By Nathalie Barclay.
It’s summer and we’re starting to feel the heat here in New York, but for the Real Housewives of New York City, this heat began back in April with their season premiere. Going on its eighth year, there’s no doubt that the show is on fire and a hit with viewers: dramatic and funny, we just can’t seem to get enough!
Original cast member from the 2008 launch of the show, Ramona Singer is a Real Houses of New York City staple. Never afraid to say what’s on her mind or voice her opinions, she’s constantly surprising and enthralling the show’s viewers, as well as starting up some drama among her costars.
Ramona was born in upstate New York, and though we see her today as a rich and confident woman, her upbringing was less than easy. “I had probably the most difficult childhood probably that anyone could have.” Eldest of four, she is no stranger to taking care of the people around her as we have seen throughout the years in Real Housewives. Ramona describes herself as a caregiver and a woman always wanting to nurture others, all of which she attributes to her childhood. So what about her childhood that pushed her into this caregiving role, making her become a second mother to her siblings and a pillar of strength?
For a start, Ramona’s mother was abused for years by her husband and Ramona’s father. “When I was fourteen I had this important conversation with my mom, and I asked her why she was with my dad, why she wouldn’t leave him. She said, ‘You know Ramona, I don’t have a college degree, I had you and then subsequently three more children, and if I left your father, he promised to quit his job at IBM, refuse to pay any child support and even come after me and hurt me if I ever dared to leave him.” In the years since, Ramona came to understand another reason for her mother not leaving her father: “When the Russians came into Hungary, she spent two years in a displaced camp sponsored by a Hungarian church. The only way she could be sponsored was by staying in this displaced camp, forcing her to live this horrible life. She never really had a home, so for her, her life with my father was the only home she ever had. Her whole life she was displaced and scared and she just couldn’t do it again.”
Though in some ways Ramona’s mother’s choice to stay with her husband limited Ramona and held her back, it’s also clear to Ramona that her mother’s situation of being helpless was not uncommon to many women. Without an education and financial support, a woman can often feel stuck and unable to lead her own life. “When I was fourteen, my mother told me that she wanted me to have my own career, make my own money, and this way, God forbid I end up with a man who’s not great for me down the road, I would have my own money and could take care of myself. I could say goodbye, sorry, and not have to worry about anything.” Spurred on by her upbringing and her mother’s hopes, she made sure she did everything she could to have her own life and independence, going on to study at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) before starting her own successful enterprises.
As a Marketing major from FIT, Ramona secured a place in the elite training program for Macy’s executives, the completion of the program leading her to become one of the company’s buyers, and later a sales manager for big brands like Calvin Klein and French Connection. She then started her own business and became immediately successful. “With business, you always have to be thinking and outside of the box. The biggest problem in business is cash flow, how you pay the bills. I came up with the idea of having the stores pay me within ten days, leaving me to pay my manufacturers within thirty days, now it’s a twenty day flow.” The company became a multi-million dollar business with the money saved from her business allowing her to buy lots of real estate.
Business savvy then and business savvy today, her choice to participate in Real Housewives of New York City is not an obvious one. Already famous with her friends, why become a star of a reality TV show?
Originally declining the spot on the show, Bravo refused to take no for an answer, coming back with an offer to support one of her business ventures in exchange for her acceptance of a place on the show. Throughout her ‘career’ on the show, Ramona has continued to pursue her business interests, developing her own Pinot Grigio called Ramona Singer Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie IGT, Italy, as well as partnering with Lux Beauty Club. Lux Beauty Club is an enterprise Ramona’s extremely excited about, the company supplying women with affordable hair extensions, sent directly to their homes, and through a partnership with Priv the extensions can be professionally applied right in your home, or done in one of their partner salons therefore cutting out the high salon costs.
As is clear from the show, Ramona takes great pride in her appearance. Beautiful and dedicated to being healthy and fit, this pride is well deserved. When asked about her workout regimen, she cited Jane Fonda’s focus on free weights as her inspiration: “I started using them when I turned thirty and stopped doing aerobics because aerobics are good to burn fat but they don’t give you muscle tone. It has actually been proven that when you work out with weights, you burn calories for twenty four hours.”
When asked about cast mate drama this season, Ramona talked a little about her dislike of Dorinda’s relationship with John and how she butted heads a few times with both of them. “But then I realized, who am I to judge?”
Outside of her work on the show, Ramona is an avid traveler, and will be spending much of the summer traveling to the Hamptons, Aspen, and either Capri or Saint Tropez. She’ll also be frequenting her favorite restaurants: The Redbar and 75 Main in the Hamptons, and NoMad and Zuma in Manhattan.
Photographer & Retoucher: Evan Guttman | EvanWasHerePhotography.com
Produced by: Hillary Latos
Styled by: Tanya Tauthong Kass
Styling Assistant: Justine Friccione
Beautiful Floral Arrangements by: B Floral | www.bfloral.com
Shot on Location at 157 west 57 St, #62A
For more information contact:
Noble Black | O: 212.909.8460 | M: 347.526.3308 | F: 212.715.6550
Emily Sertic | O: 212.350.8022 | M: 917.499.7466