Before they emerged as the Fab Five on Netflix’s ‘Queer Eye,’ Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, and Bobby Berk had already carved their paths in different walks of life. The varied backgrounds and experiences of each member have formed the dynamic of the Fab Five we see today. Let’s explore their individual journeys leading up to the ‘Queer Eye‘ fame.
Before becoming ‘Queer Eye’s culture expert, Karamo Brown had already gained visibility on MTV. In 2004, he emerged as an influential figure on ‘The Real World: Philadelphia,’ where he made history as the first openly gay black man on reality TV. However, this was just the beginning. Brown went on to participate in ‘The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno II’ and later appeared in ‘The Next 15’ in 2016. He then hosted MTV’s ‘Are You the One: Second Chances’ prior to joining the Fab Five. Born in Houston, Texas, and raised in Florida, Brown now resides in Los Angeles and is getting ready to marry photographer Carlos Medel.
Jonathan Van Ness
Jonathan Van Ness, ‘Queer Eye’s grooming expert, started his journey in the world of hairstyling. Working at successful salons in Los Angeles and New York City, he honed his craft. However, Jonathan’s distinctive personality led him to explore beyond the confines of salon work. In 2013, he ventured into the realm of digital entertainment with his Emmy-nominated ‘Game of Thrones’ recap show, ‘Gay of Thrones,’ for ‘Funny or Die.’ By 2015, he had launched his podcast ‘Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness.’ Born in Quincy, Illinois, Van Ness now lives in Austin, Texas.
Antoni Porowski, the Fab Five’s food and wine expert, initially pursued an acting career. He appeared in minor roles on ‘The Blacklist’ and ‘Blue Mountain State’ while working in restaurants to sustain his life as a struggling actor. The course of Porowski’s career took a turn when he met Ted Allen, the original ‘Queer Eye’s food and wine expert, at a book signing. Allen took Porowski under his wing, mentoring him and even hiring him as his personal assistant. Born in Montreal to Polish immigrants, Porowski is fluent in French, English, and Polish. He now resides in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, and has been engaged to advertising executive Kevin Harrington since 2022.
Bobby Berk, the Fab Five’s design expert, demonstrated an early interest in interior design. Berk worked his way up in the retail design world, with positions at Bed Bath & Beyond and Restoration Hardware, before becoming the Creative Director at Portico Home + Spa. In 2006, he took a leap of faith, launching Bobby Berk Interiors + Design. Born in Texas and raised in Missouri, Berk moved to New York City in 2003 with just a few dollars in his pocket. Today, he resides in Los Angeles with his husband, Dewey.
Tan France’s journey to becoming ‘Queer Eye’s fashion expert began in his grandparents’ denim factory. He fell in love with clothes-making and later worked at several retailers, including Zara. In 2011, France’s career took a significant leap when he founded the women’s clothing line, Kingdom & State. In 2016, he collaborated with successful fashion blogger Rachel Parcell on her clothing line. Born in Doncaster, England, to Pakistani parents, France now calls Utah home, where he lives with his husband, illustrator Rob France.