How I remember Whitney Houston
As we learned of Whitney Houston’s passing last weekend we like many of you out there felt an overwhelming shock and genuine sympathy for the fallen star for her voice was like no other. And although we got to see her through her turbulent years and were faced with an explicit reminder of the devastation drugs can take on one’s life, we will miss her fiery demeanor and explosive performances.
Brad Boles looks back at their time together. -N.H.
The unexpected that comes along in life can work in funny ways sometimes. Just a week ago I received a call from Whitney Houston asking to meet as she wanted me to work on an interior design project. She was upbeat and looking to the future.
Just this Saturday, I was shocked and devastated to be in attendance at her funeral…
The world’s press has had a field day with the passing of Whitney Houston; rehashing every bad hair day or fashion mistake, every stumble & fall. The first time I met Whitney was with Clive Davis, her lifelong mentor. I was mesmerized by her undeniable beauty and, believe me, if you had ever seen her in person you’d know what I’m talking about. She was dazzling beyond belief.
Although she was featured in a slew of iconic 80′s fashion images with a body and verve that was dynamic and radiant, Nippy, as I knew her, was not a fashion icon. In fact, she made some really bad choices every so often throughout her career as she dressed by instinct. Strangely enough, she used some of the world’s top stylists and still couldn’t get it right all the time.
Then she met Marc Bouwer and overnight Nippy became a diva appearing before the world in a body-hugging evening gown. Ever since, I’ve associated her leggy beauty with gowns. Amazingly, she never played the role of diva with her friends and would call out of the blue just to chat.
Published on February 20, 2012
As a make-up artist I was amazed at how humble Nippy was when it came to her beauty routine. Talk to any make-up artist that she ever worked with, and hands down they’ll all say the same thing: “mesmerizing!” So let’s all remember her for the legend she will remain with a voice and sense of delivery that made her a true original. We all stumble & fall from time to time, it’s a part of any given person’s life to have ups & downs and with her celebrity came an unfortunate heavy-handed gaze from the media. I guess this last time she just didn’t have the strength to carry on. Rest in peace my friend! – Brad Boles
Brad Boles landed in New York in the early eighties at the height of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and worked his way up the make-up artist ladder to fame with his work being featured on the cover's of countless fashion magazines, as well as editorial spreads. MTV was his playground working with the most celebrated artists of the time from Pat Benatar to Grace Jones.
When Hollywood came calling, he landed his first film doing Kim Cattrall’s make-up and went on to work with Reese Witherspoon, Gina Gershon, Sandra Bernhard, Karen Black, Billy Zane, Andrew McCarthy and more.
Brad was the creative director for Denise Rich for 12 years as her stylist and make-up artist, as well as designing her legendary parties for such luminaries as President Clinton, Patti Labelle, Natelie Cole, and Richard Avedon.
Later, Brad opened a store of exotic interiors in NYC in 2002 and then opened a store in Moscow! Brad also designed the Zarin Fabrics showroom with Jill Zarin thus leading to being on the “The Real Housewives of New York City” seen as Jill Zarin's gay husband. Brad is currently working globally on interior projects and has been busy doing interiors in New York City, The Hamptons, Moscow, Morocco, and Dubai.
He has shot the pilot for his own TV show produced by Nancy Glass Productions. Look for his coffee table book, "The Art of Extravagant Luxury" coming soon. Brad and Sharon Haver are developing a style book and series.