Williams’ very own Campus Safety and Security supervisor Mike Batory has a small secret: his son, Brad Batory, is one of the final contestants on the hit VHI series, Glam God. But if you’re looking for a small-town guy named Brad, you’ll definitely be disappointed. Instead you should search for an urban-punk young man with grillz and oversized sunglasses who calls himself Indashio. Brad/Indashio, now 23, started his celebrity-status career at the age of 19 when he became one of the youngest fashion designers to show at New York Fashion week. He has gone on to style A-list celebrities such as Nicky Hilton, Tyra Banks and Vanessa Carleton.
VH1’s new series Glam God, hosted by Vivica A.Fox, is a reality elimination show featuring 12 high-maintenance stylists competing for $100,000 and the opportunity to style an A-list celebrity. The show requires contestants to create a complete look each week and mimics the trials and tribulations of true Hollywood stylists (drama included).
Mike Batory, who was born and raised in Pittsfield, Mass., is a soft-spoken, “no-frills about him” kind of guy. As soon as the interview began, he proudly displayed a copy of The Berkshire Eagle featuring a picture of his son on the cover. Every week, Mike watches his son perform fashion miracles on VH1. “I’ll tell you, it’s been real exciting for the family. We have family all over the country – Kentucky, Washington state and all over. We all watch it. My daughters often go over to their grandmother’s house and watch it late at night,” he said.
Brad’s sisters, Ciara, 21, and Mallory, 17, are his biggest fans, serving as both models and clients for the up-and-coming stylist. Mike, on the other hand, has never been styled by his son. “Me? Not me! His sisters, he has been styling since they were younger, four or five years old,” Mike said. “He styled what they wore to school each day and different things like that.”
Despite his decidedly un-Berkshire image, Brad has not forgotten his roots. He had two shows in Pittsfield, one at the Colonial Theater and the other at the Crown Plaza Hotel. In his show at the Colonial Theater, Brad made sure to incorporate the family. “I was pretty proud because he made sure he walked on stage with his sisters, and I thought that was pretty classy. [It] made me proud,” Mike said.
For the second show, a much larger venue, Brad had unorthodox “auditions” at the mall for models. Luckily for the model hopefuls, all were accepted for the show that included 700 to 800 people.
Mike has an easy time finding differences between himself and his son. “We are kind of opposite,” he said. “I like to be scheduled and have things planned, but he likes to put that pressure on himself.”
The two have definitely had their fair share of father-son conflicts. When Brad was 15, he started getting tired of small-town Pittsfield and dreamt of partying and hanging out in bigger cities like Albany, N.Y. For Mike, this was not a suitable option. Eventually, however, Brad stopped asking and started going without permission.
Despite their past disagreements, Mike and Brad do find things that both can enjoy, including their shared love of sneakers and hats. At Mike’s 25th wedding anniversary, his longtime friend reminded Mike that he once sported a similar plaid hat to the one Brad wore that day. “Probably one of the style things we have in common is hats. We’ve always been hat people,” Mike said.
Aside for an affinity for hats, the father and son duo share a commitment to community. Mike worked with juvenile delinquents for almost 20 years and ran two homeless housing programs in Florida. He has also been the director of operations at the Boys and Girls Club.
For his part, Brad has participated with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and has been called by a global fashion magazine, Lucire, as “the humanitarian designer” for his work in preventing teen pregnancy.
Brad chose his fashion name Indashio because it means “living one’s dream,” something that Brad is certainly fulfilling. The phrase has special meaning to the stylist because it’s a motto that both Brad and Mike have always lived by. “Have a passion and go after it. Don’t let anyone stand in your way,” Mike said.