Kelly Cutrone was visiting Amsterdam where she was invited to speak at the TedX Women event. Busy as she is -she was just back from China, went to New York to see her daughter Ava, and then flew to Holland- she took the time to fit interviews, a Q&A and a booksigning in her crazy schedule. Every inch a PR-lady.
We dished up some questions and dilemma’s for this woman of the world….
1. TD: What is the most powerful feminine quality you use in your daily work?
KC: Without hesitating: Intuition
2. TD: There is a Dutch saying that says: ‘Act normal because that’s already crazy enough.’ The title of your book actually claims the opposite. What do you think of the Dutch people so far?
KC: I am in love with the Dutch people! They are amazing, I am very encouraged by Amsterdam, but I was a bit dissapointed that it’s not that open minded as I thought…. Why don’t you have a male red light district here? That’s not liberal! I have dated several unemployed men –that’s almost the same as paying for sex- so why shouldn’t we have the same privileges??
3. TD: You being a rebel and outspoken -which is to us the equivalent of a real and authentic person- wasn’t it a cliché to feature on/ and having a realityshow?
KC: I have been authentic in whatever show I did, so no regrets what so ever. As a PR woman I know the power of TV. Advertisers pay millions to have their products flashing for 60 seconds on television every day, so for me having an appearance on a show as myself, being paid for it and having the opportunity to plug my clients is a winning situation. Was it a safe bet? No. Did I take a risk? Yes. But if one would ask me tomorrow, I would do it all over again.
4. TD: More women started businesses thanks to the internet. What do you think of the media-landscape nowadays. How do you support the changes in media?
KC: With the internet fashion is accessible to everyone, and evertything is evolving so quickly that we can’t stay behind. The other day I met some people from Congo, and they even have cellphones! People’s Revolution has over a 130.000 followers on Twitter, and that didn’t happen yesterday. My employees might have been a bit surprised that Grandma has been twittering in her backoffice, but even I –as a middle aged woman (laughs)– understand the power of social media and how having a huge amount of followers is of great influence for the publicity of our clients. I think we’re the PR agency in the States with the most followers on Facebook and Twitter! And yes, I do encourage any form of business initiated by women, but do they make it to the finish? It’s like yoga –any good yogi will tell you when you start your yoga, you’ll also have to finish it.
5. TD: You call the people you surround yourself with your ‘tribe’. If you could form a tribe, starting with three important women. Who would they be, and why?
KC:The first and most important person in my tribe would be my daughter Ava, I can’t do anything without her and she is the next generation. Next I would ressurect Eleanor Roosevelt, because she played an instrumental role in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The third would be Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi Devi-TD), she’s a hugging Saint. She hugs people and the world, she’s on a tour now. According to her there are two types of poverty; a lack of money, and a lack of love. A lack of love raises above the lack of money. Find love in your life, give compassion, and a lack of money will be of no importance.
For the rest of the tribe let’s add twenty bitchy fashion people. And some 100.000 ‘sheep’ that can be easily fooled if we promise them a pair of designer jeans and a feature in Vogue, hahaha!
The Digitalistic Dilemma’s…..
TD: Working in Los Angeles or New York? KC: New York (without a blink, before I even finished the question)
TD: Dating a model or a lawyer? KC: Neither. TD: You have to make a choice. KC: I have dated both, they suck. Strategically I would choose the lawyer to represent me in court if my big mouth has put me into trouble again.
TD: Leonard Cohen or Foster the Parents? (Foster the Parents is her latest music crush-TD) KC: Leonard! I like the song from Foster the Parents but Leonard is my old time favorite. He wanted to have coffee with me once, but I was married and neglected the offer. When years later I went to see him perform – though he was old and skinny, he looked like a God!- I wanted to hit myself on the head. How could I have been so stupid?!
TD:Thriftstore or Target? KC: Target
TD: Different or Divine? KC: Divine
TD:PR or poetry? (Kelly wanted to be a poet when she was little-TD) KC: PR. Because good PR is like poetry. More people can be affected by your communication. The selfish, intellectual poet only targets the people that want to hear his words, and he alienates the rest.
She might have often been portrayed as a tough cookie (how would you survive the bad ass business of Fashion PR for more than twenty years? Normal gets you nowhere!) but after reading her books, and our personal encounter, we can say she is energetic, warm, committed and has a great sense of humor.
Pictures by CommedesLeroi