Josh Flagg is our favorite celebrity realtor! He stars on Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing where he sells high-end real estate, published two books, and recently created an amazing new app that showcases the homes of Hollywood celebrities. His real estate resume reads more like a hall of fame entry, having participated in four record sales within the first four years of his career. Josh also has a fantastic travel blog where he shares tips and adventures from places he visited (more than 50 countries so far). We caught up with the accomplished reality TV star to learn about his exciting projects and personal style tips.
MM: You began your career right out of high school and in no time logged record sales, including the highest sale in the history of Brentwood Park. Is there one particular sale or client you’ve worked with that stands out in your mind as most memorable?
JF: My favorite sale was that of a home in Brentwood Park. A “Lord” from England called up and said he wanted to buy a home for $15 million and his funds were in an offshore account in Barbados. Everything sounded hokey. But not only did I end up selling him a fifteen million dollar house, I sold him the house and then re-sold it for him for $30 million within two months!
I am a true reality TV addict and so excited to see Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York return tonight with a highly anticipated new season and cast! Aviva Drescher, Carole Radziwill and Heather Thomson are the new Housewives on the scene. The smart, accomplished and sophisticated new ladies are sure to make an interesting addition to the show. Aviva is a stunning, well-educated New York City native, philanthropist, mother of four and an amputee (she lost her leg in a terrible accident as a child). Carole is a three-time Emmy award winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author as well as the widow of Jackie O.’s nephew. Heather is the founder of the successful shapewear company Yummie Tummie and has worked as a designer and stylist with Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé and Sean “Diddy” Combs. I caught up with the reality TV newbies to get the inside scoop on them and what they do to stay perpetually camera ready. Read on RHONY lovers…you will be psyched to watch the premiere tonight on Bravo at 9 p.m. EST!
Melissa Meyers: How did the opportunity to become a new Real Housewife come up and why did you decide to do it?
Aviva Drescher: A childhood friend of mine in PR named Jake Spitz urged me to let Bravo interview me. Reluctantly, I did the interview and I was handed a contract. After one month of no sleep and thinking I could not do the show, I decided: “no risk, no reward.” I took the gamble that helping other amputees by using the TV platform would outweigh the consequences of becoming a caricature.
Carole Radziwill: I know Andy Cohen and we were having dinner last summer and he asked if I’d be interested in doing the show. My immediate response was “Umm…no.” I didn’t think he was serious until he sent me an email the following morning asking me to think about it. So I did. First, I looked at it as a job opportunity…an odd job made more interesting by the fact that I am a writer. I get that it’s a risk, but I’m not afraid to put myself in different situations and this was one very different situation. Sometimes you just have to say yes to what the universe is putting in front of you.
Heather Thomson: I was sitting at my desk and I got a call from a casting director saying they were kicking my name around and would I be interested in joining the cast of RHONY. My first instinct was wow, thanks so much for thinking of me, but I initially didn’t think it was the right choice for me or my family. However, as I learned more, and understood that they wanted to change the direction of the show, I auditioned and it started to peak my interest. When I really thought about it, being given this incredible opportunity on Bravo would allow me to bring real issues that working mothers face on a daily basis to the forefront. Raising my two children and being a wife to my amazing husband, starting and running my own fashion business Yummie Tummie, creating awareness for charities that are near and dear to me and doing it all, while trying my best to be glamorous and balanced is all I could ever hope to achieve.
MM: What was your favorite moment from the season?
AD: My three favorite moments of the season were charity related. One was an event that I created to benefit One Step Ahead (this charity helps pay for prosthetics for children who can’t afford them and creates sports opportunities for them). It was a spin class that we created into a fundraising event. The second was Heather Thomson’s charity event benefiting children who need liver transplants. There is one special experience at that event that I NEVER thought I could/would do! Tune in to find out what it is! My third favorite experience was giving a surprise gift to Jake, a very special boy who was born missing two limbs above the knee. Tune in to see our special time together.
CR: My favorite moment was the finale party. It was at Norwood, a private arts club on 14th Street. We were there to celebrate the completion of my new book, The Widows Guide to Sex & Dating. Yay!!
HT: There is a particular episode that focuses on an event that I am personally involved in which helps to raise awareness and money for my charity, The Kellner Liver Pediatric Foundation, a charity that is extremely personal and dear to me. I think that it s by far the most special moment for me this season because it the very reason that I wanted to go on the RHONY journey from the beginning.
