Macy's on State Street kicked off the holidays with a tree-lighting in the historic Walnut Room Nov. 8. This year marks the 107th lighting of the tree in the Walnut Room with 3,000 ornaments and 6,000 LED lights.
During the event, carolers and a 4-year-old from the Make-A-Wish campaign lit the tree along with host Ryan Seacrest and American Idol winner Lee DeWyze, who entertained spectators with three songs.
DeWyze is from Mount Prospect, Illinois, and mentioned to Windy City Times about how life-changing Idol was for him. He has put out two albums and is working on a third. Releasing a song from the television show The Walking Dead was a special highlight for him.
Emmy-winning host and producer Seacrest sat down for a brief interview before the celebration.
Windy City Times: Are the holidays the perfect time of year for you?
Ryan Seacrest: Favorite time of the year. I was born Christmas Eve so I am obligated to be a mascot for the holidays.
WCT: So do you get double presents?
Ryan Seacrest: Of course. I played it up. My parents were pretty cool about separating them out on Christmas Day, but my friends claimed one present was for both.
WCT: Has it been a huge undertaking with your new suit collection, Ryan Seacrest Distinction?
Ryan Seacrest: It has been a fun project. I started paying attention to the detail in suits when I started hosting American Idol because I was wearing a suit every night. I remember when I was scared to death on the first season of Idol and I felt more confident. Some of the nerves and fear would go away. When you put on a suit with some nice detail with a tie bar you have a sense of confidence that is elevated a little bit. That is good for life.
WCT: Is it about the accessories, also?
Ryan Seacrest: I love attention to detail. I remember I started pocket square years ago on Idol and got a lot of feedback from doing it. People thought it was a cool look. It is a combination of things. It allows you to show your personality.
WCT: Are you moving into a casual line?
Ryan Seacrest: I hope so. The idea is to successfully launch this great product with accessories and expand the brand. It is about combining the great detail, which I have seen over the years with a price that is accessible to Macy's.
WCT: Do you ever get starstruck with the people you've interviewed?
Ryan Seacrest: Yeah, of course. I interviewed the First Lady when she came in. There is so much leading up to someone like that so you can't help but get nervous about it because you want it all to go smoothly and perfectly. You don't really think of them as human. You have to remember they are.
WCT: Producing the Kardashians reality show just keeps going and going for you.
Ryan Seacrest: They are an incredible family. When we first saw a tape of them at their house we saw how fun they are and how active their lives are. We also saw how much love is at the center of that family. If you watch the early episodes what they wanted to show was no matter how crazy it got that they wanted to get in a living room and hug each other at the end of the episode. I think that is the core of that show. I don't think any of us thought it would take on the life that it has over the years and continues to be such a success.
WCT: I've interviewed Reza from your Bravo hit Shahs of Sunset. Where did you find him?
Ryan Seacrest: He changes the world! Reza is one of my favorite people. When he walks into a room everything changes the minutes he steps in. We were casting for a show that was looking for different worlds and that was one that came to fruition. When we saw the tape of him we knew he could be a television star. I get to watch the tapes, some of which don't make the air. I am constantly entertained by the Reza-isms.
WCT: I keep asking him to come to Chicago and hit the gay bars.
Ryan Seacrest: We will change that. I will make sure he knows he has an invitation!
To shop Seacrest's suits online, visit www.macys.com or at 150 Macy's stores. Interested persons can also make a special visit to Macy's at 111 N. State St. to view the Great Tree in the Walnut Room this season.