Christine Quinn is the perfect villain. Complete with blonde extensions and a low tolerance for lying, the Selling Sunset realtor was seemingly made in a reality TV show factory. Between spitfire quips, scenes from a “sexual Phantom of the Opera”-themed engagement party, and not being able to operate a Keurig because of her fresh manicure, Quinn easily won over viewers despite her traditional mean girl stereotype. Somehow, she was able to morph her brand as the antagonist from inadmissible to wholly likable, due in part to her self-awareness of playing the role. (Davina, on the other hand, is another story.)
Quinn wholeheartedly and unapologetically embraces being a bitch, but with a positive spin. “I really think that ‘bitch’ is a word that should be embraced,” she told ELLE.com over the phone. Until our chat, she didn’t know what a “Pick Me” was at all, and somehow that makes sense: “I’ve never heard of that,” she said. “If anything, I think of the ’50s when I hear that phrase. But I don’t listen to my husband ever, so I’m not the right person [to ask].”
The theatrical confidence of Quinn extends to her style. Armored in designer logos, power colors, and full glam by the time she clocks into the office, her bold fashion sense is undeniable. Even if you don’t like the aesthetic, you can’t not love Quinn for walking backward down a staircase, because otherwise, she’d snap an ankle. Quinn made selling million-dollar homes in six-inch heels her brand, and she’s taking it even further with her latest business venture. Launching today, she partnered up with Shoedazzle for a shoe collection as theatrical as she is. We chatted with Quinn to discuss her tips on teetering in stilettos, her personal favorite reality show leads, and the upcoming season of Selling Sunset, below.
What was your goal in collaborating with Shoedazzle?
That’s the number one thing—people think that, in order to be fashionable, you have to spend $500 on a pair of shoes. And I have probably hundreds of pairs of shoes. And I would say the expensive ones are only a little portion because I love to mix it up, and sometimes you only wear looks once. So I was just so excited about the affordability, and the fact that everyone could have a pair and look good in them.
In terms of design, what was the vibe that you were going for?
Well, I knew that this was coming out around the holidays. So we wanted to do something that was very fun, and glamorous, [and] glitzy. You are able to go to a party, but also you can wear them to work. That was the vibe that we were going for. So that’s why we incorporated a lot of glitter and sparkles and fun elements like that.
You said you have hundreds of pairs of shoes. What’s the highest heel that you own? Do you have any advice on how to walk in six-inch stilettos?
Probably six inches. Everyone’s like, “How do you walk in those shoes all day when you work?” And I don’t walk in them all day. When I’m in houses, if I’m not doing meetings, if I’m sitting at the office… so when I don’t need to wear them, I put my flats on. It’s just all about saving your feet. That’s my biggest trick.
Did you feel like you were being boxed in as the villain while filming?
I was cast in that mold, and the producers said to me multiple times, “Well, you’re the villain.” So this is what people want to see. I don’t really feel like I’m the villain in real life, because I’m the only one who’s willing to express my opinion. I think I’m just very confident, and unapologetic, and really genuine. But in a TV world where we have so many characters who are afraid of defending people, I can see how it can be perceived that way, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way.
The thing that affects me mentally is when people watch the show and then they’ll come back and they’ll say, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you did this.” And I’m like, “Seriously, this is a television show.”
How did your reality TV obsession inform your approach to Selling Sunset?
No one really cares about the nice people. I noticed the people that did really well in their careers were the ones that stood out and had opinions. And so, going back to The Hills, I was looking at Lauren Conrad and also Heidi Montag, and they both really stood to me. And Lauren’s had such an amazing career, but she’s always been one who will say things that other people don’t necessarily want to hear. And I really like that about her. So for me I was like, “Okay, if I’m going to be remembered, people aren’t going to like me.” And that’s the way I went into it.
You have a book coming out called How to Be a Boss Bitch, and you’ve said that the word “bitch” is a compliment. What’s the difference between being a boss bitch and a toxic one?
As women, we’re constantly in an environment where you’re too sexy, or you’re not sexy enough. You’re too skinny, or you’re not skinny enough. And so I feel like the word “bitch” embraces that overall theme that we deal with in this world where women are still not treated equal. I think it starts to become a toxic environment when you are knocking down people for their physical attributes, or things that they can’t help. That’s where the line really gets crossed.
Recently you shared really intimate and difficult details surrounding your pregnancy. Why was it important for you to share that side of your story?
It was basically a malpractice issue without divulging too much. But I had intuition as a woman and I knew something was wrong. I told my doctor for two days this feeling was not right. And she assured me, “No, you’re fine. You’re fine.” And sure enough, I’m put in a position where all of a sudden my water breaks, and I’m rushed to the hospital, and I’m 10 centimeters dilated.
So when this happened, a lot of people around me were like, “Gosh, I see this all the time.” And it’s so frustrating. I wish people would talk about it. I’m glad that I talked about my story because I feel like it sheds light on the fact that us women need to trust our bodies.
The trailer for the show dropped, and it hints at someone dating your ex. Do you have any dating advice about shady men?
Yeah. I mean, this comes back to intuition again. The story with this person was that I knew there was something going on, and I was catching my boyfriend at the time in a lot of lies. I had given him the benefit of the doubt, but I think when things keep happening and you have questions, there are no coincidences. Go with your gut as a woman, and if stuff doesn’t add up, don’t give him a pass. Because you really never know who someone is. I was with someone for years, and I didn’t know who he was.
My last and final question: did you ever find out what a cabin is?
Yeah, I did find out what a cabin was. I really didn’t understand the difference. I was like, “Okay, so it’s just made of wood, I guess?” I think of cabins and horror movies!
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