If you know her from MTV, then you’re well acquainted with the woman who rules her fashion PR and branding company, “People’s Revolution,” with an iron fist. And while we’ve seen her mentor MTV stars Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port in their fashion careers, this will be our chance to see how she rules the roost with the employees that stick around after the cameras stop rolling. Tomorrow, her new book, “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside,” hits the shelves and its title gives us a good indication of what we’ll see on “Kell on Earth.”
If you have no clue who Kelly Cutrone is, you’re in for quite a ride. Imagine Simon Cowell’s brutal honesty, Donald Trump’s ruthless business sense and Tim Gunn’s deep fashion knowledge wrapped up in a woman’s body.
We recently joined a press call with Kelly Cutrone and her business partners, Robyn Berkley and Emily Bungert. Here are our favorite moments from the call:
You aren’t known for wearing makeup on camera or in general What’s your thought process behind that?
Kelly Cutrone: You know my whole thing is I’m busy. I’m a single mom and it’s like I’m working. I’m not an actress, I’m not somebody whose job it is to go somewhere and get hair and makeup done. And if you’ve seen TV segments where I have done hair and makeup or even my Bravo shots, I look kind of weird. So I mean the Bravo shot of like me on the couch, I look like I had sex with Heather Locklear and drank five margaritas afterward. I just like wearing all black and no makeup. It’s just my thing and it’s been my thing, I think, since I became a mom.
Do you consider yourself a feminist?
KC: I never really thought of myself as a feminist because I really believe in equality, you know? I think that we need powerful women and powerful men. I’m more like an ancient feminist than a modern feminist. I kind of believe in the goddesses like they ride lions and they have scepters in their hand and discuses and they kill. We talk about our show being like “Sex and the City” on steroids with a dash of “Survivor” and a little bit of “Rhoda.” But if you look at women on television, I mean even “Sex and the City,” it’s like you know Sarah Jessica Parker’s character’s obsessed with Mr. Big and Kim Cattrall’s getting banged 20 times. There aren’t that many examples of powerful women on TV who work and make their own money who aren’t obsessed with dudes.
What side of Kelly Cutrone will we see that we haven’t on “The Hills” and “The City”?
KC: People have a lot of stereotypes about what I’m like. I’m a mom and I think a lot of people don’t really think that I’m a mother. And I cook on the show. I cook a lot on the show. Throughout the filming they were like can we please, please, please come into your bedroom and get you waking up? And I was like are you out of your [F-bomb] mind? I was like absolutely not. We will not – America does not want to see me in a nightgown, OK?
Being as busy as you are, what’s the appeal of having cameras in the office?
KC: First of all, it gives us the ability to distribute our message and our own brand and our clients’ brands into the homes of America. That’s appealing, especially when magazines are closing and we’re redefining what it means to be press agents. And you know and it gives us an incredible platform to communicate, which is what we do. We’re storytellers.
Emily Bungert: I think that one thing that’s important about it is that it does give a glimpse into the real life and what really goes on in the type of fast paced job that we do have. And it’s something that hasn’t been seen on “The City” on MTV or “The Hills.” You know you actually get a real glimpse into the real day in the life of what a fashion publicist does.
Kelly, you get bleeped a lot on “The City” and this show. Do the producers ever stop you at any point to talk to you about your language?
KC: No, but I had a talk with myself about my language over the Christmas holiday. And I thought I don’t think I need to say the F-word as much as I do anymore. I think it’s kind of old and outdated. So if you’ve noticed I’ve only said it once so far on the phone call, which is like a record for me. And, so, I’m not trying to do it like to be different or to grow up, I just thought I don’t know if it’s effective because I say it all the time. So I’m trying to rethink the use of the F-bomb.
Kelly, you have the reputation of being a very scary lady to work for. Is that something that you play up to in real life and do you feel that you play it up for the cameras, as well?
KC: I don’t think I do either. I just am how I am and there are moments that I am hell on wheels and I’m not messing around. Normally my moods come from a place of passion and love and caring. They don’t come from a place of hating. I’ve been doing this a really, really, really long time and I’m a for profit company. I’m not a non-profit company. I’m here to make money and I’m here to make sure that the job gets done. And at the end of the day my clients don’t want to hear that some 22-year-old screwed up their $100 million company. You know sometimes it comes with a kiss and sometimes it comes with a slap and that’s just the way that it goes. And if you don’t like it, they don’t have to work here. It’s not for everybody.
This question is for Emily and Robyn. Kelly has been very clear that she had this sort trial by fire with reality TV. What are the lessons you guys have learned from Kelly being on reality TV, for “The Hills” and “The City?”
EB: She keeps saying that people are going to start recognizing us on the street. I’ve been very hesitant about it and she’s been constantly telling us, “I can’t wait for you guys to be in my position.” And you know she says that we are going to be apologizing to her at some point. So I’m curious to see what happens when the show does come on.
Robyn Berkley: As far as the lesson I’ve learned from Kelly from TV, I think that I guess just being able to go on with your day to day life and just work as usual and kind of get through everything in that way, not really think about TV or cameras or anything like that and just kind of continue what it is our job actually is.
We’re going to see more sides of Kelly and she must have some weaknesses. Robyn and Emily, what strengths do you have that you think complement Kelly well?
RB: I’ve known Kelly for about 10 years. And I’ve also worked with her about 5-1/2. I’m definitely more approachable, very good at day-to-day service. I handle clients with a lot of care and I think that our kind of energy balances each othe
r out well, especially when we are in pitch meetings. And our experiences are vastly different and we have different things to kind of bring to the table. And, also, we have kind of our own vision of where we want the company to be and I think that you know we both come with our own ideas and experiences.
EB: I am very detail oriented and kind of like to make sure that we have a lot good systems in place and I’m kind of methodical and very strategic in the way that I think and I am totally a perfectionist. And I really don’t accept mediocrity from our team and I think you’ll see a lot of that on the show where I’m absolutely always striving for perfection as we all are, but you’ll see it come out in our personalities in different ways.
RB: And then also, you know Kelly also obviously is known to have a very large personality. I’m kind of someone that the team looks to calm her down or approach her on certain issues just to facilitate things that maybe people are unable to speak to her about. So, I’m kind of like that middle person on a lot of things and happenings that go on in the office.
KC: Robyn’s also the peacekeeper. Emily’s ruthless. You know what I am like. And Emily can be more ice princess than me internally within the office and they’re both a little warmer with the clients. But I’ve also been doing this for 22 years and I’m, sometimes, like in a meeting with a client will be like, “OK, listen, this is how it’s going to be.” And then they kind of go, “Well you know maybe you shouldn’t be so direct and maybe you can deliver this a little nicer.”
‘Kell on Earth’ sneak peek: Kelly Cutrone swims with sharks
‘Kell on Earth’: Bravo releases rough first look video, bleeps not included
Kelly Cutrone describes Bravo’s ‘Kell on Earth’
‘Kell on Earth’ Kelly Cutrone drops the F bomb on live TV. Hosts are not amused
Photo Credit: Bravo