Kelly Cutrone is an American fashion publicist, television personality, and author. Born and raised in Camillus, New York, she attended West Genesee High School. In 1996, Cutrone rose to prominence after founding PR firm People's Revolution. In 2008, Cutrone appeared in a supporting position on the reality television series The Hills when she employed its main cast members Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port. After Port relocated to New York City, Cutrone was featured in a The Hills spin-off, The City.
In 2010, Cutrone appeared in her own series Kell on Earth, which broadcast one eight-episode season on Bravo. That year, she released her memoir, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You, and published a second book, Normal Gets You Nowhere, the following year. Since 2012, Cutrone has served as a judge on America's Next Top Model.
Life and career[edit | edit source]
Early life and career beginnings[edit | edit source]
Cutrone was born and raised in Camillus, New York. She attended West Genesee High School, and in 1988 graduated from Syracuse University.
Cutrone left for New York at age 21 and began her career in public relations after being introduced to Susan Blond, a prominent New York publicist, by her writer/socialite acquaintance Anthony Haden-Guest, who had suggested that she become a publicist. Cutrone became Blond's assistant, she recalled, "for six to eight months," until she went on to become director of PR at Spin magazine for Bob Guccione. Less than a year later, frustrated with the lack of power she held at the company, Cutrone set up her own company, Cutrone & Weinberg, with former Susan Blond intern Jason Weinberg. Among their clients were Eartha Kitt, the Smithereens and Whole Earth Mamas.
Cutrone has been married twice. At 24, she married Andy Warhol's protégé, artist Ronnie Cutrone, and at 33 Jeff Kober. Both marriages ended in a divorce. She has a daughter with Ilario Calvo, named Ava Cutrone-Calvo (born in 2002).
1992–2007: Success with People's Revolution[edit | edit source]
In 1992, Cutrone sold her half of the Cutrone & Weinberg and moved across the country to Venice Beach, California. After a variety of endeavors, which included becoming a tarot card reader and getting a record deal with Atlantic Records in Los Angeles., Cutrone founded People's Revolution in 1996. The company has grown into one of the most powerful fashion PR companies in the world, producing shows for such artists as Longchamp, Vivienne Westwood, Valentino, Jeremy Scott, Paco Rabanne, Thierry Mugler, Bulgari, Christie's, Agent Provocateur and Alexandre Herchcovitch in London, Paris, Moscow, Los Angeles, New York and Milan. The company has offices in New York, Los Angeles and Paris.
On September 11, 2002, People's Revolution broke the record for the most shows produced on one day during New York Fashion Week—five—mainly because they were the only company willing to produce shows on the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Cutrone has said that she named her company People's Revolution "not because I'm a communist—a popular misconception—but because I happen to believe the world will change only when we change ourselves."
2008–10: The Hills, The City, and Kell on Earth[edit | edit source]
Cutrone is known for her no-nonsense approach to the fashion industry and subsequently has appeared on three MTV reality shows: True Life, The Hills—on which she employed Lauren Conrad—and The City, where she serves as the professional/personal mentor and employer of Whitney Port and consults on Port's clothing line. She has vowed that her role in the shows is unscripted: "I can only talk about the parts that they film with us, but it's totally unscripted. There's always some sort of drama here, so we don't have to make that up. MTV is really happy about our agency - it's full of things going on. It's like, um, OK, we have an opportunity to go to Coachella to film a Jeremy Scott party at Frank Sinatra's house. That's just how we roll."
In February 2010, Cutrone was given her own show, Kell On Earth, which appeared in spring 2010 on Bravo. The eight-episode series was a reality show about Cutrone and People's Revolution and followed Cutrone as she balanced running her own company and producing Fashion Weeks in New York and London with being a single mother. Cutrone has a credit as Executive Producer on the show.
2010–present: Books and America's Next Top Model[edit | edit source]
In February 2010, HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins, released Cutrone's memoir, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You. The book is co-authored by Meredith Bryan, and is a New York Times bestseller. Cutrone's second book, Normal Gets You Nowhere, was published May 3, 2011.
In November 2010, she signed on as a contributor to the Dr. Phil Show. It was revealed in 2011 that Cutrone would succeed André Leon Talley as a judge on the reality show competition America's Next Top Model, (where she got her nickname, Kelly "Cut-throat" Cutrone) beginning with the series's 18th season, which aired spring 2012.
In 2011, Cutrone teamed up with Chris Burch, president and ex-husband of Tory Burch, for the launch of clothing label Electric Love Army for spring 2012. According to a report in Women's Wear Daily, "...the company aims to open two to five of its own freestanding stores in the first year, with SoHo and Manhattan's Upper West Side being immediate areas of interest, as well as Los Angeles... ." Inspired by iconic women such as Cher, Joan Jett, Katy Perry and Debbie Harry, the collection will be targeted at 18- to 34-year-olds.
Cutrone has spoken at two TEDx event: the first at University of Oxford's independent TED event, TEDxOxford, in which she gave an inspirational 18-minute talk about her career, and the second at TEDxAmsterdamWomen, during which she spoke about her journey as a woman in business.