Outspoken public relations guru, TV ‘star’ (“Kell On Earth, The Hills & The City“), author and now fashion designer (Electric Love Army) Kelly Cutrone (People’s Revolution) is in Australia. Tonight (March 22) she’ll be in-store atÂ Gideon Shoes and tomorrow at the Illamasqua counter at the Myer, Melbourne store toÂ sign copies of her book – If You Have to Cry Go Outside – and launching a new foundation (more on that later). Her second book “Normal Gets You Nowhere” is coming out later this year.
I was lucky enough to score an exclusive interview with Kelly. It was done a little while ago when she was in New York but it’s bursting with lots of interesting tidbits, I think you will like.
Kelly comes across as quite intimidating and fierce and if you saw her in her TV Show, Kell on Earth (Lifestyle YOU) you would have seen the no holds barred look at life of a New York Fashion publicist, through the eyes of her own PR agency People’s Revolution, but she revealed her softer side as a single mother to her daughter, Ava.
But firstly I wanted to take a step back in time with Kelly and find out where she came from:
Sassi: You seem to be a jack of all trades now, Kelly with fingers in many pies, but how did you get started in the business and how did your jump from PR to TV come about?
Kelly: I started off as an assistant to Susan Blond who is a renowned music publicist. Â She has done everything from Simply Red to Tammy Wynette to Michael Jackson – I know that is so 80s!Â Then Lisa Love at Vogue (West Coast Editor) called me to talk to me about participating in The Hills, I did the show for free because I thought it would be a great way to show my client’s brands to the world.
Sassi: How have the PR and the fashion industry changed since you first began? Do you think the changes are positive changes? Why?
Kelly: Fashion went from being something for the privileged and elite and is now available to everyone. Â As Karl Lagerfeld has put it, we are in a “masstige” state; I think it’s great.
Sassi: There\’s so much pressure to get information and imagery out to the public these days, we\’ve seen the rise of the blogger, how has that impacted the way you work and has it been a challenge to embrace?Â Do you include bloggers/online outlets in your communication strategies for your clients?
Kelly: The internet has changed the way the world communicates – not just PR people. Â I have over 100,000 followers on twitter and have tweeted more than 7,200 times. I was one of the first publicists to utilize new media, blogs, twitter, and facebook. Â Yes, it is true to say that blogs are brands themselves and we use them in our PR efforts. There is a downside, but the fact is there is a downside to everything.
Sassi: What do you think about the world of fast fashion â€“v- high end fashion? They are colliding now with tonnes of designer collaborations; do you think the fast fashion has had a negative impact on designer fashion at all?
Kelly: For the consumer, fashion is fashion. You can buy something beautiful for $20 and you can buy something ugly for $1,000. It comes down to style. As far as the industry as a whole, it is hard to say. I don’t like to separate the worlds.
Sassi: Do you have a favourite event of all time?
Kelly: The birth of my daughter. But, if you mean work event, Love Spit Love. It was an art show I created with my first husband Ronnie Cutrone. [Editor's Note: I believe the art show occurred in 1991 and was quite controversial and comprised of six couples having sexual intercourse in an art gallery.]
Sassi: You say to your staff that if they want to cry they have to go outside, has anyone made you cry and if so, why?
Kelly: Most of the time there are days I just cry for gratitude.
Sassi: I love how you make a point in the show about how important your daughter is and you make the time to spend with her; you\’re a publicist, TV â€˜star\’, author and a mum, how on earth do you juggle everything?Â What\’s your â€˜secret\’ that works for you creating a work/life balance so that you maintain your sanity, energy and passion to keep going?
Kelly: I don’t balance everything. My life is not balanced and not everything is perfect all the time. To spend time with Ava is my no matter what. My best is to focus on priority and what needs to be done in the moment.
Sassi: I understand you have a new book coming out this year and another TV show, are you able to tell us a bit about the new book and the new TV show?Â And is Kell On Earth continuing for another season?
Kelly: Book #2 is called ‘Normal Gets You Nowhere‘. I really love it and it’s a book I am really happy about. I cover love, death, sex, friendship, the Universal Mother and more. It comes out this May, which is my lucky month because that was when Ava was born. My new TV show is about showing kids their potential and making their dreams come true. There will not be another season of ‘Kell On Earth’ but I’m glad I did it and it was a fun experience. I will not be doing another reality TV show.
Sassi: Do you currently work with any Australian brands? Do you have any favourite Aussie brands? Are you planning on visiting Australia any time soon?
Kelly: I am visiting soon with my daughter Ava. Â We represent Ksubi and Gideon Shoes as well as Camilla and Marc, which is genius! [Editor's Note: As we know, Kelly is here].
Sassi: You work closely with Illamasqua, what is your association with them? And what attracted you to working with them?
Kelly: Officially I am a Brand Consultant for Illamasqua but personally I have worked with Joe Corre for over a decade when we launched Agent Provocateur, I worked with his mom Vivienne Westwood for years and Julian and I are dear friends.Â I feel that Illamasqua is the most innovative make up brand in the word – the most important aspect of the company for me is the way Illamasqua embraces and celebrates the individual – Communication, self expression, Experimentation, Love, Life – these are all key notes of the brand.
Sassi: What is your desert Island make up product?
Kelly: The Illamasqua SOPHIE Black eyeliner
Kelly: I would be very happy if I never saw her the rest of my life. Â She put the ‘r’ in rude.
Kelly will be in Melbourne tomorrow to (March 23rd) to do a book signing oh her book “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside” at the Illamasqua Counter at the Myer store at 5.30pm to raise money and awareness for Illamasqua\’s charity, S.O.P.H.I.E, which launched last week in Australia.
About The Foundation:
In 2007, young British Goth, Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend, Rob Maltby, were savagely beaten by a gang of youths, simply because they chose to dress differently.Â Tragically Sophie later died in hospital and Robert has been left with permanent injuries.
Following Sophie’s death, her mother, Sylvia Lancaster, along with friends and family set up The S.O.P.H.I.E. Lancaster Foundation. The foundation has one key aim, to â€˜Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance, Everywhere.\’ Since 2007, they have campaigned tirelessly in the UK to change attitudes within society and to promote tolerance, understanding and respect for all subcultures.
So tomorrow March 23rd if you buying two pieces of Illamasqua makeup, you will be given a copy of Kelly\’s book* (*while stocks last) which she will then sign. All proceeds to the value of the book (RRP $27.99) will be given to the Sophie Lancaster foundation.
For more information on how you can support The S.O.P.H.I.E. Lancaster Foundation please visit, you can visit their website: www.thesophielancasterfoundation.com.
WIN A SIGNED COPY OF KELLY’S BOOK: “IF YOU HAVE TO CRY GO OUTSIDE”
Very excitingly, I have a signed copy of Kelly’s book to giveaway, you just need to email me why you love Kelly Cutrone and why you want a signed copy of her book! Include in your email, your postal details.
You can also purchase your own copy of Kelly’s Book from HarperCollins.
Your Pop Culture Gossip Girl
** Australian residents only, please email me by telling me who why you love Kelly Cutrone and why you have to have a signed copy of her book! Winners will be announced April 1st.