Robin Kassner has single handedly built a multi-million dollar business.With one of the hottest, err “hautest” PR firms in New York she really need answer to no one, however she was very forthcoming with us in a recent interview. No question was too prying for the woman who Millionaire Matchmaker’s Patti Stanger has dubbed “Hello Kitty“. After some tough reviews after her first appearance on the popular dating show, Robin recently came back for round two. Did it matter what the viewers thought? Not for Kassner! Below this power woman explains it all, including why she doesn’t care what other people think…and why she really doesn’t have to!
TBB: Many of our readers know you from your turns on Millionaire Matchmaker, Chelsea Lately, The Soup, Mob Wives and Watch What HappensLive, but the business world knows you as a PR powerhouse. Tell us about your company Haute PR:
RK: I run a beauty and fashion PR firm called Haute PR. It’s one of the top
beauty, fashion, and luxury lifestyle PR firms in New York. We only do
beauty, fashion and luxury lifestyle PR so we have some of the best
contacts in the business. Through our celeb connections we get more press
than a lot of the other firms out there. We always get our clients tons of
press. I’m a former beauty editor. When I write press releases I write them
as trend stories.
TBB: I read that you got your start by writing press releases for beauty
companies. How did that progress into a multi million dollar business?
RK: I graduated the top of my class from Brandeis University with a major
in American Studies and a minor in journalism. I got my law degree from
Cardozo, where Aviva Drescher (RHONY) also went. I tried working as a
lawyer but I didn’t like it. I started writing beauty reviews and then was
beauty editor. Beauty firms were asking me to write press releases for them
because it was easier for me to get my stories in the magazines. In 2006 a
client said, “Can you do PR for my handbag line?” I wasn’t sure because I’d
never done it before, but they had faith in me. Soon I started getting more
clients via word of mouth. I named my business Haute PR and it stuck. Note
that I pronounce it “hot” instead of it’s true pronunciation which is
TBB: Did you ever worry that being on Patti Stanger’s controversial dating
show would hurt your reputation as a business woman?
RK: Some people say reality TV is garbage, but I think in the future people
will study it like it’s art. In a way I feel like I’m creating pop art.
After the first episode people said horrible things to me, some of my
clients dropped me, but I don’t really care what others think of me. I have
a lot of blessings in my life. So I lost some clients initially and then I
got some clients. Ultimately it helped my business. I’m now one of the most
well known publicists on TV along with Lizzy Grubman and Kelly Cutrone.
I’ve got fans all over the world and I’m going to milk this popularity for
all it’s worth.
TBB: I read an interview you did where you stated that you felt
“misrepresented” the first time you were on Millionaire Matchmaker. Why go
RK: Here’s the thing, I don’t usually do things that would hurt my
reputation as a business woman. Patti put me on a cleanse for 3 days so not
eating plus drinking made me act differently than I normally would act.
They (also) edit (the footage) to fit everything into an hour show. When
the episode came out I was like “Whoa, that’s so different than me.”
I LOVE being on Bravo so when they called me again I very much wanted to do
it but I was scared. Patti wasn’t nice to me the first time, but the
producer said, “Patti loves you, you’re her favorite millionaire. She even
bought you a present.” I was like, “Yeah, right,” but Patti was really nice
to me and she knows I’m ratings gold. This time I was portrayed more like
myself. People saw that I’m involved with animal charities and that I’d
also been married before.
TBB: This season the man you selected, Dev, did not show up for your date.
Did you or Patti’s team ever hear from him again?
RK: It was a total surprise to me when I was sitting in the Hollywood Tours
van. I joked to the driver, “Would you be my date?” but he was married
(laughs). Later they told me Dev had a panic attack and was in Regan
Hospital. He’s not the first man who had a panic attack on me (laughs).I
have that affect on men! I think people could relate to my dating struggle.
The viewers at home have all been stood up or had blind dates that didn’t
go as they expected.
TBB: Your alternate, Joe, showed up to take you out that day which was very
sweet. Why didn’t you go out with him again?
RK: I think Joe is an amazing person and I will definitely look him up the
next time I am in LA. I’m still friends with him.
TBB: Patti gave you a makeover which included going brunette. You have
since gone back to blonde. Do you still implement any of Patti’s tips?
RK: I think I was pretty good without Patti’s help. You know how she had me
wear the earpiece at the mixer? I didn’t really think I needed that
earpiece. However, her makeup artist, Tiffany, showed me tips that I
thought were good. I was wearing too much smoky eyeshadow. Tiffany is very
talented, but she made me look just like Patti. We both have the ombre long
hair, sparkly dresses. Patti put me in a really really tight outfit, but
maybe she’s right.
TBB: When you were on the show in 2011 you chose a guy who, for lack of a
better word, really acted like a prick. We heard you dated him a few
RK: In real life Luke was not 100% a prick, he was more a hick from upstate
New York. He’s very pretty and very muscly. We went out for a couple of
months and we stayed friends for a year. He was like my little dress up
doll. I took him to Lacoste and gave him a preppy makeover. He was like a
pretty little doll for me to play with. In real life I would never have
gone out with someone like that. Most of my real dates are professionals
like doctors and lawyers. I picked the pretty one so people think I’m this
superficial plus size girl who only dates male models. The truth is I date
many different types of guys who are exceptional in one way or another.
TBB: I have to ask, why sip wine through a straw?
RK: There are a lot of good reasons! If you drink red wine from the glass
it stains your teeth. Also, ever drink wine from a glass? All of your lip
gloss comes off! Use a straw and your lip gloss stays on. I really don’t
drink that much, usually it’s Diet Coke so I’m just used to drinking things
through a straw.
TBB: What’s in the future for you and Haute PR? Do you want to make more
appearances on reality television?
RK: I’ve actually gotten some offers to be on some shows. I’m thinking of
opening up an LA branch of Haute PR as well. I own my apartment here (in
NY) but I love LA and Hollywood. I’d absolutely move there! I also just
hired Haley Glassman as my VP. We are merging beauty fashion lifestyle and
celebrity PR. We are getting a lot of buzz for our clients!
TBB: Thank you for talking with me. Is there anything else you would like
RK: People shouldn’t try to impress other people, they should impress
themselves. You need to do what you love, then work seems like fun. If you
are passionate you will be so much more successful. If I was in law I’d be
miserable.You have to have courage to try do what you want to do and go do
Follow Robin on twitter @RobinKassner and @HautePR