Kelly Cutrone Talks Reality TV, Mentoring, And Taking "The City" On The Road

by Chiara Atik · January 25, 2010

    Kelly Cutrone, the acid-tongued boss of People's Revolution with a secret soft spot for interns, instills both fear and admiration in the hearts of those who watch her on MTV's "The City". Now, Cutrone fans will have a a chance to watch her take on Fashion Week on Bravo's "Kell On Earth". Cutrone also just released a book for young upstarts wanting to break into the New York fashion world.  Rachelle spoke to Kelly last week about the book, the show, and her dream intern....

    We have posted your quote “If anyone really wanted to change the world they’d bring in the fashion bitches because no one gets things done faster.” Why do you think that is? We are made to work in a collaborative manner under extremely difficult timelines and circumstances . We’ve been trained to work long and hard hours and to think quickly on our feet.

    Will you be doing anything for Haiti? Any events planned? It’s so intense and there’s so much going on. So I don’t think that Peoples Revolution is not producing any events for Haiti, but I personally with my daughter did the 9099 text thing a bunch of times because I really wanted to teach Ava how this works. And so she gave me 10 dollars from her piggy bank. And she brought that into her classroom, and I made a donation and it seems like everybody’s organizing it so we’re just helping where we can.

    Have you ever had a girl cry outside? Are you kidding me? Too many times! Too Many Times! I usually end up having two crying sessions in the office a year, and they are usually happening right around fashion week….One year my dog got eaten by coyotes in LA a little Boston terrier, and I started howling.

    On TV you come across as a bitch, but it’s nice to see that you kind of do have a soft spot… People see what they want to see, you know that show is tightly edited..and I think everyone would be absolutely surprised if they had a camera following them around all day long…if our eyes were cameras that were shooting every second, we would see that we’re sloppy, and we’re lovely and it’s so much about the edit. On the Bravo show that’s coming up there’s a scene where I go into the back and we were doing a mailing for an editors gift..and the interns just wrote on this plain white bag with a black sharpie and like prison scrawl…you know, Meredith Melling Burke, Vogue and in the bag was just a pair of jeans..not wrapped in tissue, no labels, just a mess! And I said this is just not ok, why would you ever send a gift like this to an editor. And I will not say “I know you’re trying really hard..” And I talk about that on the show.. it’s like we’re teaching common sense and consciousness. At one point I kicked them out of the office and said “Do not come back here unless you want to do things my way!” Because it’s our office…It’s our way or the highway.

    I also think you come across as a mentor to these you? I love the kids. I mean my favorite favorite favorite thing actually is I spend more time than anybody on the team with the interns. And it’s something I really love watching these kids go through the process.

    Did you have a mentor when you were starting out? No. And I think that’s why I really like to take the time and that’s why I wanted to write that book…there’s just so many things that these kids need to hear that could save them years if they just listen up.

    What’s the meanest thing you can recall you’ve ever said to someone. Oh god. I don’t know , I don’t think I have that much time to go through it!

    I heard recently someone came in to your office running errands and you were so impressed you hired him on the spot…What qualities do you look for in employees? I had my hiring privileges taken away several times…because I was hiring on intuition only at which point Robyn Berkly and Emily Bunger got together and took away my hiring privileges and I wasn’t even to be at interviews until the final decision was to be made. And I actually jumped over the rule when Andrew Mukamal came in, because I was just so tired of these kids saying “I have a passion for fashion” and “Kelly Cutrone, I would do anything to work here..” and this kid came in and he was just kind of narcissistic, he had long black hair, was wearing bondage jewelry…he kind of fulfilled by Adams Family fantasy. He was my Wednesday. Is he still there? Yeah, he’s sitting right next to me. @AJMukamal.

    So is there anyone in the world living or dead that you would want to take in as your intern if you could? Oscar Wilde would be fun, no?

    Many people are scared of you. Is there anyone you’re scared of? You know, I’m not really afraid of anyone.

    Can you remember any party that permanently changed you? I remember one time a long long time ago there was this magazine called Spy and Grayden Carter used to run Spy. So each year they would do this thing called the Iron Man Decathalon, and it was basically a series of accumulated points from debauchery and indulgence that these guys in NY like Jay McInerney, Bret Easton Ellis, and Anthony Haden-Guest who was the then art critic for Vanity Fair and also the inspiration for Bruce Willis’ character in The Bonfire of the Vanities…Long story short, Anthony had always won this decathlon because he was so wild. So there used to be this restaurant called Mortimer’s and it was like the place…this small tiny upper east side eatery where Jackie Kennedy and Dominick Dunne…really where the ultimate elite went …very small. Very powerful. And Elaine’s was more like the everyday version…run by this guy Glen Birnbaum and they would do a benefit each year and I went with Anthony one year, and Anthony bought a raffle ticket even though he bounced a check, which got him extra points for the Iron Man Decathlon…I won a $3000 gift certificate for Bill Blass'…and I was like fresh off the boat. And so I got to go there and have a fitting at Bill Blass.

    You said before you love reality TV. Do you watch yours? And what other shows to you watch? Um, I watch the City and our show on pre-screeners, because they deliver the DVD on the day of before anyone else. And so I watch the cast screeners that we all get, because I’m usually putting my daughter to bed at 9:00 and sometimes I’ll just fall asleep with her. ..What else? I love In Treatment…I’m totally obsessed with Gabriel Byrne. He’s so hot.

    Any opinion on the Leno, Conan controversy? I’m on NBC /Bravo! I don’t comment on that!

    What’s the first thing you’re going to do when fashion week is over? Go to London to do another one. I’ll give you a good heads up, I’m going there with Whitney for London Fashion Week. I’m going to be working with Ms. Whitney Port and Mr. Henry Holland and we are also going to be shooting The City. You’re the first person to hear that.