Best-selling Friday Night Lights scribe Buzz Bissinger is 58. He has three kids and a wife. He's pretty sure he's straight. And he's spent more than $500,000 on clothes since 2010.
In an essay penned for next month's GQ, the Philadelphia-based Pulitzer Prize winner candidly reveals an extreme shopping addiction that puts the Wal-Mart sprees seen on MTV's True Life: I'm a Compulsive Shopper to shame.
"It wasn't until the preparation of this story that I actually took a detailed look at the items I have purchase from 2010 through 2012. I was afraid, quite candidly, although a total of a quarter of a million dollar would not have fazed me," Bissinger writes in his 6,000 word essay. "I was somewhat off: $587,412.97."
So just what does more than half of a million dollars get you in the designer clothing game? A Gucci ostrich skin coat that clocks in at $13,900. A pair of the Italian label's $5,600 leather pants. And, according to a photo in the piece, a black studded Diane von Furstenberg women's leather jacket that retails for $1,200. In fact Bissinger has a penchant for leather jackets (he owns 15 black ones that all look similar). Because, as he also makes known in the piece, he is a sex addict who is into S&M.
"I did engage in a relationship with a dominatrix after the failure of my second marriage," Bissinger writes, noting that he left the scene after two years. "But I clearly missed it, the trappings of leather increasingly irresistible."
The author likes leather so much, that he once pulled the trigger on a custom crinkled leather and Persian lambs wool Gucci coat that cost $22,500. Luckily, as Bissinger notes, his son's Kenyon tuition is all paid up.
"Some of the clothing is men's. Some is women's. I make no distinction," he writes. "Men's fashion is catching up, with high-end retailers such as Gucci and Burberry and Versace finally honoring us. But women's fashion is still infinitely more interesting and has an unfair monopoly on feeling sexy, and if the clothing you wear makes you feel the way you want to feel, liberated and alive, then fucking wear it. The opposite, to repress yourself as I did for the first fifty-five years of my life, is the worst price of all to pay."
His affinity for Gucci even got him to the front row of the brand's autumn/winter 2013 menswear show in Milan — courtesy of the company — where he drank copious amounts of champagne and helped round out his ever-growing collection. To prepare for the trip he worked with a fiery, Iranian-born stylist who, he says, "has more impact on my life than anyone, with the exception of my therapist and my family."
He's currently in therapy for sex addiction — "since clothing and sex addiction for me have become one."
After the Gucci-sponsored Italy trip, Bissinger's grand shopping total for the last few years comes to $638,412.
And we no longer feel guilty for buying $55 foundation at Barney's.
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