As I walked up Madison Avenue on my way to see Real Housewives Ramona, LuAnn, and Kelley at the New York & Company Store on Lexington Avenue and 58th Street, I could not help thinking that there were so many stores and so little time. How to pick which one to check out? The Housewives’ appearance was a good choice. As far as I could tell, they generated excitement second only to Beyonce’s presence at Versace.



LuAnn entered in tandem with the announcement that “the countess is here.”  Excitement permeated the selling floor as cameras flashed. The whole evening in fact was about pictures. Women lined up to have their pictures taken next to each Housewife and to receive a signed picture of the television stars. Ramona, accompanied by her Pinot Grigio, wore a dress with a brown solid colored bottom and a leopard patterned top. Leopard was the “in” pattern of the evening; Kelley sported a leopard blouse under her leather jacket. LuAnn appeared to be the most sophisticated of the three in her bright purple dress. The women were treated like first name only celebrities; move over Hillary and Cher—we now have Ramona, LuAnn, and Kelley.



I was impressed by the fact that exceeding young women were lining up around the block to see middle-aged women. This is certainly different than fawning over male rock stars. I asked LuAnn what she thought of the interest she inspires vis-à-vis young women. Her answer: “I love it. That is what makes doing the Housewives worthwhile. I am all about building confidence and I like being a role model. I have a teenager myself.” I think that women looking up to other women is a very good thing indeed. Sure, the Housewives are not Madame Curie. But fashion and gossip and female relationships are fun. Full disclosure: I am a very big fan of the New York Housewives.



Since I wanted to know how the Housewives were chosen, I asked Kelley to explain the selection process. Her answer to my question: “I don’t know.” She responded to my incredulous look with further information: “They were looking for someone off the wall, someone who is atypical but lives in NewYork—a cross section.” She made an effort clearly to communicate her thoughts to me in a kind way. These women strike me as being sincere—and I sincerely like them.

– Marleen Barr


Images via  NY&Co.