MM: Give us a hint as to what juicy drama we are in store for this season. What is the nature of your relationship now with the new housewives? The other originals?
AD: I knew Luann for several years before I joined RHONY. I had met Sonja once through my ex-husband since they are friends. There are rich new storylines to look forward to. Lots of gossip and drama! It wouldn’t be RHONY without it! It was NOT “old girls” versus “new girls.” Some people organically got along and some did not. The one hint I can give you (I don’t want to spoil any surprises!) is that lots of relationships CHANGE throughout the season as we all get to know one another with time and travel.
CR: We bonded in the way people do who go through an intense experience together. Like Sisters-in-Arms. [The originals are] more like moms you love but are sometimes embarrassed by.
HT: You will have to tune in and watch the show to see the details, but I can tell you that there is a lot of drama this season. What viewers don’t expect are some of the close bonds of friendship that are developed out of the drama both with new and returning cast members.
Between wrapping up filming for Season Five of the Real Housewives of New York City and launching a new wine, one of our favorite housewives and my friend Ramona Singer has also added a new collection to her jewelry line for HSN. This new collection includes some fun art deco pieces inspired by old Hollywood glamour — just like the ones you saw all over the red carpet this past awards season. If you miss seeing Ramona in action and are waiting patiently for next seasons RHONY, check out her third year anniversary show with HSN on March 14th at 5 pm. You can also shop her collection online. Here are some of my favorite pieces:
White Topaz & Diamond with Black Enamel Sterling Silver Earrings, $339.90
These dramatic earrings are perfect if you need a great pair of earrings to wear to a cocktail party or a black tie. I love how the black enamel makes the silver and diamonds pop.
White Topaz Sterling Silver Oval Pendant, $399.90
This statement pendant is special and looks very vintage chic. Wear it with a shift dress or even a crisp white button down and pants — a great addition to any accessories collection.
Bezel-Set Gem Station Sterling Silver Necklace, $374.90
Ramona gave me this gorgeous necklace for my birthday and it became my go-to piece during fashion week. It’s so on-trend, goes with so many outfits, and is great for layering with other jewelry.
It’s fun to learn what your favorite designers do on a daily basis, let alone every half hour. I recently sat down with Jay Godfrey to get his play by play on a typical day, and what gets him going (Espresso!). It’s a guarantee he’ll never leave home without his iPhone and an ingrained image of his baby girl, Allegra. Get a glimpse into JG’s life:
5:44 am: I hear my alarm go off. Ok, no I don’t! I hear my one year old, Allegra, crying. Ok, not that either. Why the hell am I up?! Must be thinking about work. Back to sleep I go.
7:16 am: Ok. Now I am really up. I hear Allegra calling for me and her mommy to come get her from her crib.
7:19 am: Diaper change. “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” sung. Espresso machine on and heating up.
7:35 am: Espresso gone. Make another. Go get the NY Post and NY Times to get some news at my front door. Tired of “debt ceiling” and Casey Anthony stories. Loved restaurant reviews in the Times and can’t wait to try David Bouley’sBrushstroke, which received two stars this morning.
8:02 am: Steam, shower, groom, pick out my clothes (Nudie Jeans, American apparel Deep V, Jil Sander cotton navy blazer, Duckie Brown for Florsheim no lace brogues). No socks today.
8:30 am: Third espresso. Eating two slices of whole wheat toast my wife Dara made me with peanut butter and Nutella. YUM!
8:44 am: Hop on the E Train north to the garment district.
9:02 am: Arrive at the office to a LONG LONG LONG LONG to do list. Start returning emails to my factory in China.
10:00 am: Full team meeting to chat about all things going on in the world of Jay Godfrey. I mention to the team about an appearance I am going to be making on a Bravo reality show about matchmaking.
11:05 am: Design meeting with associate designer to discuss Spring 2012 prints in Photoshop. Some fab kaleidoscope prints are being concocted in front of my eyes.
11:55 am: Surprise pop into the studio from my wife and baby. Made my day!
12:33 pm: Starting to get hungry but somehow the girls in my office start talking about the Bachelorette and I get roped into a conversation about who I want to win. Massive fake argument ensues.
1:39 pm: Still haven’t gone for lunch. Getting ravenous (and maybe a bit grumpy). Need to eat. Off to grab a sandwich and return to my desk.
