You can either let someone be protected from reality or let them be sculpted and birthed by it. I firmly believe the latter option is best.
You can either let someone be protected from reality or let them be sculpted and birthed by it. I firmly believe the latter option is best.
On Friday, August 26th, I grabbed my daughter, now known as Ava Bieber, my designer / astrologer friend Gilian Chavet and we headed for my country home. I mean after all we were just about to start fashion week, had already experienced an earthquake and seriously, I was in no mood for black outs, riots or devastation. I called friends who were psychics and all instructed me to head for the hills, get out of New York LICKETY SPLITSVILLE ALOHAAAA!!!!. I instructed all of the team at People’s Revolution to go home early, familiarize themselves with hurricane procedures and to take refuge. I phoned some of my closest friends and Grand street tribal members: Rupert Noffs, Cheff Matty Bee, Designer Tamara Magel, MTV Exec Shannon Fitzgerald and let them know mi casa was their crib for the storm. “Hurry,” I said, it is going to be a disaster.
On Saturday, I woke up to an overcast and drizzly day. I quickly ran out to the farmers market and stocked up on the most luxurious seasonal offerings; after all I thought I would be feeding a small army, right? WRONG! The only person of my invited guests to take the journey was my friend Shannon. I cooked an amazing meal. We played together, sat by the fire, laughed and prepared for the great storm.
I never believed that Irene would have the fucking balls to attack my home. I pray to the Universal Mother and I worship the force of nature, surely the Mother would not eat one of her own? At 9:30 Shannon came into my room and said – “Kell, um you better come downstairs, the water is getting really high.”
I ran downstairs and sure enough the water was filling up. This is a perfect time for meditation we declared and we placed this beautiful white chair in front of the window.
Here is where we sat and watched Irene. Still we were confident our house would be saved.
Suddenly Shannon called out – We are flooding in here! Ava Bieber and I ran in to join her and we began to bail our utility room with three very odd tools: a plastic bowl, a cup and a scoop. Over 25 buckets of water were filled when Irene became unstoppable. We opened up the door to wave for help to the passing fire department – they hooted their horn and waved while driving by. Oh lord we thought – we are going to get taken down.
We quickly called 911 who explained to us not to move, as the force of the water would throw us down. Our street was already in evacuation process. As the fireman arrived at the top of the driveway (luckily Gil and I had a psychic vision to move the car to the top of my driveway earlier), the 100 gallon propane tank dislodged from the side of the house and literally dribbled like a basketball up the driveway and exploded. Pow Fizz zzzzzzzz ppapapapapapapap bam!!!!!
The fireman instructed us to run to the top of the house. “Mommy, are we going to die here?” Ava asked. “No, of course not,” I responded. “Yes we are Mommy.” “No we are not Ava.” “Yes we are, you are just saying that to be a good mommy. That’s what good mommy’s do.” “No I assured her,” if we were dying I would let her know and we would prepare for that. The day was getting grueling, we were tiring and to be honest we were disappointed that are firemen were not the calendar type. The firemen were starting to scream at us – Ladies they said leave everything – Shannon was grabbing her neon yellow bespoke bag, a Louis Vuitton scarf and her computer, Gil was grabbing her jewelry and computer and me, well Ava’s stuffed animal and my laptop. “LADIES THIS NOT A FASHION SHOW,” THEY SCREAMED. “YOU ARE IN GRAVE DANGER – THE HOUSE DOWN THE ROAD IS OFF ITS FOUNDATION AND ABOUT TO SLAM INTO YOU. WE ARE THROWING YOU A HARNESS AND ROPES – TAKE NOTHING –“
This is about 30 minutes before our rescue, view of my front yard
Shannon Fitzgerald, in true leadership form, exclaimed, “sorry, I am not listening to these Jokers, I worked my ass off to pay for this shit – it’s coming with me.” Ava said, “mommy do they know all of your bags cost as much as a car?” I, for some unknown reason, listened, left my belongings, but stuffed Ava’s stuffed animal, my keys and Blackberry down my leggings and hoisted myself into a harness and was the first one out. Seriously, Hurricane walking could be a new isometric exercise. WHOA!!!!
When they went to pull me out of the harness, my precious life-connecting blackberry was dislodged and was swept away by that bitch Irene.
