.
BE Style: Who were some of the contestants that you thought, ‘how in the hell did you make the show?’
Reco Chapple: I believed all of us made the show for some reason or another, but, if anyone, Johnny. He had a good game and knew fashion, but, when it came to producing a product, he didn’t have the know-how or skill set.
BE Style: Reality shows have helped launch contestants careers, or they quickly fizzle out. How do you plan to keep yourself in the public eye?
Reco Chapple: I plan to keep producing hot clothes, season after season. I really don’t care about TV. I just want to produce greats products for my consumers, and fans.
BE Style: Would you ever do another reality show in the future?
Reco Chapple: Yes, I would do another reality show. I have a lot of offers coming at me. Several producers are interested in doing a pilot. So, something may be coming in the future real soon.
BE Style: What are some things about Reco that we just don’t know?
Reco Chapple: (Laughs) On the show I put myself out there in every way. I laughed , cried, fought, and really I keep it real; and was myself all the way. But, I really am a chill person. Very introverted. Down to earth and just like to have a good time.
BE Style: What can we expect next from Reco Chapple?
Reco Chapple: Well, my website will be up and running very shortly. I have a book, “How To Make It Big in the Fashion Business- How to Make It Work in any Demographic. ATL v/s NYC.” I also want to be a household name. I’m going to start fragrances, branding, and marketing. I also have another book coming out called “Becoming Legendary: All American Dream”, which discusses my 11 years in the business with pics, bios, and experiences. Going to be like a table book. And on November 1st at the Trade Center in Chattanooga, I have a show, “Making of a Fashion Icon.” Also, in the Summer of 2010, I will be starting a camp for kids on fashion and design, the business of the industry, fitness and how to stay in shape.
BE Style: Lastly, how can people contact you in regards to getting pieces created and more information?
As you can tell, Reco may not have won the show, but gained t
ons more knowledge, and insight from what he already knew from the 10 years being in the business. And, he shows how, being committed can take you to heights higher than your wildest dreams.