Inside the SNL Costume Closet

Tom Broecker and Eric Justian, Chief Costume Designers, Saturday Night Live. New York.

By: Alicia Cesaro
Photography: Alec Kugler

We’ve been inside a lot of wardrobes during Coveteur’s five year (and counting!) reign as the industry’s official closet raider. And most of said closets have been pretty impressive, like, say, Aerin Lauder’s upper east side wallpapered walk-in version or Jeffrey Kalinsky’s organized-by-color Birkin collection. And while some of them copped to have separate spaces to archive their Dior and Dries, we can pretty much say with confidence that no closet was quite as extensive as Saturday Night Live’s. The main costume closet at 30 Rockefeller Plaza is bigger than any walk-in we’ve ever seen. And that’s not counting the four other rooms throughout the building (and off-site warehouses) housing all 40 (!) years of iconic clothes and accessories from every single SNL sketch ever. Which is why we enlisted the help of the show’s chief costume designers, Tom Broecker and Eric Justian, to take us on an official tour of the *entire* SNL wardrobe—vintage band tees for Wayne’s World, Hillary Clinton pantsuits, glitter socks and all.

While we were there, we took full advantage of the opportunity to question Broecker and Justian on everything from getting their starts in the industry—like how they went from interns to dreaming up costumes for SNL cast members (and hosts, and musical guests like Adele and Sam Smith. NBD)—to the personality traits they look for in new hires (if you’ve dreamt of joining the team, read on closely) and their all-time favorite memories (featuring Will Ferrell in his underwear). As you’d expect, there are wayyyy too many to count considering the duo has been working together at 30 Rockefeller Plaza for over twenty years. Admittedly, we never wanted to leave and, for the record, we ended up chatting for so long some people thought we were SNL's latest interns. Which we didn't hate.