Next Ava, Gillian and then Shannon were pulled to safety! Shannon had all her gear in full Amazonian effect. We were not happy with our rescue. The firemen told us to hop on the truck and they would take us to a shelter. Shelter? Um I think not – I am headed to the Mohonk hotel for dinner.
Shannon politely declined, continuing on with the journey, and quickly called a car service to come fetch her and take her back to Manhattan! I loved that it was Devil wears Prada meets Pipi Longstocking. We said our good byes with a newfound love and understanding of one another.
Gillian, Ava and I four wheeled our way through police barricades. We were full of tricks and not stopping till we hit the Mohonk!
Below- The inviting and always wonderful Mohonk .
I woke up the next morning and headed back to my country house to find this!!
The good news is my Vivienne Westwood Dining Room was spared!!! Onward and Upward
MY FAVORITE HURICANE SONGS!
“HELLS BELLS” – ACDC FROM THE BACK IN BLACK RECORD – YEAH! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrCw8po7JKo
“ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE” – THE SCORPIONS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxdmw4tJJ1Y
“HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE RAIN?” – CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL
Illamasqua’s Kelly Cutrone talks to GLAMOUR.com – Celebrity Interviews and Gossip – Glamour.com
Reality TV star and PR guru Kelly Cutrone sat down with GLAMOUR.com to talk TV, books and alaso her involvement with British beauty brand Illamasqua, of which, Kelly is US Brand Ambassador…
Hi Kelly, let’s talk about the TV first. You recently finished The City last year, so do you have any upcoming projects?
I just shot a new pilot for MTV, which is called Normal Will Get You Nowhere. Hopefully it will get picked up. It’s really cool. Basically, it’s about small town kids. I’m a small town girl and the pilot focuses on this small town girl. She wants to be a skateboard designer. Nobody in her family believes she can and they think art is for dreamers and freaks. The show centres around me going in and having a chat with mom and dad and I try and sort the parents out. Then we grab their kid, bring them to NYC and help them in what they want to do, whether it’s getting them an internship or a real job.
The City was pretty fun to shoot but The Hills was very funny to work on because the people on the cast were so freaky. At the end of Lauren’s run on the show, she was getting really tired of being on it and she would encourage me to, like, you know, trip Stephanie Pratt up a little bit. She was like, “Why don’t you just throw clothes at her today?!” Also, when we had cast parties it was a little bit more fun to be at The Hills’ ones because there were Heidi, Spencer, Justin Bobby and Audrina. But the finale party, the last one, was really amazing because Spencer was not allowed to come – they asked him not to – and he ended up on the property and everybody, Lauren for example, was terrified of what he might do. So the gossip was pretty awesome.
I was surprised that it was cancelled – the ratings were really high, but we didn’t really know it was happening. I mean, sure, we all made a lot of money and had a great time from doing it… But I just wanted it to end a different way. This is how I wanted the season to end: you would be in this super high-powered NYC board room and the camera pans over all these accessories, so you get an idea of who it was. Then you would hear the voices, “No I’m not going to do it, I always do it. You do it!” Then the shot goes to Olivia, who is at Bergdorf Goodman, shopping, and then the voice will be like, “Who is going to kill Olivia?!” That is how I wanted the season to end.
Listen, they wanted her to work in my office. I didn’t think that was going to be a very good idea and that was what prompted the move to Diane’s [Von Furstenberg].
The two series showed the day-to-day workings of a fashion PR at People’s Revolution, as somebody in the fashion industry, what are your thoughts on the John Galliano scandal?
I feel really bad for him. You know, I feel bad for him because it’s clear he had too much to drink and I don’t know anybody who hasn’t blacked out or been a mess or who has never said anything they don’t regret. I do think it’s really f***ing sad it’s really, really sad when you spend forty years of your life bringing beauty into the world and just a couple of hours bringing ugliness in and, like, you are kicked out. But I also feel sorry for my friends that are Jewish. I’m really, really sorry any time that anything anti-Semitic is done and again it comes back to love and compassion but, you know, can I understand how that can have happened? Yeah, I can. Have I ever been around drunk people or said something while drunk that I regretted? Absolutely. Is it full of shame? Yes. Would I have wanted to do this in front of the whole world? No.
