The television show Countess LuAnn de Lesseps will film this weekend in the Twin Cities should be a breeze compared to an episode of Real Housewives of New York City: no bickering, name calling, or hair pulling—just a lot of dresses.
De Lesseps will appear live on ShopHQ this Friday and Saturday, showing her women’s fashion line, the Countess Collection, as part of the Eden Prairie-based television shopping network’s Fashion Day. When I spoke to the Countess, she was packing her wrinkle free dresses to head to the Midwest.
“My pleated dress is so comfy, you could sleep in it,” she says. She hasn’t—I asked. But it’s nice having the option—especially now that she’s “dating again.”
Between discussing zebra print pants and double knit capes (“I love capes” she says), I also asked de Lesseps her thoughts about New Jersey housewife Teresa Giudice’s prison sentence. She wasn’t especially sympathetic. “If you had skeletons like that in your closet, I can’t believe you’d want to be on TV. Everything comes out.”
She acknowledged that there is pressure for housewives to “really shine,” but placed the responsibility squarely on herself and fellow stars of the popular Bravo TV reality series. “Bravo expects a certain kind of woman from who they cast, but you shouldn’t be in the game if you can’t play.”
For her part, de Lesseps says she has “nothing to hide.” She believes she’s outlasted many of the original New York cast members because, “I’m really a down to earth character. I’m accessible.”
Real Housewives of New York is scheduled to start filming again next week (de Lesseps is still finalizing her contract). She does think about story lines as the season approaches. “I think about what’s coming up in my life and how I can help the producers gain access. But with seven women, there’s always drama.”
And there are always a lot of costume changes. “You can’t wear the same thing over and over. It’s not easy. That’s why I was inspired to design my own line.”
Exclusive to ShopHQ, the Countess Collection is positioned as “chic made easy.” That encompasses cropped jackets, modern sweats, and leopard print details. Just about everything is less than $100.
Selling it directly on TV comes naturally to the countess. “Women love the way I dress. Living in Europe so long, I had to be dressed right for every occasion,” de Lesseps says, and somehow makes it seem important, not braggy. “Really what I’m sharing is years of experience, and how to pull it together in 15 minutes. The aim for me is to make everything elegant…and comfortable.”