October 01, 2007 12:00 PM

One would think that Tim Gunn—the man whose word is fashion gospel on the Bravo shows Project Runway and Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style—starts off each day by heading into a spacious walk-in closet and wondering, Armani or Gucci? Turns out, however, that the closet in Gunn’s one-bedroom Manhattan apartment is so small he keeps his shirts on wire hangers (“If I had wooden hangers, I wouldn’t have room,” he explains) and the most prevalent label is Banana Republic. “It’s not the most remarkable wardrobe,” admits Gunn, 54. “But it’s mine.” Still, after years of having to dress dapper on a dime while earning a “pauper’s academic salary,” the former fashion-design chair at Parsons The New School for Design is ready to trade up. As the chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne Inc., Gunn wants to mix in pricier pieces, such as a cashmere top coat or a John Varvatos leather jacket. He’ll just have to make space first. “If something comes in,” he says, “something has to come out!”

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