Cynthia Bailey: The Atlanta Interview
“This is who I am, take it or leave it.”
Now that Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 4 is in full swing, we thought we’d catch up with model/reality star/entrepreneur …
Along with starring on RHOA, Cynthia’s also busy with other ventures – opening The Bailey Agency School of Fashion, helping with husband Peter Thomas‘ new lounge barONE, and volunteering with various philanthropic causes…
Why did you decide to get married at Fernbank?
Because it felt right. I’m not a traditional person, and I always do my own thing.
I love that I got married
underneath the belly of a dinosaur.”
I love that I got married underneath the belly of a dinosaur. I’m part of a small elite group that can claim that!
How do you like Atlanta compared to New York City?
I love Atlanta, and I love New York. I love the quality of life that I have in Atlanta, and I love the energy of New York City. The two cities are very different – I enjoy the balance of both
After all the drama, are you still glad to be on the show?
I feel very fortunate to be a part ofcast. It is an incredible platform, and has given me a voice. I think my cast mates are smart businesswomen, and we all bring something different to the table.
I don’t play a character on the show,
I play myself – take it or leave it”
I never take any of the negativity on the show personally. I don’t play a character on the show, I play myself.
This is who I am, take it or leave it. It will always be more important to me to be a good person and a good mother over good TV.
I will never fight or scream profanities at my cast mates. It’s not who I am, however warranted. It will never happen.
How did you become such good friends with NeNe?
I meet NeNe before I was cast for the show. We met for drinks, but didn’t really connect. I was a little intimidated by her at first because she was just so ‘real’ and bigger than life.
I kept thinking, ‘I can’t believe
I’m hanging out with !’
The whole time I kept thinking, ‘I can’t believe I’m hanging out with NeNe Leakes!’
I had watched ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ a couple of times, and NeNe was the one that stood out to me. We ended up hanging out again and had a blast!
Once I was able to get to know her as a person, and not a reality star, we just bonded.
I love NeNe. She has been a good friend, and has been very helpful as a cast mate. She is supportive, smart, and has given me great advice. I’m very grateful to her.
What can guests expect at barONE?
barONE is a small bar and lounge, with a sexy Miami feel. The menu has a variety of tapas such as jerk chicken salad, shrimp fritters and turkey sliders.
The food is incredible. We’re already famous for our lychee martinis.
Our DJ rocks, and our crowd is mostly 30s and up. It’s already become Atlanta’s new hot spot.
We’re already famous for our lychee martinis.”
, Monica, Keri Hilson, Young Joc, Dr. Jay, Jill Scott, Marsha Abrosius, RL, Nelson Ellis and Tami Roman have all come through.
My cast mates NeNe Leakes,and Derek J have also shown us their support. There is no cover at the door.
What are some of the events you’ve held at barONE?
It’s great for birthday parties. We host a lot of those. We had an amazing party after the Soul Train Awards. Our Halloween party was also great.
On Sunday nights, Peter and I
watch the show with our fans.”
On Sunday nights, Peter and I watch the show with our fans. It’s a lot of fun. I’m hosting a cancer benefit for my friend April love there as well.
barONE recently held a Halloween party. What did you dress as?
I dressed as a Geisha. I’m not that into Halloween, so I never really go all out. My daughter doesn’t really eat a lot of candy either, but we always give it out.
I just happened to have a kimono lying around the house, so it worked out. I looked pretty convincing!
What was your proudest accomplishment as a model?
Shooting with Annie Leibovitz for a Vanity Fair shoot for Iman’s beauty book alongside veteran greats such as Beverly Johnson, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks.
I felt so validated and proud to be among them. I kept pinching myself, because I thought I was dreaming. It’s one of my favorite photos.
Why did you decide to open a modeling agency in Atlanta?
Because this is where I live. Also, I believe there is a need for The Bailey Agency School of Fashion.
There’s a lot of talent in Atlanta, but most are uninformed or misinformed about how to get into the fashion industry.
I would have benefited from a
school like this when I was starting out.”
As a dream builder, it’s important for me to give proper information and guidance to my students. I would have benefited from a school like this when I was first starting out.
Are you going to represent models as their agent, or just teach them how to model?
The Bailey Agency School of Fashion is a school, not a modeling agency. However, in some cases, I will offer model placement with agencies and model management.
This will be based on the students’ potential, dedication, ambition and my discretion. I fully support the agencies that are already here, and look forward to bringing them talent.
How can models apply to your school?
They can go to our Web site, TheBaileyAgencySchoolOfFashion.com and fill out an application. Or they can stop by the school:
The Bailey Agency School of Fashion
924 Garrett Street
Atlanta, GA 30316
How did you and Peter enjoy doing the AIDS Walk with the LemonAIDS?
Peter and I really enjoyed it. We’re both fairly new to Atlanta, and it was our first time doing the walk. I always did the AIDS Walk in New York.
I’m passionate about lending my support to AIDS, cancer and anti-bullying causes. These are issues that affect my life and the lives of my friends and family.
What can we expect for the rest of the season?
You’ll continue to see Peter and I start our new businesses, barONE and The Bailey Agency School of Fashion.
Even though I am still closest with NeNe, I spend more time with my other cast mates than I did last season. My 12 year old daughter is a singer and actress, so you’ll get to see her career unfold as well.
I want to be an example to others
to be fearless and follow your dreams”
Did you ever think the show would get this big?
Real Housewives of Atlanta is the number one show on Bravo, and is very entertaining. We are household names!
I never thought as a little girl growing up in a small town in Alabama that I would ever reach this kind of success.
I feel very blessed, and want to be an example to others to be fearless and follow your dreams. If I can do it, you can, too!
- To learn more about Cynthia Bailey, visit CynthiaBailey.com or follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Follow The Bailey Agency School of Fashion on Facebook and Twitter and barONE on Facebook and Twitter.
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