What is it about Richard Gere that’s got me turnt like it’s 1980? Hear me out, hear me out: I recently happened upon Rolling Stone Magazine circa American Gigolo. There, splayed out, bad boy-style was no other than actor-cum-humanitarian Richard Tiffany Gere. The cover triggered a nostalgic rush of adolescent-inspired adrenalin similar to that at-first-sight feeling that I got the first time I saw Pretty Woman. I was obsessed with the way that Julia Roberts’ character, Vivian, layered an oversized men’s button- down shirt over that super sexy Hunza body hugger. And, what fairytale-fed fool didn’t want to be looked at the way he looked at her? All gender and class issues aside, I found him dashingly handsome, and her, unabashedly authentic. He made an impression on me. I imagined him as the sort of guy I should end up with—by no means though did my girlish crush earn him a spot on my bedroom wall of J-14 and Tiger Beat centerfolds featuring Devon Sawa and Ethan Hawke—but still, there was something that stuck.
Fast forward eight or-so years, and one fateful visit to Blockbuster later: bam! No more Mr. Nice Guy. My first viewing of American Gigolo couldn’t have been better timed. Fifteen and in the heat of those formattable fashion years. Loose tailoring, denim-on denim, and buttoned-down oh so right— and just as relevant and spot-on right today as it was forty-years ago. Like one of those aha moments: maybe all this time it wasn’t sex appeal that had me seduced but rather Gere’s timeless sensibility and unsuspecting cool factor that I was crushing on all along...CHELSEA ZALOPANY