If you've ever watched Kell On Earth, read If You Have To Cry, Go Outside, or even caught her in action during Fashion Week, the message is loud and clear: you don't want to mess with Kelly Cutrone. Now the PR maven is taking on the modeling industry as a judge on the new season of America's Next Top Model, where she'll have to deal with a new set of problems like smizing, cat fights, and bad runway walks. Yesterday Cutrone sat down with Web Editor Liza Darwin at the Soho Grand, where they talked about the show and played a round of our new favorite game, WWKCD: What Would Kelly Cutrone Do?
Top Model is on, what, its 18th cycle? Did you watch the show before they asked you to be on it?
I don't watch a lot of TV, but my daughter does so I watch it with Ava sometimes. When I got the job I called in all the episodes and watched some of them as a refresher. I watched the last cycle with Andre [Leon Talley] after we had stopped shooting, and I would watch it while I was working out on the elliptical.
Are you the kind of person that believes that models are born or made?
I think it's a combination. There's always exception to the rule, but for the most part for runway you need to be a good 5'9'/ 5'10. You can work on being photogenic but on some level you have to be able to take a good picture and like your picture being taken. There are a lot of people who make horrible models and then there are a lot of people who don't look physically pretty with the naked eye, who look stunning on film.
There are people who I see, like models, when they walk in the room and you're going "Who let this chick in, what are you doing here?" and then all the sudden you put the camera on and this girl is like ‘bam!' The camera loves her and she loves the camera and she's going to give it to you.
It's that "It" factor.
Yeah, it's a combination of things. And the really successful models can channel everything- their looks, personality, whatever, and shine a light on all of their outlets. You have to allow people to grow, but they have to want it badly in the first place.
That's why it's annoying when the girls on Top Model cry when the stylists try to change their hair.
Those are the girls who will never be able to be a model. I was actually just talking about the Jeremy Scott show and we were talking about how boys are asked to wear a fake fur jacket or ombre hair. If you don't want to do that then you shouldn't be there, because nobody wants to hear your opinion. You're there to be a model.
Let's talk about smizing. Do you think the smize is ruining the modeling industry?
[laughing] I actually didn't even know what smizing was until I got on the show! Tyra also taught me a new one, "HTT." It means head to toe...you guys should start using that one. But I actually haven't seen too much smizing recently. I think the evil smize is ruining the industry, like those girls you put in intense leather and they feel the need to turn into robo cop killers with their eyes being all creepy! You should never laser smize. Never.
What's something you've learned about yourself from being on reality TV? I think one the things I was most surprised about is this hatred of women who are powerful. At the beginning it was kind of a harsh thing to learn. But then I became delighted, I was like "I'm going to own this!' It's freeing in a way.
Can we play a game? I want to know what you would do in these situations. Sure! What would Kelly Cutrone Do? Let's call it WWKCD. Fire away.
Someone sits in the front row who clearly doesn't belong...
The front row I have sorted by affiliation and by last name, and most of the time I know who everyone is. I ask the person their name and tell them that they need to move. If they don't I bring security, and then they move [laughing].
Someone starts a fight with you via Twitter....
Sometimes you let it go and sometimes you make it an example. For instance, an ex-employee of mine tried to fight with me on Twitter, and that's one instance when I wrote back because she questioned my integrity.
People's Revolution is asked to rep a brand you don't believe in....These are the criteria for me repping someone: I love it personally, I feel that we have something to offer the brand, or I feel that if the brand were to go somewhere else, they would be taken advantage of.
America's Next Top Model: British Invasion premieres tonight at 9 pm EST on The CW.