Nadia Giosia, the creator and host of Cooking Channel’s Bitchin’ Kitchen, as well as food and comedy travelogue Bite This with Nadia G., tells us about this prized white tank top that was signed by none other than late rock 'n' roll legend Lou Reed.
So how did this tank come into your life? "This one tank top, I actually had signed by Lou Reed. What's so crazy is that when I was growing up, I was listening to a lot of Velvet Underground and it was kind of the background music to my rebellion. And then to finally meet him in person, and he was actually a Bitchin' Kitchen fan. You can find a quote from him in my cookbook, Cookin' For Trouble. So I got to meet him and to see him enjoying Bitchin' Kitchen, laughing at my jokes, and ultimately, signing my tank top…my life came full circle. Growing up listening to this crazy rock 'n' roll, and having this rock 'n' roll legend enjoying stuff that I created, was pretty epic."
Wow! How did that happen? "Back in the day, we were talking to this manager who discovered our show and loved it—and he was actually Lou Reed's manager! He smelled the rock 'n' roll of Bitchin' Kitchen, so he hit us up, and Lou Reed was having a screening of one of his documentaries. So I go to this screening, about four years ago, and there is Lou Reed. And I'm just fan girl-ing and trying to contain myself and stay cool. And then he ended up signing my beater."
Why that beater of all the beaters in the world? "Well, that's a good question. He said he never does it, that he very rarely autographs things. And it's one of my favorite tank tops. I just love plain white tank tops, with sexy leather leggings. I had this one for many, many years, it was well worn in."
Do you wear it often? I guess you have to preserve it? "You know, I'm not a big fan of preserving. You live once and you gotta enjoy the things that you have. So I just wear it, and I do wash it—not very often, but I enjoy it."
People must ask about it all the time! "Yeah, people are like, 'Is that Lou Reed's autograph?' I'm like, 'Yup, and you are jealous!'"
How does that rock 'n' roll vibe play into your sense of style? "It plays a huge part. I've always been a bit of a misfit, a black sheep in a traditional Italian family. And I love to express myself via fashion. Another example is, I had these beautiful Christian Louboutin black boots and I had them custom studded by another designer that I'm crazy about, called Beth. They're stunning, paint splattered with big studs all over them. I like juxtaposition. I like to incorporate that punk style into my everyday wear."
When you see the tank top hanging in your closet, what's the first word that comes to mind? "Awesome. Also, to get the stamp of approval from a rock god like Lou Reed is pretty surreal."