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Newfound fame often brings the urge to capitalize on it. Bravo’s “Real Housewives” franchise has given birth to scores of reality stars, many hoping to extend their 15 minutes with the creation of accessories lines. WWD weighs in on the recent slew of collections.
This story first appeared in the February 6, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Who: Kelly Bensimon, “Real Housewives of New York”
Calling Card: Known for kooky behavior that some have called crazy, Kelly is an ex-model and former wife of Gilles Bensimon.
The Product: Rocker-inspired jewelry featuring studs, feathers and mixed-metal chains priced under $150.
The Verdict: A perfect spot to pick up “stoner” feather earrings and necklaces, which are aptly named after Bensimon’s favorite Seventies rockers.
Who: Ramona Singer, “Real Housewives of New York”
Calling Card: A tell-it-like-it-is housewife who either lacks a filter or doesn’t care what you think — or both. You either love her or you hate her.
The Product: Ramona Singer Jewelry for HSN, a gem-heavy line in sterling silver featuring classic silhouettes. Retail: $50 to $500.
The Verdict: Singer will likely make a fortune hawking “faux fine” jewelry to the masses on HSN, as most of her customers probably won’t care about the difference.
Who: Jill Zarin, “Real Housewives of New York”
Calling Card: Brazen, brash, bold and in your face, this redhead is infamous for her epic grudge match with her former cast mate and ex-BFF, Bethenny Frankel.
The Product: Set to hit stores in time for Valentine’s Day, the costume jewelry line, which is produced under a license with Glitterings, is inspired by Elizabeth Taylor’s gems. Retail: $28 to $110.
The Verdict: Liz Taylor’s jewels these are not — but this isn’t a bad go-to spot for statement-making cocktail rings for under $100.
Who: Adrienne Maloof, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”
Calling Card: Co-owner of the various Maloof Cos. businesses, Adrienne flies under the radar when it comes to controversy — unlike her sense of style. Just ask Isaac Mizrahi.
The Product: Shoe line with Charles Jourdan that retails for less than $300.
The Verdict: It’s impressive that she partnered with Charles Jourdan, but seeing the shoes certainly makes clear Isaac’s reference to Charo.
Who: Lisa Vanderpump, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”
Calling Card: Owner of various restaurants, clubs and bars, this British ex-pat is known for her strong opinions and extravagant taste.
The Product: Launching a shoe collection with Ryan Haber this spring that will incorporate Swarovski Elements. Retail: $600 to $902.
The Verdict: The Vanderpumps sell for as much as $902 — but why buy these shoes when you can buy Louboutin or Manolo for the same price, and in some cases, less?
Who: Gretchen Rossi, “Real Housewives of Orange County”
Calling Card: Based on a prior marriage, the platinum blonde 33-year-old has been dubbed a gold digger, but now the housewife is working to elevate her brand.
The Product: The Gretchen Christine Collection of handbags is priced under $300. The line comprises totes, hobos, satchels and doctor’s bags.
The Verdict: The customized makeup compartment is a nice touch — but for another 50 bucks, you can get a quality Coach bag.
Who: Teresa Giudice, “Real Housewives of New Jersey”
Calling Card: Known for her fiery temper and penchant for outerwear made of fur and bedazzled tight-fitting duds, Teresa is basically reality TV gold.
The Product: Stretch fabric belts under $40, costume jewelry and watches under $45. All items sold on tgfabulicious.com.
The Verdict: Don’t be misled. Her Fabulicious online boutique is a collection of wholesale-sourced tchotchkies found in the depths of New York’s Koreatown. With a tax ID number, you can buy it all yourself.