It came about after two charlatans known as Joseph Corré and Julian Kynaston got in touch! I did [the PR for] Agent Provocateur for 8 years with Joe and Serena [Joseph Corré and Serena Rees, the founders of Agent Provocateur] and then a year ago, Joe came round with Julian, we talked PR and I said I really think I would be better as a brand consultant because I don’t wear a lot of make-up. I mean, I love make-up and I’d like to point out that I did make an effort with my nails today – kind of an Egyptian head wrap take on the French manicure. So, yeah, that’s how it came about and the rest is history.
I’m trying to get us our own float in the Halloween parade. I think it’ll be really great to have a late-night Illamasqua float. Halloween is so massive in New York and our tagline, in a sense, is ‘transforming your alter-ego’, so I thought it would be really great to have the Illamasqua creatures of the night.
We also have a new product coming out: Illamasqua’s Theatre of the Nameless. I was talking this morning about how cool it would be to shoot a small viral film for it. So we’re looking at different things to play with. I also want to do some crazy Illamasqua thing for Christmas. At the moment, I’m thinking I just want to get really hot chicks dressed as Illamasqua elves and get them going around NYC or something cheeky like that.
Illamasqua is famous for its bold, brights and unusual colours, along with having a very unique identity in the beauty industry – is this something that attracted you to the brand?
Yes, but also because it’s a family brand and because it’s unisex. You know, it’s really great if you can find a guy that likes to wear make-up and then you can all travel together! In fact, they’re products for the whole family… Well suited for these tough economic times.
Do everything that you want to do. I think so many people are afraid to express themselves – the most beautiful thing is to be yourself, then you can play with those aspects of the self and not be afraid of it. I’m 45 now; I’ve already done it all. I’ve had a shaved blue head, I’ve had long yellow dreadlocks, had my face painted, I’ve worn red lipstick, I’ve had a bob… I mean, I’ve done all of the different incarnations and what I’ve learned is that there is nothing sexier than a person – man or woman – just feeling really cool about who they are and owning it. Whether it’s a transgender person or a hot preppy girl, whatever it is, if you’re owning your thing and you’re in to it, it’s just so beautiful, because confidence is beautiful.
Tell us more about Illamasqua’s involvement with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation…
I always cry when I talk about Sophie because I’m a mother with a child and I always think, whenever I think of her, about being her mum; how hard that must be when you put everything into your child and have it taken away like that. Just the thought of being a mother and not being able to be there and knowing that thing that you love more than anything was kicked to death by another human being… It is such a sad thing to think about. I mean, that could have easily been me once upon a time. Check out my Facebook – there are photos of me on there with my head shaved and then another with me with really long dreadlocks. Black and blue dreadlocks. Sophie had these dreads and, I mean, it literally could have been me. I don’t want that to happen to anybody and I have a lot of friends and employees who might be considered ‘out of the box’, shall we say – and I think about the amount of courage it takes for them and, you know, she just wanted to be a little goth girl. The thing about it is she wasn’t even hard-core goth or anything. When you see pictures of her, she was just a pretty cool goth girl. For me it’s also the thing about stamping out prejudice, hate and intolerance everywhere and the only way we’re going to do that is with love and compassion and in not accepting that type of behaviour around us, whether it’s at a dinner table or in our own homes or on our block. The short film that Illasmasqua did – when her soul split – really captured it, and also the fact that her mum is able to continue on. I mean, they’re angels, the pair of them, Sophie and her mum, because she’s just really into the keeping the memory of her daughter going and trying to use what happened as a big message to other people. I always talk to people about Sophie and I just got a whole bunch of bracelets sent to Perez Hilton. I was like, “We’ve got to get Perez wearing the Sophie band.”
You’ve been hugely successful, not only with People’s Revolution but as a TV star and most recently a writer, firstly with If You Have to Cry, Go Outside- a New York Times bestseller – and lately Normal Gets You Nowhere. What inspired you to write?
