Project P.R.

  • Article by: SARA GLASSMAN
  • Updated: January 27, 2010 - 2:39 PM

Minnesota native Emily Bungert will be on the new Bravo show “Kell on Earth.” It premieres Monday at 9 p.m.

Photo: Mary Ellen Mark, Bravo

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The latest entry into the fashion industry on TV is a no-holds-barred, insider look at the world of public relations. "Kell on Earth" chronicles the world of Kelly Cutrone, who has appeared on "The City" and "The Hills" and goes behind the scenes at her company, People's Revolution.

It also features her partners, including Emily Bungert, 32, who grew up in Minneapolis. In the first episode she describes herself as a "power girl." "On the other hand, I'm like a 1950s housewife." Cutrone agrees with this assessment, adding "Emily's a small-town girl; she's a slayer."

We caught up with Bungert, a graduate of South High School, by phone.

Q Do you come back often?

A I do. I come for Christmas and Easter and over the summer. My family has a lake house in St. Cloud, so my best friend comes, too, and we experience the Minnesota Cabin Life.

Q When did you start in fashion?

A When I was in high school, I worked in the juniors department at Dayton's. Then I left and went to work at Nordstrom.

Q When did you move to New York?

A About 12 years ago. I was attending Lowthian College for fashion, and it was bought out by Art Institutes International and it wasn't going to be a fashion school anymore. So I moved on a whim. I was 19 and wanted to work in fashion and didn't know what to do about it. I did a retail job in SoHo.

Q What was that like?

A It was really scary -- I left and my parents were like, we're not going to help. I worked several places and then I got a job working for Vivienne Westwood as a PR assistant. I still don't know why I got the job, but I was flown to London to work with Vivienne herself. It was a great way to get my foot in the door. I also worked at Betsey Johnson, which was awesome and amazing. I worked for two of the most iconic women in fashion right at the start of my career.

Q How did you end up with Kelly?

A Kelly found me. About three years ago, I had been friends with Robyn Berkley [who's also on the show] and Kelly saw me at Bryant Park, running a fashion show. She saw me and she thought, "I don't know who that girl is, but she belongs at People's Revolution." So Robyn called. I was so flattered. It wasn't right at that time. Then when I left my job, I called Robyn and came in for an interview. It's kind of Kelly's style -- hiring with her gut. It was a unique experience. I had heard so much in the industry that I was kind of scared of her. Then I met her, and she was so down to earth, I felt there was a great connection and energy .

Q What makes you a slayer?

A The interns are really scared of me. I'm really a perfectionist, and everyone knows that. That's the way that I work. So I can be a little scary.

Q What advice do you have for others who want to follow your path?

A Don't be scared. I think that a lot of people have a dream and they're too afraid to go after it. The best thing I ever did is to move to New York on a whim. It was scary. I didn't have any money, didn't know anybody, but this is my dream.

Q Do you have any favorite spots in Minnesota?

A First Avenue is my absolute favorite place to go out. I'll plan a trip around it. I still like Palomino [where she worked as a waitress], and I like to stay at the Chambers. On New Year's Eve, I stayed at the Ivy and we went to the W. There's a weird little bar/restaurant called Dancing Ganesha that I like to go to for drinks, and I love Pizza Lucé. We either order pizza to our hotel room or stop by the downtown location for late-night slices almost every time I visit.

Sales and events

Speaking of Minnesotans on reality TV, local hair stylist Faatemah Ampey of Bella Salon will be a constant on the third season of "Shear Genius" (Wednesdays starting next week on Bravo). We've been following her career since she won the "fashion forward" category at the North American Hairstyling Awards last year. "I don't live in New York, I don't live in L.A., but I'm never out of my league," says Ampey on the first episode. Let's hope so!

Stephanie's has announced plans to close its Edina location (5005 France Av. S., 612-929-2087) and consolidate its inventory to its St. Paul store (758 S. Cleveland Av., 651-690-3802). While the winter sale (50 to 70 percent off) will continue at both boutiques, there's no official closing date set. "I love my Minneapolis location, but St. Paul is where I started. It's my original store. I love it there," said owner Stephanie Morrissey. For those distant from the St. Paul store but who appreciate the selection of sophisticated special-occasion and casual clothes, Morrissey is planning to launch an e-commerce site later this year.

Need jeans? Don't miss Hot Mama's annual denim sale. From Monday through Wednesday, the entire selection of premium labels will be 25 percent off. That includes new spring styles. (Note: These jeans rarely go on sale, so this is a great opportunity to score a bargain.) The deal is available at the Edina-based company's five metro locations (Edina, Maple Grove, Roseville, St. Paul and Wayzata) and online at shopmama.com.

On Saturday and Sunday, men will want to investigate the final days of the winter sale at MartinPatrick³ (211 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-746-5328). You'll find almost everything in the store at 20 percent off, with 30 to 70 percent off certain brands and categories. For example, Property Of bags and Wigens caps are 40 percent off, and framed art is 50 percent off.

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177 • sglassman@startribune.com

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