Ever since Erika Jayne joined the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in 2015, the 90210 zip code has had a healthy—and frankly much-needed—injection of fashion. While fellow cast members like Kyle Richards and Lisa Vanderpump have the market covered on flowing caftans and prim button-downs paired with Chanel bags and huge diamonds, Jayne came in hot with fresh-off-the-runway Moschino, Tom Ford, and staggeringly high heels to match.
Four seasons later, Jayne is still serving big, bold looks—bigger and bolder, probably—prompting the other cast members, new and old, to step up their fashion game. It only makes sense, then, that the reality star (who also has a successful musical career on the side) was tapped by ShoeDazzle to create her own line of footwear to satiate her many fashion devotees. When I meet Jayne in her hotel suite, which she’s transformed into an ad hoc shoe showroom, during her recent trip to New York, she is dressed in an oversize T-shirt paired with patent leather leggings and high-heeled pumps. It’s 3 p.m. on a Thursday, and this is a casual look for her. “These are so comfortable,” she says, gesturing to her ShoeDazzle pumps, which are emblazoned with the words “Pretty Mess” (both her personal brand and Instagram handle). Such is life when you’re Erika Jayne. Here, the Housewife breaks down her quintessential fashion rules, as only she can.
What was the concept behind the shoe line?
Two lives: Erika Jayne and Erika Girardi. You get to be your fantasy, over-the-top self with Erika Jayne, and with Erika Girardi you get to be a bossy babe. But even that’s a little shiny and fabulous. What was hard was cutting back. There were so many ways that you could go. And making sure that the ShoeDazzle client was served, as well, because maybe I don’t like something that they like. That was really the fun part about it.
Were there any designs that you didn’t know which Erika alter ego to assign them to?
I still don’t know for some. That’s the beauty of it. I mean, I know the sparkly ones are Erika Jayne.
How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Personally? It’s gotta be in the hundreds. For sure.
Do you have a room for them?
Not a room. I have two rooms. [Laughs.] Meaning, I have two closets, and there are shoes in each closet. They get rotated around depending on what season we are in or what we’re doing or where we’re going.
What was the most recent pair that you bought?
I bought a pair of baby pink 120s and robin’s egg blue 120s. Louboutin. They’re right over there.
Do you have a favorite pair?
I have favorites for different reasons. I tend to wear a lot of 120s in different prints, colors, and skins. Actually, my favorite is an over-the-knee, up-to-my-waist boot. With a heel.
Do you think about comfort at all when it comes to your shoes?
Comfort? [Laughs.] Listen, what are we talking about? Are they as comfortable as my Nikes? No. Do I expect that out of my pumps? No. It’s two different things. You’re either a pumps girl or you’re not.
Do you ever try tricks to make them more comfortable, like using CBD oil on your feet?
Oh, my God, is that a thing? Really? I think because I grew up a ballerina, I’m so used to having my feet tortured that nothing hurts at this point. I’m dead, it’s great. But CBD oil on your feet? Holy shit. [Yells to the other room:] Did you hear that? We need CBD oil for my feet.
What are your earliest memories of fashion?
My mom was taking disco dance classes at the Fred Astaire studio. I was about 5 or 6, and I put on her disco shoes and her fake DVF wrap dress.
What was your style like as a teenager?
Long blonde hair to my waist, crimped with bangs—’80s disaster. A fabulous disaster. I loved a side pony. I still love to rock a side pony.
Do you keep all of your old stuff?
Yes, I do. My mom has tons of it. It’s funny shit. And I do have some things that I re-wear, and some of my mom’s stuff from the ’80s that I wear.
What’s been your ultimate, unexpected holy grail purchase?
I found a pair of Tom Ford boots in the corner of Bergdorfs for, like, $200. I could not believe people weren’t buying them. They’re fucking fabulous. They are black patent leather Tom Ford boots. I only found one, and there was no mate. I saw a piece of patent leather sticking out and was like, “What is that?” I have that radar. I dug it out, and it was my size, and I said to the man, “Where’s the mate to this boot?” And he came out with it. It was, like, my favorite thing ever.
Are you a good shopper?
No. Well, what do you mean by good shopper? I’m an impatient shopper and a fast shopper. I don’t like to shop with nonprofessionals.
Do you go in with something in mind?
No. I just go in with an open mind and can scan things quickly. I’m looking for things for work. Does that make sense? Everything is work related. Is it something I need? Something I don’t have? Something I can use? Something for the future?
Is there anything you have too much of but can’t stop buying?
I can probably lose a few sweatpants, but I refuse. I would live my life in sweatpants if I could, but I can’t. Then you’d be giving up, like Uncle Karl [Lagerfeld] said. You’ve given up in life if you’re wearing sweatpants all the time, and I can’t do that.
Kim Kardashian does it.
Yes, but she made sweatpants cool because she wore them with crop tops and pumps. It’s not really that.
Do you watch fashion shows and keep tabs on things that you want to buy?
With my life, I have to wear things that look good on me and not necessarily what’s poppin’. I think I have great taste, but great taste for me. Personal style. I couldn’t look at you and know what is best for you, but I know what works on my body. I like theatrical stuff and things that maybe the average bear would be turned off to, but that’s my stuff.
Has there ever been a trend you tried that really didn’t work out?
There’s a beauty trend I tried that just didn’t work, and that was bleaching my eyebrows. I hated that. As far as fashion trends, no, there has never been something that I really regretted.
Do you have any fashion regrets? Do you watch old episodes and think, “I should not have worn that”?
I do, but nothing like, “Oh, my, God.” Just like, “That could have been better.”
Do you log what outfits you have worn?
Absolutely. We make a full deck on Housewives of every look that I’ve worn so we don’t repeat it, and if you do, you mix it up with other pieces that aren’t instantly recognizable. That’s usually basics that you wouldn’t catch.
Do you look to anyone for style inspiration?
That’s cloudy because I am looking for things that are specific to me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate a lot of people, it’s just that I’m so self-involved that I can’t see the forest through the trees. But I am quick to point out when I think something looks good on someone.
What are your biggest fashion obsessions right now?
I’m addicted to sweatpants. [Laughs.] I really am. Whenever I’m not working, I’m wearing sweatpants.
When you get home at the end of the day—
All this shit comes off. I take my lashes off, every drop of makeup off, my hair down—all this drag comes off.
But do you run errands in your sweats?
You better believe I do. People get real disappointed.