I always thought I would. I’d often say, you know, “My life is a movie…” and, “When I write my book…” and so I kind of manifested it. Then I got a phone call from the spiritual and empowerment division of Harper Collins and I thought I really wanted to do it because I didn’t feel like there were really a lot of options for women as far as spirituality goes. I’d bought into the whole career thing, so for me, I just thought it would be cool to speak to young people in a language they understood, that would be easy to assimilate. Also, I made it part memoir, because it’s funny and I think it’s really encouraging to a lot of people because they don’t realise that most people who are successful come from the middle of nowhere – they somehow think there’s a secret, or that you’re supposed to come from a rich family, and it’s just not true.
I think they offer a way of looking at the world and your career. I think there is so much programming and structure as to what young people think they should do and I think these are an invitation to re-think that structure. It’s also a celebration of youth and intuition and I really feel like that book is an invitation to get to know yourself. I think that’s all we can hope to do in this world
Kelly Cutrone Tells Us the Name of Her New MTV Pilot: Normal Gets You Nowhere
A new Kelly Cutrone MTV project has been in the works since last year, and today the tell-it-like-it-is fashion publicist, reality star, and author revealed the name of the pilot to us first! It will be called Normal Gets You Nowhere. If it gets picked up, the show will share its name with Kelly’s latest book, which reminds young women that successful people often don’t fit in and calls on them to embrace their inner freak.
Kelly told us she’s traveling somewhere in middle America to shoot the MTV pilot this Friday, and plans to channel Dear Abby. She says, “We’ll meet kids in the middle of America whose parents think their imagination is a dangerous thing, and they should be lucky that they work in a factory, and that art is a hobby, and stuff like that. So we go there and talk to the parents and be like, ‘You have no idea. Your kid’s super talented, and they’re coming to New York.’ And then we help them get on the right track for what they want to do.”
Does the idea sound promising to you? Stay tuned for more from Kelly about her new book, as well as sex and dating advice straight from her mom Beverly.
You may know her as the world’s scariest boss from her stints on reality series’ such as The Hills, The City, Kell on Earth, but privately, she’s more domestic goddess than holy terror.
Even though the house calls out for me to do stuff to it every day, the perfect day is just waking up there with my daughter and our dogs and going outside. Then it’s great just to make coffee and have Ava [Cutrone’s 9 year-old daughter] not nag at me for something.
I would go outside and cut some fresh flowers and then come in and make Ava a really nice breakfast: Challah French toast and some fruit. I would make some lemonade with mint from the garden. After that, we would lie in the hammock; later we would hop in the car and check out an antiques store.
I have a serious antiquing problem. I don’t think it’s rehab-level, but I could open my own shop, let’s put it that way. I come from a really working-class family and my grandmother had this one bowl, and one time I went to her house and she was writing on the bottom of it and I said ‘Grandma, what are you doing?’ and she said, ‘Well, you know that I’m going to die soon and Italian people they like to fight over things when people die so I’m going to put everybody’s names on the bottom of my stuff and I want you to have this bowl.’ When my grandmother died I got this bowl, which is from Hall, a 1940s company that made bakeware and cookware. They have this pattern called the autumn leaf, so I started collecting it. That’s finished, so now I collect pink Depression glass. I collect antique and Najavo and Mexican cuffs. I have a serious chair collection. I have Josef Hoffmann chairs—these amazing black-and-white chairs that used to be in a mental hospital. I collect photography, everybody from Melvin Sokolsky to David LaChappelle to antique silver enamel photography. I have a ridiculous linen, tablecloth and pillow case collection, quilts from the 30s. I even have some really cool vintage Hudson’s Bay Company blankets. I have a serious problem!
Then we would stop and play The Addams Family pinball machine, which we find really funny because I pretend to be Morticia and [Ava] pretends to be Wednesday. We would play some air hockey too.
On the way home, we would go to the farmer’s market and pick up some fresh local food to cook dinner. I’m an amazing cook—I’m also very humble! People who know me really well know that I’m an amazing cook. Somebody I use to date—he’s my eco-date I recycle him all the time—he said to me ‘You know what your problem is? You come off like Dear Abby meets Keith Richards, when you’re totally Betty Crocker.’
But in saying that, we don’t measure anything; we don’t have recipes. I do this whole thing I call ‘punk rock kitchen’ at my house. I just go to farmer’s markets—I try not to shop at grocery stores—and I just see what’s there and then come back and try and cook something with what I find. It’s really freestyle, really fun.