2:22 pm: Phone rings and big Hollywood stylist calls me in a frantic (albeit funny) fit. She needs a particular dress made ASAP in two different colors. DEEP BREATHS! Okay!
3:00 pm: Japanese luxury trim manufacturer coming to show me and my associate designer their latest and greatest.
3:45 pm: INSPIRED! Some great and exciting new trims. My mind is racing with ideas. Need to sleep on some of them, though.
4:12 pm: Production manager comes to my office saying that the factory in China is having difficultly telling which color I call “Lipstick Red” and the one I call “Bordeaux”.
4:33 pm: Bravo show producers drop in for a quick “site visit”.
5:02 pm: In the sample room with my head of production, VP of Sales, patternmaker and sample maker, discussing options for exclusive styles we’re creating for Intermix.
5:18 pm: Step into meeting with our CFO, Sean, to discuss the possibility of a JAY GODFREY retail store! Sounds exciting. A bit scary too.
6:46 pm: In a taxi home to play with Allegra and put her to bed.
7:46 pm: Dara made a DELICIOUS salmon teriyaki. Have a delicious glass of Provence-style rose.
8:43 pm: Off for a jog along the Westside highway. Thinking about Spring 2012 and cant get it out of my head.
9:35 pm: Return to my apartment – totally and utterly exhausted. Time for my wind down – steam, bath, book, news.
10:33 pm: A few emails come in as China opens. Nothing crazy.
11:30 pm: In bed. Ready to sleep but Spring 2012 is still on my mind. I get up, go to my sketch book, and quickly jot down some ideas.
11:52 pm: Back in bed. Need to rest!
Lindsay Brooke Weiss (Cohen) is a fashion and accessories editor and on-air style expert. She was previously Haute Living’s editorial director, Niche Media’s fashion and accessories editor and fashion editor for L-Atitude.com. Lindsay has been a frequent contributor at styledon.com and is a regular guest stylist on NBC’s “Gossip Gram.”
Real Housewives of New York star Countess LuAnn de Lesseps just got back from a three-week trip to Corsica and Paris and all she brought with her was a single carry on! LuAnn made it back just in time to view the reunion shows which air on Bravo on Monday, July 25th and Monday, August 1st (two 90 minute specials).
Don’t believe it? Read on for Countess LuAnn’s tips on how to pack light with style.
Think before you pack: “Instead of packing individual items and trying to piece an ensemble together later, lay everything out and plan your outfits ahead of time.”
Travel in your bulkiest pieces: “Things like sweaters and comfortable shoes tend to take up the most space in your bag, so plan to wear those items en route to your destination.”
Go basic: Packing neutral items allows for flexibility in your wardrobe. Pieces like a fitted blazer, a LBD, or sexy jeans can be dressed up with accessories to go seamlessly from day to night. “I like to travel with fun costume jewelry, which takes up less room, and helps turn a basic item into a bold statement.”
Stay pressed: Countess LuAnn’s trick for fighting wrinkles is to roll dresses in plastic bags. “It will prevent creasing so you don’t have to worry about finding an iron.”
Rinse and Repeat: Consider staying at a hotel with laundry service. Otherwise, you can pack travel detergent like Travelon Laundry Soap Sheets for a quick wash in the sink.
In addition to the release of her new dance single “Chic, C’est La Vie” available on iTunes, Countess LuAnn also has just developed and released a new iPhone app available through the Apple Store.
We asked Kelly Bensimon of Bravo TV’s Real Housewives of New York City to tell us a few of her favorite things.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE . . .
KB: Jenna Lyons, Derek Lam
KB: SoulCycle, riding horses
KB: Tulum, Capri
KB: Nobu, Delicatessen
KB: Boom Boom Room, Tortilla Flats
KB: Ernest Hemingway’s “Garden of Eden”
KB: ‘Mexico’ James Taylor, anything Adele
KB: Manolo Blahniks
KB: Restoration Hardware Outlet Furniture
Can’t Live Without This Beauty Item
KB: Brown Sugar Body Scrub by Fresh
KB: Calamari, Skinny Cows, Starbucks
Watch our fun game called “PageDaily This or That,” where Melissa Meyers interviews some of our favorite Bravo characters and gets the inside scoop.
Have you seen Melissa Meyers exclusive interview with Ramona Singer? Watch our behind the scenes video.
Image courtesy of Seth Sabal
By Melissa Meyers & Emma Watkinson