The cancellation of The City seems to have opened up lots of new opportunities for some of the principals — at least those with real fashion careers. We caught up with a few of those at Elle’s 25th-anniversary celebration at MoMA last night.
Kelly Cutrone says her other show, Kell on Earth, also will not be returning for a second season, but that she’s developing yet another show for MTV. “I’m not doing reality TV anymore. I’m done,” Cutrone said, before going on to confuse us: “I’m doing a television show that I’m on that’s not scripted, but it’s not based on me running around and sharing my personal life in my office and in my home.” So, what’s a TV show that’s not scripted and not reality? “I don’t know. I think it’ll be me more working with young people who want to be in these different industries, so it might be something like, you know, you look like a fashionista but you’re not, you look like a skate dude but you’re not, you look like a hotshot entrepreneur but you’re not, maybe you should walk the walk. So it’s, like, part Great Santini, part fairy godmother.” She expects to have the pilot done in January, and then see what happens as far as time slots.
But of course, one show is not enough to contain Cutrone’s personality; she says she also has a “syndicated daytime regular big thing” in the works. Is she going to be the next Oprah? This is a big jump, she says, crediting the publication of her book If You Have to Cry Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You for the opportunity. “The book really helped. There were a lot of good layers that came together, and I’m trying to make the most of it for me, my family, and my business.”
Elle creative director Joe Zee, meanwhile, told us some more about his upcoming Sundance Channel show, in which he advises floundering up-and-coming fashion designers. “It is about young designers who are at a make-or-break point in their career and potentially about to lose their business, and I come in and help them,” he explained. “You know, I’m not God, all I can do is lend my experience and my expertise in helping them change their business around, whether it’s design, whether it’s marketing, whether it’s business, and hopefully I can do that in the short journey that we have together.”
Zee says that so far he is concentrating on young, less-established designers, but perhaps in the future he’ll take on better-known fashion brands that are on shaky ground. But he says his mission is not to merely solve financial problems. “This is a bigger-picture fundamental problem that we want to help this entire generation. It’s not just money — is it design or marketing? It’s understanding the 360 of what the fashion industry is about.”
Cutrone, Zee, and Elle editor Robbie Myers all claimed to be sad about The City’s demise. Myers says this isn’t necessarily the end of Elle’s reality-television career (which began years ago with Project Runway). “I would certainly consider having Elle participate in another [reality show.] If it’s the right thing, yes.”
One thing we all missed seeing on the show was the Elle office’s bedbug infestation! Zee said that he was out for most of the month of August, so he wasn’t there personally, but that it was as comical as it sounds: “These are fashion girls, they’re horrified when there’s a spider.”