This weekend we made this really killer cilantro and chopped radicchio, parsley, celery endive salad with an olive oil and Dijon dressing and a little bit of honey on it, and some crushed nuts. It was really good. We cook all the time.
After dinner, we would sit on the porch and play cards or a game and just be really normal. I mean, I guess not normal—I can’t really use that word anymore since I wrote a book called Normal Gets You Nowhere—but I like to say my perfect day is like a ‘chiller’ that’s sung to the tune of Thriller—‘Chiller, Chiller night.’ [It’s perfect] if it doesn’t involve anything exotic or cool or trendy—those are things I associate with work.
I don’t really watch that much TV. But I like to watch documentaries, or read with Ava or play a game. I love [to watch] anything from a doc about Beatrice Wood or Andre Cartier Bresson to something from the Dalai Lamai. My daughter is really obsessed with black history in America now so we watched something about Ida B. Wells. The Justin Bieber documentary, Never Say Never is a big documentary at my house! I know everything about Justin Bieber because my daughter has Bieber fever. His middle name is Drew. He’s from Stratford. He was born in London. Discovered by Usher. His mother’s name is Pattie; his father’s name is Jeremy. His favourite colour is purple. He loves to play hockey. He was born at 12:56 am on March 1st, which was a Tuesday. Any more questions?
We usually go to bed together. I’m usually really hungry for time with her. But sometimes if she falls asleep I might go and sit outside and check out the stars with the dog. But it’s kind of spooky out there!
Cutrone from ‘The Hills’ discusses success in fashion industry
Kelly Cutrone wears black almost every day. And Friday, when she came to speak at the Newhouse school, was no exception to the all black rule – though this time, the fashion maven was wearing an outfit from The Gap.
When Cutrone arrived at Newhouse to speak, she was expecting an intimate, question-and-answer session with about 20 students. However, what the founder and CEO of fashion public relations firm People’s Revolution encountered was a room packed with fashion-conscience people waiting to hear her speak.
The event was then moved to the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium in Newhouse III, which was filled with a mostly female audience.
“She is the woman to know in the fashion business,” said Viviana Quevedo, a freshman communication and rhetorical studies major. “She’s someone to admire. You can tell that she has worked very hard to get where she is today; the sacrifices she makes to do what she does says a lot about her character as a professional.”
While there was no gossip about her celebrity employees Whitney and Lauren from MTV’s “The Hills,” Cutrone instead spent time name-dropping former clients and famous fashion icons she’s worked with. Designers Vivienne Westwood, Jeremy Scott, Bernhard Willhelm and Derek Lam make that list.
Her company, People’s Revolution, is a well-known fashion public relations, branding and marketing firm, which Cutrone built on her own. Exactly what her company does was described in Cutrone’s round about way through stories and examples from the 12 years the company has been in business.
“I always feel like I’m smarter than everyone because when I go to these (shows), I’m getting paid to be there,” she said. “Like a fashion show, when people are dying to get a free ticket, I’m like ‘I’m making $50,000 today.’”
When Cutrone started People’s Revolution, the term ‘branding’ didn’t exist. But as she defines it, branding is telling a story and creating an image around something that lacks those elements. One example she gave was of the French luxury bag company Longchamp, which Cutrone represented.
When Longchamp first approached Cutrone, the brand was being kicked off the floor of Saks Fifth Avenue stores and had an outdated product – “everything was made to look like it was made for a 75-year-old woman from Kentucky.”
At first, she didn’t think it would fit with her company. But eventually, after three months of observing the brand and going through the archives, Cutrone finally got Longchamp to where it wanted to be – in Vogue magazine. She convinced celebrities and their daughters to use the product, and “Voila.”
Cutrone also spoke about her history as a music publicist and her life traveling on tours and being a “wild rock-n-roll chick.” And before fashion was big, Cutrone started People’s Revolution claiming that “fashion is the new rock-n-roll.” At one point, she compared the role of a publicist to that of a hooker.
“I think it’s hysterical that people actually think I know what I’m doing,” Cutrone said. “But you know what, once you start to believe in it, it just starts to happen.”
