When you think of The Real Housewives of New York City, you would be hard pressed to find a classic moment that did not involve Sonja Morgan. The woman who introduced the phrase “We Always Have A Great Time” into the #RHONY lexicon is keeping busy currently filming the next season of the smash Bravo reality show and just presented her SonjaBySonjaMorgan collection at New York Fashion Week. She grabbed some time and sat down with me as she chose flowers and finished the last few details for her show. We chatted about presenting her latest fashion line, finding common ground with Housewives from other cities, and she offers some sage advice on how to make your own business dreams come true.
Michael Cook: It is the evening before your Sonja By Sonja Morgan New York Fashion Week show and your are in the midst of filming the new season of The Real Housewives of New York City right now, right?
Sonja Morgan: Yes! I have my fashion show tomorrow, so everyone is here. I am booking the press, the models, the flowers, so it’s a little nuts here! And yes, we are filming! (laughs)
MC: You are coming to Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City this weekend on Saturday September 21st with Real Housewives of New Jersey co-stars Margaret Josephs and Teresa Giudice for An Evening with the Celebrity Housewives. Are you ready for another Housewives style trip to Atlantic City?
SM: Absolutely, are you kidding? I have been to Borgata before and I loved it, but I have not been to Harrah’s yet. I am so excited though!
MC: What is it about The Real Housewives of New York City that keeps you coming back? You are one of the central and longest running cast members now and we can always rely on Sonja to keep the party going! What really keeps you coming back?
SM: You know, I don’t know what it is. They are my real friends, and I knew them before the show. Even Dorinda I knew peripherally before the show, through a mutual friend in London, a really close friend of hers named Heather. I feel very connected to them and that is one thing that keeps me coming back. I do it to be a supportive friend and we do have our ups and downs, but at the end of every season, we are there for each other on and off camera. I love them.
Also, the show has been great for me to be independent once again since my divorce, since I was very independent before I got married. It has also been great for the charities that I support, like animals, artists, the LGBT community, and children, really like never before.
MC: You are one of the Housewives that truly supports the LGBT community and really puts their time and money where their mouth is. Would you say that is fair to say?
SM: Yes, absolutely. I actually went to FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and my two roommates were gay. I have always been coddled by them, they bought my out of my shell and gave me confidence. I modeled for many LGBT artists as well. I also am a huge supporter of #WomenSupportingWomen, but I have always been an extended member of the LGBT community. When I was fourteen years old, I used to go to Studio 54 as a model, I would come down from upstate.
Later on, I would hang out with the drag queens and we would go the Limelight and Area nightclubs. I am definitely from that epic epoch. It has been a wild ride with me and the LGBT community. I actually invited Lady Bunny to my fashion show tomorrow, and Suzanne Bartsch just texted me and she is going to be coming to the show, I am so excited.
MC: Seeing you with the other ladies this weekend will be interesting; it is fair to say that Sonja Morgan is able to bring the party wherever she is, and no matter the city, she is going to be the one ensuring Housewives everywhere are having a good time.
SM: That is absolutely right! I actually have been having a great time with Teresa (Giudice). She has really come into her own after she got into her own legal snafu, and was released. She is raising her children and she is very independent now. She actually always worked, she worked in the fashion industry as well, before her marriage, I don’t know how many people really know that about her. We have a lot in common; the fashion industry, we are both mothers, we both are Housewives and work on Bravo and we both are alone and doing it right now. I think I have a lot of experiences to share with Teresa.
MC: You are one of the Housewives who have taken the platform that the show has given them and has created an amazing brand (Sonja By Sonja Morgan), despite what your co-stars may have initially thought.
SM: I am so glad you said that. The other ladies always laugh at me, because I am the party girl, the comedy, and I do lots of self deprecating humor about myself. It got to the point though, where they started taking advantage of my good nature and then they started laughing at my brand. That was really off limits on the show, to make fun of someone else’s brand, talents or kids, I really did take offense to that. Then, I showed them. I had my fashion show and they got to see what I do in my private time when I’m working behind the scenes. I have my show tomorrow for Fashion Week, which I am very excited about. I have had other shows since that first show, just not at New York Fashion Week. It’s very expensive to do a NYFW show. And Bravo will be there!
MC: What is it like to have your second fashion show now where you’re presenting your own collection?
SM: It feels good. The first collection was signature, $250.00-$1200.00, which sold out fast but I did not have a deep collection. I could not reach a lot of people at that price point. This collection is under $250.00, Sonja By Sonja Morgan. That is why we thought it was time to introduce it at Fashion Week.
MC: We could be seeing you on QVC at this rate! Do you think the Sonja Morgan brand could be expanding to homeware and possibly, that notorious toaster oven that fans have been dying for?
SM: Oh I will probably end up on QVC eventually, when I am comfortable and ready. You know everybody wants that toaster oven and we will get there (laughs)! We will get the homeware, the toaster oven, the placemats, the tongs, the napkins, the chopsticks, whatever you want (laughs)! It has to be luxury affordable, and I don’t do “girly girl”. My perfume for example, is unisex. That is what we are giving at the fashion show as a gift actually.
MC: For those that are watching you at home, what would you tell people who are trying to follow their own dreams, despite having detractors. How would you tell them to stay the course and follow their own dreams?
SM: That is the thing, don’t pay attention to the naysayers. Stay focused and be tenacious. Stay focused on your goal, have a five year plan. Also, live in the moment and enjoy yourself. If you have to blow off some steam and go out and party with your friends and drink and laughs it off, do it. Spend time with your family, don’t let it ruin you. Business shouldn’t run your time here on earth on a daily basis. That is the problem here in New York City, we do work a little bit too much. Enjoy what you do. If someone is writing a book or working on fashion, enjoy it more than thinking about the money. My business has been slow and steady and not easy; no business is. If you are really building a brand identification that you identify with yourself and that your followers understand is truly you, then you should be very happy and you can go the long run, whether you are making a fortune or not.
Art By Bravo & Sonja Morgan (Facebook)
Sonja Morgan Teresa Giudice, & Margaret Josephs appear at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City this Saturday, September 21st. Grab tickets at: https://www1.ticketmaster.com/an-evening-with-the-celebrity-housewives-atlantic-city-new-jersey-09-21-2019/event/020056C7B6C587D6