2009 September 12
A moment with Danielle Staub, New Jersey's Realest Housewife... BY MARSHALL HEYMAN
How did the whole modeling thing happen with your daughter, Christine?
DANIELLE STAUB: Bravo said IMG called and they’d seen Christine on the show. I said, “Who from IMG?” and they said, “Ivan Bart.” I nearly passed out. I was just blown away that Ivan Bart had taken an interest in my daughter. He just knows what’s he’s doing. And I’ve known that for two and a half decades. I was a model many years ago, but just my legs. Now, they’re shooting my baby! I mean, I gave birth to her!
Anyway, the next thing I know, they’re calling us in to do this cover shoot for the Daily, and saying Gilles Bensimon wants to photograph it. Oh my God, put a fork in me! And they were like, “Wait a second, we’re not done. They want to shoot you, too.” This is bigger than big! I’m trying to explain to my daughter, who’s very humble and well-rounded, that this is as big as it gets. This does not happen unless you’re going right to the top. Seeing Gilles shoot my daughter those first few frames, I started to cry.
What other great things have happened since the end of the first season?
I’m writing a book for Simon and Schuster. It’s my life story. No one would pay attention when I was trying to tell my life story on television, but I think they’ll pay attention now.
Are you excited to tell the other Housewives about this shoot?
Are you kidding me? Yeah.
How are you going to tell them?
I don’t know. Maybe stand up in the tents at Fashion Week and make an announcement? I would like to do it when all the Bravo cameras are rolling, to be honest with you. I’d do it in a really, really, really proud way, not in a look-at-me kind of way. Because it’s not about that. It really is more about good things do come to you when you stay positive.
Think they’ll be jealous?
Absolutely. Do I enjoy that jealousy? Not at all. They’re very unpredictable women.
I do want to make sure all the tables are nailed down.
Have you been making that joke a lot lately?
All the time. When I was meeting with the big publishing houses and would have 30 people sitting around a big table, one of the first things I’d always say was, “Before we get started: Is the table nailed down?”
And it’s worked in every room?
Pretty much. People who are going to love me, love me.
How were you discovered as a model?
All I kept hearing was that my legs were fabulous. This was the thong era, and I had no trouble showing my lower body at all.
Where are some of the places your legs have appeared?
I did a lot of work in Europe. I did some advertisements, catalog work. But nothing as high end as what Christine is doing. It’s not something I went to the top of my field in. The pay was not like it is now, anyway. I’m not super-tall—I’m 5'6"—so I couldn’t really do runway. I just worked to make a living.
What was your best pose?
Definitely standing up, from the side, with my right knee bent.
Did you ever consider insuring your legs?
Maybe I should someday. They’re still good legs.
How do you take care of them?
I use cream that has collagen in it. I do maybe 30 minutes a week on my legs—about 200 to 300 lunges in 20 minutes. I’ll do leg lifts, side squats, step-ups, and pliés in a squat position while doing curls at the same time. And I love crunches. I have a six-pack
and I’m 47 years old.
You should make a workout video!
Yes, hopefully that’s one of my next endeavors.
I saw you eating cookies off the catering table a minute ago.
Oh yeah, like four or five of them. I’m a big cookie fan, and I eat pizza.
What type of shoe goes best with a great set of gams?
The hotter the better. Eight inches! Dior! I don’t think a girl should compromise on shoes. I’d rather own one pair than 20 cheap pairs. I haven’t shoe shopped in probably six years. I’ve just been wearing my stock. I shopped a lot when I was married.
You haven’t shopped in six years?
Some tops, a pair of jeans here and there, but I just call everything in my closet “vintage.” I’ve also been lucky to have people come forward and ask if they can dress me. I can’t afford to go buy something new every day, so if people want to dress me, by all means! I’ll wear ’em proudly!
Do you read fashion magazines?
I do, and I drool. There was a period when I couldn’t even look. I went from having a black American Express to just having an ATM card. It was hard for me to look at things and not just pick up the phone and have it delivered overnight. It was a really good lesson. I miss handbags, and I miss shoes.
What will it take to make you start shopping again?
A credit card. I think as soon as my book hits the shelves, I’ll get one again. I was definitely addicted to shopping. I could spend a hundred thousand in a day. Everything was designer label, third-floor Neiman Marcus. I would have spent $50,000 in 20 minutes at the Dolce & Gabbana store on Madison Avenue.
Will we be seeing you at Fashion Week?
I’m absolutely going to shows. I’ll go to any show that I’m invited to. I do like the front row, I have to be honest with you.
READ MORE: Christine Staub's Fashion Week Debut!