THEY TRAINED KAYA WITHIN THREE WEEKS – THIS ABUSED SHY WOLF-LIKE BEING WAS TRANSFORMED INTO A HEALING HOWLING MOMMA WOLF! SHE IS ELEGANT WITH GREAT MANNERS. STILL A BIT SKITTISH BUT, WELL WELL — AS IN MIRACULOUSLY WELL ON HER WAY! THE MONKS ALSO BREED THE MOST GORGEOUS GERMAN SHEPHERDS ON THEIR 500-ACRE COMPOUND. THEY MAKE DOG BEDS, BACON AND BISCUITS. THE NUNS MAKE AWARD-WINNING CHEESECAKE — SO YES — I PICKED UP MY DOG, LOADED UP ON BEDS, BISCUITS AND CHEESECAKES. CHECK OUT THEIR PLACE ON THE VERMONT/NEW YORK BORDER.
I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR COMPLICATED PRAYERS OR MAGIC SPELLS – SIMPLY THE WORD ‘OM’ (RHYMES WITH HOME) IS ENOUGH POWER TO CARRY YOU SAFELY THROUGH THE DAY. I WAS OM’ING INSIDE TODAY WHEN I WAS PULLED OVER BY THE NYPD WITHOUT MY LICENSE ON ME – THEY LET ME GO!! PUT SOME ‘OM’ IN YOUR HOME.
“If anyone really wanted to change the world, they’d bring in the fashion bitches,” writes Kelly Cutrone in her new book “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside,” to be released on Feb. 2.
This piece of information might startle the Harvard crowd, who isn’t known for sartorial savvy. The book outlines her tumultuous rise from homelessness to the fashion elite and serves as a guide for navigating an alternative career path. Famous for being the boss from hell of Lauren Conrad on “The Hills” and Whitney Port and her cohorts on “The City,” Cutrone’s own show on Bravo premiered this Monday.
I spent an afternoon with Kelly in the New York City office of People’s Revolution, the public relations firm that she founded. When I first met Kelly, I was carrying a cupcake. Her first words to me were “No one eats solid food anymore. That’s so 90s.” I immediately thought back to the episode of “The City” in which Kelly descends upon a young girl for being too skinny, and I realized that she was just being friendly.
Before the interview begins, I watched her put Donald Trump in his place. The Donald was angry that Kelly dissed him in her new book about his support for Mike Tyson after Tyson was accused of rape. As Trump tried to deny her accusation, she first screamed “motherfucker” and then made one phone call to a very high profile former business partner to corroborate her claim. Upon confirmation, her interns cheered, and Kelly turned to me and said, “Let’s do this.”
1. Fifteen Minutes: Your new book is titled “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside.” Have you ever shed a tear on the job?
Kelly Cutrone: I usually cry at least twice a year. Usually at some point during fashion week. Sometimes it’s out of joy or sheer frustration, but sometimes its because of being ruthlessly and needlessly attacked. I cried out of gratitude once.
2. FM: Who is the target audience for your book?
KC: Village girls and gay boys.
3. FM: The book is supposed to be a guide for girls to make it in the real world. Does it mostly speak to the PR industry, or did you try to include advice for any career?
KC: It’s not really about PR. There are a lot of fashion stories about the fashion industry. But it’s mainly a book to make people realize they’ve been programmed. I talk a lot in the book about how mothers, the life-bringers themselves, sing songs to their daughters like, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage.” It’s excessive.
You have to be skinny, pretty, make good grades. Says who?
4. FM: How does this apply to kids at Harvard?
KC: Kids at Harvard, I’m sure there are some that are living their dream, but there are people there experiencing someone else’s dream. And if there are people around you who aren’t listening to you, who don’t believe that you can manifest what it is you are dreaming, or don’t want you to, then you should get the fuck away from them.
It’s a book about deprogramming, about intuition, about taking risks—especially when you are young.
5. FM: You also have a new show on Bravo, “Kell on Earth,” that features your role as a mother. Has your daughter become a celebrity at school since filming began?
KC: The LA Times has said that she had the best line in the first episode when she says, “Why should I bother getting dressed up if you are going to put me in the third row? Everyone knows that no one can see you from the third row.” Her friends know she is on TV, but she’s a NY private school kid. Her friends are on Broadway.
