“Queer Eye” fashion expert Tan France, who’s co-hosting “Next in Fashion” on Netflix, says he’s living a lifelong dream.
“Funny enough, when I signed with my agency when I first got ‘Queer Eye,’ they asked me what my dream job would be. I said a fashion competition show,” France, 36, tells The Post. “Being the host or a judge would be my ultimate dream. I love what I do on ‘Queer Eye but it’s not fashion — it’s more style.”
France co-hosts “Next In Fashion” with Alexa Chung. Over 10 episodes filmed in LA, 18 fashion designers compete to win a prize of $250,000 and the chance to debut a collection with luxury retailer Net-A-Porter. The guest judges are a rotating cast of industry giants, including Tommy Hilfiger and Adriana Lima.
“We’ve got some real heavy hitters on our show that add such gravitas to what we’re offering,” says France. But he thinks the show can also appeal to viewers who aren’t fashion aficionados.
“I loved the glassblowing show [‘Blown Away’] and I have no interest in glassblowing myself,” he says. “I think the vibe [of ‘Next in Fashion’] is so positive and feels like a competition-show extension of what we do on ‘Queer Eye.’ We’re trying to shine a light on what our craft is all about.”
France, who’s British-Pakistani but lives in Utah with his husband, illustrator Rob France, rose to prominence when “Queer Eye” (a reboot of Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’’) debuted in 2018. Although Netflix doesn’t release viewership stats, the series’ popularity shows in France’s Instagram following (over 3 million) and his pop-culture presence (he’s appeared in a Taylor Swift music video and on all the major talk shows).
“I did not think many people would watch ‘Queer Eye’ [when it first came out], so I’m shocked when I’m traveling internationally and find just so many people so excited to tell me what they love about it,” he says. “That will never get old. As far as my personal life, it hasn’t changed massively. I still live in my same house, I still have my same friends, I go to the same restaurants, gym, grocery store.”
France says he has no plans to relocate to a more typical entertainment industry city like New York or LA.
“Salt Lake City is my favorite place on earth. I know people find that so bizarre,” he says. “But for me it makes sense. I wasn’t from show business; I’ve only done this for a couple of years, and my life outside of work is actually very simple. The work part of my life is what changed so drastically. Because now when I’m on the street or shooting the show, people often will know my name. That’s a feeling you don’t really get used to.”
France is also the first openly gay South Asian man — and out gay Muslim man — on TV.
“Is it sad that it’s taken us so long to get to a point where South Asian gay people are represented? Yes. However, I don’t take that responsibility lightly,” he says. “I’d like to make sure that I am constantly acting with my community in mind [and] not just myself. That makes it incredibly high pressure, but I would like to believe I’m in a position where I can carry that mantle relatively well and responsibly.”
Meanwhile, aside from “Next in Fashion,” France has a fifth season of “Queer Eye” in the can (no premiere date yet).
“We wrapped a few months ago, and my gosh it’s good! It was based in Philly,” he says. “It feels different tonally than our other seasons. Every season I think ‘I don’t know what heroes we could meet that could make us behave differently or learn more about ourselves.’ But we do.”
By Lauren Sarner