Haute Interview: Kyle Richards

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Kyle Richards can easily be described as one of the luckiest girls in Beverly Hills as her intro on Bravo’s hit show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills describes her. Kyle is a veteran Hollywood actress since she was four years old when she landed her first part in Disney’s Escape to Witch Mountain, along side her sister Kim Richards who was one of the most popular and adored child stars of the 70’s. She’s the mother to four beautiful daughters and wife to the hunky high-end real estate tycoon Mauricio Umansky. I first met Kyle in Beverly Hills of course at one of her appearances for her widely popular book Life Is Not a Reality Show where she spoke candidly on the pitfalls of reality television, her famous family and much more. Now with a new fabulous boutique in Beverly Hills Kyle By Alene Too and the highly anticipated third season of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills returning to television on Nov. 5, it’s safe to say Kyle’s luck won’t be running out anytime soon.

It’s great to talk to you again Kyle! How have you been since the last time we spoke?
I’ve been wonderful, thank you.

Tell me about your new store Kyle by Alene Too, there has been so much buzz about it. How did this new business venture come about?
Alene Too is a store in Boca Raton I went too for a book singing and when I went there I just absolutely fell in love. It had every designer I love and I thought to myself we don’t have anything like this in Beverly Hills. It was the unique combination of the right shoes, t-shirts, dresses, jewelry etc so I reached out and said we need this here and now here we are!

What kind of brands do you carry in the store? Is it a direct reflection of your personal style or is it more of an eclectic mix?
There are definitely things here that are my style and I also take inspiration from other people’s style. We carry a variety of sizes, and brands like Haute Hippie, Matthew Williamson, Alice and Olivia, Parker, and much more. We have so many fabulous brands. We have a denim bar; all the top denim brands people love. We also have handbags and jewelry; it’s a great assortment of things. It’s a place for a busy woman who doesn’t have time to go to ten different stores to come and get everything she needs.

It seems like it’s the perfect one stop shop for any woman.
It is, I get a lot of questions about things I wear on the show from viewers and the store reflects a lot of that. We have women who will come in and want to buy a few cocktail dresses or even have teenagers that come in and want to buy cool jeans and a nice t-shirt. The store is also for the mom, the single girl; we really have everyone covered here.

What is your day-to-day involvement in the store? You are a mother, a wife and you are currently shooting the third season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. How do you balance everything?
It’s a lot of juggling. Obviously my first priority is being a Mother to my girls and a wife to my husband. The show and everything else falls under that. While I’m shooting, I’m in the store; I’m running around town with the kids. On the weekends some of my girls come with me, we have lunch at Villa Blanca down the street. This morning I shot Good Day L.A promoting the store and then I came straight here. Now I’m unpacking shipments and talking with the customers that come in. It’s been hectic but I love everything that I’m doing.

You’ve known the Kardashian sisters since they were little girls and they recently relocated their Dash store on Melrose. Did you reach out to them for any advice on opening your own store?
No I didn’t because my partners in Boca run a very successful store. So they really know what they’re doing, I was in good hands opening Kyle by Alene Too. I know the fashion end of everything but through the process of opening the store I learned about permits, zoning, etc all the things that go into opening a business. And Faye Resnick who you’ve seen on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills before did all of the interior design. She really did an amazing job decorating the store.

She has beautiful taste. She also designed both your nieces homes as well, Paris and Nicky Hilton.
Yes she has and Nick Lachey, Kevin Connelly’s home, she’s done a lot of great work.

What was your vision for the stores décor?
We wanted it to feel bright and inviting. We wanted it to feel comfortable for people to hang out in here. I knew I would be hanging out here with my girlfriends or my kids. I definitely wanted it to feel glamorous but still a place where people could feel comfortable.

Now Villa Blanca is right near your store in Beverly Hills. What’s it like being neighbors with Lisa Vanderpump? Do you get to see her more often?
It’s a lot of fun. She comes to the store; I go over there for lunch. People who watch the show will go there for lunch and then come over to the store and shop. We’ve gotten off to a great start here, I’m very grateful.

Congrats on all the success with the store. It seems like not that long ago I was sitting with you in Beverly Hills talking about all of the amazing feedback you were getting about your book and that was such a success, so it’s quite impressive to see you succeeding in this new business venture.
I appreciate that so much. Thank you. I’m born and raised here; I know this area like the back of my hand. To be driving around now and see my name on the front of a store is kind of surreal.

After you’ve been on a successful reality television show for a few years cast members can become very famous. Do you think the success of the show has changed the dynamic of the cast?
Hmmmmm (pauses). No I don’t. I think that being on a reality show is difficult. Were expected to be honest and especially since we are honest it creates issues sometimes in relationships. You see something that someone said in an interview, it’s like being on a roller coaster sometimes. I don’t think the success of the show has changed the dynamic of the cast.

One thing I like about you is that you are the same person in real life as you are on television. You are very consistent. And that is refreshing because a lot of people do change when they become famous or experience success. I think a lot of that is due in part to having had as many years in the business as you have had.
Thank you so much. I think a lot of reality shows that have teenagers or young people and this is all new to them but I think that because everyone on our show has been exposed to the lime light in some way or another so it’s a different experience.
NeNe Leakes is a friend of yours and fellow Real Housewife in Atlanta. She’s been able to make a transition from reality television to being an actress.
I love it!

What do you think of her success thus far as a fellow actress?
I absolutely love it. As an actress myself, I never wanted to do reality television, I never thought I’d be on a show like this. Now I see NeNe making the cross over and I love seeing that. I think NeNe is very funny, she walks into a room and everyone notices her. She just has that quality about her. Whenever she’s in town we get dinner sometimes, she’s been over to my house, she’s amazing.

You and your cast mates from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills have experienced monumental success in the first two seasons. You are one of Bravo’s top rated shows as well as the most successful franchise of the Real Housewives set. What can we expect from the upcoming third season? Is there pressure to really bring it more than ever?
I don’t feel pressure ya know? Were just living our lives and the first two seasons were not short on drama and this season is not short on drama at all. A lot of glamour and fun things this season as well. It definitely will not disappoint (laughs).

For more information on Kyle By Alene Too visit www.alenetoo.com

Photo Credit: BravoTV.com

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