Tonight after work I decided with my fellow intern, to take full advantage of NYC’s array of events and attend the lovely Kelly Cutrone’s book signing at B&N. Despite the long day at work and the falling snow, I snapped myself awake and headed over. The event started at 7pm and surprisingly enough, there were empty seats when we arrived at 6:55. But at 7:30 people were locked outside and had to listen to her through the closed glass doors while standing up behind 10 rows … dedicated people.
This girl in the boots (sorry random) was personally invited by Kelly to NYFW. Jeal.
I expected standing room only crowd, but it wasn’t too bad and Kelly was prompt and personal. Dressed in an oversized “If you have to cry, go outside” t-shirt, leggings and unkempt hair, she welcomed everyone and quickly asked slyly for a coffee. I was glad when she decided she’d rather do a Q&A than a reading, because really, this is one of the only times we’d have an hour with Kelly and having her read aloud what we’re all about to read ourselves in an hour is a pure time waste. Most of the questions were desperate post-grads trying to impress her enough to land a job, or personal friends who asked questions that did not seem relevant to anything, i.e. her intern asking how she should move up within her position, I mean, really?! But she always answered genuinely, truthfully and with an anecdote that gave us a deeper look into the life of the PR Queen. My personal favorite was a reference to a stop at a smoothie shop where out of nowhere she had a breakdown which became a breakthrough. Breaking down is almost a finality and hard to recover from, while a breakthrough is a teaching experience and can help you move on. It’s an importance difference to realize, especially for a young professional like myself trying to figure out where I fit in within the working world.
Kelly, despite dubbing herself the Queen of Mean, and yet refuting the claim of the Most Important Person in Fashion (seeming to hint to Anna Wintour instead) was much more friendly and kind than she is portrayed and in turn, I was expecting. She acknowledged Ava quite often, and referred to the now famous Andrew as her son, and seemed to genuinely care about giving the best advice she could given the situation.
Mainly, she stressed the importance of internships, of being humble and waiting tables, and becoming an individual. Break free from Daddy’s money, work your butt off, and make sure you’re doing what you love and it’s for the right reasons. Kelly gave the example of being offered a very high paying corporate job but she knew that working for herself, and making the constant gambles was better for her. Knowing whether you work well with others or not was another point she stressed. If you can handle working with others, for others, and towards others, you can survive in a predetermined environment, such as an established organization. If you want to slap the person giving you tasks each time they come in the office, you should be your own entrepreneur. The risks she takes almost daily are very impressive and trusting your instincts and your inner voice are her ways to success.
Before attending tonight’s event I was thinking about how much it would be a dream come true if I could intern at People’s Revolution. I thought it’s a creative, honest environment that works hard and gets along. After tonight, with all my respect in the world for Kelly Cutrone, I know that I could never, ever work there. She said it best in Monday’s episode of Kell on Earth, “I was sick of blonde girl after blonde girl coming in ‘Hi, I’m so excited to be here!'” and you know what, that is the epitome of me. While yes, I may be a brunette currently, I think I’m a fun-loving perky blonde at heart and I would much rather be in an environment that supports that and is conducive to that than one than one in which I felt I needed to wear bondage jewelry to fit in. (Ps. Andrew is adorable in person). I mean no disrespect at all because she has made herself out of nothing, no handouts, previously working at a Big Boy, and I know I have absolutely no clue what working there would actually be like without fancy video editing but more power to you all that can deal with a working environment like that. And maybe I’m getting the wrong impression because despite a cold demeanor being represented on Kell on Earth, she did refer to Andrew as like a son, and such but I also know that Stephanie Voorhees (on the show) is currently a NYC real estate agent. Sooo hmmm..? I think I’ll stick to my bubblegum pink lip gloss and attempt to work for ABPR.
Overall, I respect her, I appreciate her within the industry, I will read my book alongside The Style Titles (see previous post!) and be an avid Kell on Earth fan, but instead of pining away for that People’s Rev internship, I will work on figuring out what the next best step is for me.
Kudos, Kelly, on an inspiring event!