Kell on Earth

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All Work, No Pay

So have you heard there's a recession? Actually, strike that, it's a depression, at least if you ask Kelly Cutrone. On this week's Very Special Episode of Kell on Earth, we learn that the downturn in the economy has wreaked havoc on the fashion industry too, and Kelly's scraping by to keep afloat. The new mantra is "decrease overhead, increase revenue" (the old mantra was "change yourself, change the world" -- uh, oops). To start, she gets on the People's Revolution team to hound their outstanding accounts, going to small-claims court if necessary. In addition, she's planning a trip to the People's Rev annex in Los Angeles to drum up some West Coast business. Because "California is a goldmine for lifestyle branding." Ah, so THAT'S what it's a goldmine for!

What else Kelly's doing is cracking down on freebies and favors and generally any use of her time or People's Rev resources that doesn't bring in money. Case in point: the phone call she gets from "Ava's friend's uncle" (which: shady!) looking for some free advice of some sort. Kelly passes the call to Andrew -- so the guy can make an appointment like an adult -- and Sharpies onto a sheet of paper "Fuck You, Pay For Advice." She interviews that her time and expertise are valuable, and they are. Girl, you need to get to hiring yourself out as a consultant, pronto. Also not getting any of that sweet, free People's Rev treatment is needy Vanity Fair editor George Wayne, an old friend of Kelly's looking for some pro bono event planning. After annoying the PR employees with his flaky and presumptuous demands, Kelly tells Emily to shut it down.

In L.A., Kelly meets with a couple of prospective clients. There's "My Studio," a customizable studio space for hi-def audio and video presentations, small enough to serve as your basic mall kiosk. Think a photo booth that lets you record a demo reel for Rock of Love Cruise (make it happen, VH1). Anyway, Kelly thinks the idea has potential. She's also into "Freak City," an event space owned by Delicious Vinyl honcho Rick Ross. Rick's an old friend of Kelly's from back when she had a record deal (!) and toured with N'Dea Davenport, of Brand New Heavies. Kelly Cutrone is the best name-dropper, you guys. It's never anyone typical. Anyway, after a visit, and an ill-advised bout of freestyle rapping in her rented SUV, Kelly decides to take on Rick as a client too.

The last thing Kelly does in L.A. (that we see -- I hope she took Lauren Conrad out for lunch and gave her a year's worth of pitiless but on-target life advice) is to grant an interview to one of the People's Rev L.A. interns (for school, it seems) about the state of the fashion industry. To paraphrase Kelly's assessment: not fuckin' good. It's an all-time worst time for the fashion industry, and she doesn't expect it to ever get back to where it was. "People's value systems have changed," she says. "They do not want to buy a pair of pants for $2,000." Food for thought, fashion industry.

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Kell on Earth

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