Every season there are new reality series that weave in elements of fashion and beauty into wacky episodes of friendship betrayal, jealousy, and the leisure time of the somewhat rich and not yet famous. Cases in point, The City is MTV’s not quite successful attempt to track the daily meanderings of young fashionistas who cattily extol and kvetch about boyfriends and fashion while they try to make a name for themselves on the NYC event and party circuit. The CW’s new reality show High Society has similar plot lines, except their cast of characters are solidly a part of Manhattan’s social elite, and a bit older.
Though the Real Housewives of New York (RHNY) doesn’t stray far from reality shows of that ilk, unlike some current incarnations that insert fashion and beauty into each episode to expand its viewership, RHNY does have real elements of fashion that is based on the everyday lives of the wives. And cast member Ramona Singer has a legitimate background in fashion and beauty that existed way before her turn on RHNY.
With jewelry collections on Amazon and HSN, Ramona Singer is taking advantage of the popularity of RHNY and expanding her fashion and beauty brands. She talked with The Fashion Spot about her love of fashion, her HSN jewelry line and of course, Real Housewives of New York.
What some people may not know about you is that you have a real fashion background. You attended FIT and were a buyer at Macy’s. That said, why do love fashion and beauty?
Ramona Singer: My mom instilled in me that it was important you to have your own sense of self and your own way of making money. I always loved fashion, and actually sewed my own clothes when I was younger. I also was good at math, so I thought to myself that it would be great if I could combine my love of clothes with math. So I went to FIT and after graduation became a buyer at Macy’s, The French Connection, and Calvin Klein.
After working as a buyer I started my own business, RMS Fashions, so when I married and had my daughter I was able to run my business from home and take care of my daughter. I also became involved in my husband’s jewelry line, truefacejewelry.com. We are in this whole new era of fashion on the Internet and television. I later approached HSN, and we decided we would do a jewelry line based on estate, art deco pieces. I love this type of jewelry because it is passed from one generation to the next and never goes out of style. So I created a line of affordable pieces that look more expensive than the cost.
How did you get cast on The Real Housewives of New York?
Ramona Singer: Sometime in the summer of 2007, a friend called me up and told me about this pilot called Manhattan Moms in New York and that the producers were looking for upscale moms who had their own careers and were socialites. She asked me if I would be interested in participating. I figured I would audition for the show as a goof. The audition entailed the film crew following me around for six hours, and then presenting the video to the producers. So, when the producers contacted me about being on the show, I really didn’t want to do it. I asked them if they would send me the demo audition tape, which they did, and when I looked at it, I was captivated by the natural charm of the tape. I still had major reservations because I didn’t want to be famous, and I didn’t want a camera crew following my family around all the time. Later on, while I was in the Hamptons, some of the producers approached me again, and I decided to do it as a way to showcase my jewelry.
Did you think the show would become a runaway hit?
Ramona Singer: Absolutely. As soon as we started filming I told the producers that Real Housewives of New York would be a big hit. They looked at me as though I as crazy, but I was right. And this season is going to be even bigger and better than previous seasons.
How have you been able to turn your fame from Real Housewives of New York into other business opportunities?
Ramona Singer: After the first season I got the opportunity to go on HSN and do a jewelry line. I don’t believe that would have happened without the show. With the help of a doctor friend I came up with a skincare line, Tru Renewal. Real Housewives of New York has helped facilitate all these ventures.
Could you talk about your skin line, Tru Renewal?
Ramona Singer: My line is all organic and natural. I have very sensitive skin, so that prompted me to create a product that works for all skin types. The main ingredient in my skincare line is algae, which is great for cell repair. After three weeks of using my product the skin becomes more vibrant and healthy. Alex McCord from the show uses my product, and people have noted the marked improvement in her complexion.
Some of your own jewelry comes from estate sales, which you use as inspiration for your HSN line, could you talk about that?
Ramona Singer: I like estate jewelry because I like jewelry that never goes out of style, and looks as good as when it was first bought. Some jewelry on the market now, like the big geometric jewelry, looks very current and hip, but may not outlast the trend. Estate jewelry is classic, and can be worn with so many different looks.
Your jewelry line for HSN, “Ramona Singer Jewelry” has an Art Deco aesthetic, why did you look to that era for inspiration?
Ramona Singer: The art deco aesthetic has lots of structure and clean lines, which I find very interesting.
I noticed in your collection that there are a lot of big center stones, could you talk about that?
Ramona Singer: I believe jewelry can change your whole look. You can have a simple all-black look and put on a spectacular ring, earrings, or bracelet, and make your whole look pop. You will get noticed and stand out and shine.
How is this collection different from your True Faith Jewelry line on Amazon?
Ramona Singer: My line on HSN is all real diamonds and gemstones. The True Faith line on Amazon is all TZs (travel zirconium).
And your jewelry line on HSN is so affordable.
Ramona Singer: Yes, it is. I have diamond 1-carat hoops for $500.00 and up. And the quality is fantastic. There is nothing like it on the market.
What celebrities are wearing your jewelry?
Ramona Singer: Wendy Williams wears my diamond hoops, and Khloe Kardashian wears pieces from my collection.
What’s next for you?
Ramona Singer: I have a lot on my plate right now, but I am considering developing a luxury line of handbags and accessories.
For more information about Ramona Singer’s collections, go to ramonasinger.com.
Photos courtesy of Brownstein PR.