6. FM: And is it really hell to work for you?
KC: I’m sure on some days it is, but I’m sure on some days it’s absolutely divine. We usually start with about twenty interns and end up with about five or six. These are the ones really serious about what they are going to do. They go through this growth process. They trust me. They know I actually care about them and I’m here to teach them something. They are like soldiers. I’m not going to sit there and cuddle them. I’m not going to make them think that the fashion world is something different from the brutal, fast-paced, hard-working world that it is.
7. FM: Why do you insist that your employees wear all black?
KC: I have a rule list of things you can and can’t do. The all-black rule is for fashion shows and events. It’s like a private school. We don’t want self-expression at our shows. Do you think Martin Margiela wants his PR team to wear Cavalli? I don’t think so. Black is non-descript. You don’t know if it’s GAP or Yohji.
8. FM: Few students from Harvard seem to get into the fashion and entertainment world. What’s the best way to break into it from college?
KC: It’s to not apply in May. Fashion has its own calendar. Plan on interning between May and August 15. It’s competitive. It’s like the entertainment industry.
9. FM: It’s also internship search season for us. You’ve mentored interns for years. What should we be wearing to interviews?
KC: Depends on where you are interviewing. Of course you can never go wrong with all black! Didn’t you guys learn that when you were born? Weren’t your moms whispering in your ear, “You will go to Harvard. You will go to Harvard.”
10. FM: What do you think about Harvard?
KC: It’s the ultimate brand. The joke is that it’s hard to get in, but once you get in it’s a piece of cake. Harvard is a branded education. It’s like wearing Cartier. Harvard kids go to the Harvard Club, then they’re part of the alumni fund, and they love seeing other Harvard people. It’s like having twelve Louis Vuitton steamer trunks and seeing someone else with the same thing. It’s the brand-brand-diggity brand.
And people who go to Harvard can’t wait to say where they went to college. And regardless of your religion or ethnicity, you have to do it with a slightly waspy undertone and lean back. Interns! Interns. (Turns to interns) Do you agree that people who went to Harvard love saying they went to Harvard?
Interns in unison: Yes.
11. FM: Would that prevent you from hiring from Harvard?
KC: No. Harvard gives you confidence. It’s like being in a Range Rover versus a Hyundai. Is it going to get you there faster? No. Does it feel better along the way? Hell yeah.
FM: What do you think about the idea of a Harvard-inspired fashion line?
KC: Shut up. They are shameless branders. I like it.
FM: Even though it’s preppy?
KC: Definitely. I represent things that I wouldn’t wear. I wear black.
12. FM: You’ve recently said in an interview that the one thing you’ve learned from your interns is that you don’t want to send your daughter to college. Even to Harvard?
KC: The funny thing is, she told me she wanted to go to Harvard once. I asked her why, and she said, “Because all my friends do.” She also asked me, “Why don’t we have a mezuzah?” These are the questions that six-year-olds in New York ask.
13. FM: What do you think of the trend of celebrities who are taking the helm as creative directors at fashion houses, such as Lindsay Lohan at Ungaro and SJP at Halston Heritage?
KC: Big mistake. Well, I don’t know about Sarah Jessica Parker, but Carrie Bradshaw and Sarah Jessica are not the same person. Patricia Fields was putting together the clothes for Carrie. With Lindsay, we were all shocked. And the collection was such a failure that we could not believe they kept her on.
The old school tactics of exclusivity, of not letting anyone in, of this great Wizard of Oz behind the curtain. It’s all overkill for fashion houses.
14. FM: Has your PR firm People’s Revolution had to change its strategies at all with the recession?
KC: We’ve done brand strategy forever. Back in the day, a publicist’s job was to say, “You give me a product and I’ll get it attention.” But you can’t get a shitty t-shirt in vogue. We’re like the anti-PR PR company. Companies come to us for new brand strategy and reinvigoration or restarting. To call ourselves only PR is limiting.
15. FM: With all of your recent ventures, do your clients ever get jealous that you’re getting more press than they are?
KC: Yes, but you don’t see people yelling at Obama saying he’s on the news too much. The more power you have, the more effective you are. It’s like Angelina. Look what she’s done for Cambodia. Or Oprah. You get more done.