Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

Since first airing in 2019, Netflix‘s real estate reality series Selling Sunset has increasingly been a showcase for fashion as much as it is about peeping into lavish L.A. homes. In recent seasons, the over-the-top looks seen on the show, which can verge on the impractical, have become memes on social media. Exhibit A: thatskirt, which looks like a belt, worn by castmember Chelsea Lazkani, who was unable to sit while wearing it.

“I feel like we’re in a caliber all on our own,” says castmember Emma Hernan when asked what other reality series has wardrobes that rival the looks seen on Selling Sunset‘s agents, who all work at The Oppenheim Group. “There’s something about the fashion and the homes combined. It’s the perfect recipe. I really do feel like it’s untouchable.”

Six seasons in — and flying high with a third consecutive Emmy nomination for best unstructured reality show — high-end fashion remains a constant among the cast (who are not provided a budget for glam or fashion for their appearances on the show). Hernan and Lazkani, along with fellow agent Amanza Smith, share their style approaches and their take on some of the show’s dynamics.


Lazkani wearing Diesel’s belt/skirt.
Lazkani wearing Diesel’s belt/skirt.JARRELLE LEE

In season six, you were sort of giving us Barbie before the movie, starting with your first on-camera look, a pink-and-white Alessandra Rich suit. Was that strategic?

Honestly, it wasn’t. I’ve always had a very curated aesthetic. I’m naturally very petite and I spent a lot of my childhood getting bullied for being so skinny. It’s just genetics, but I always found myself dressing and getting my clothes tailored to suit my body. People think it’s Barbie-esque, and I love Barbiecore, but it’s not meant to be.

Do you feel pressure to step up the wow factor on the show?

Oh my gosh, yes. I watched these ladies and they’re all beautiful and very well put together, and it was inspiring. I never had the confidence to dress like that in my personal life, so I definitely leaned into it. It’s funny because some of the girls tell me, when they’re told we’re filming together, “Oh, darn, I’m filming with Chelsea today, I actually have to wear nice clothes.” And I’m like, “Babe, this is what we’re doing. We have a big platform, let’s put on a show.”

How has being on Selling Sunset changed your life on a personal and professional level?

It’s changed every single facet of my life because I was the young dreamer growing up, but I was always surrounded by people who were like, “Chelsea, you can’t reach that high.” Having kids definitely humbled me a little bit. It put me into a different mindset and I kind of forgot a lot of my dreams and goals because I recognized that I couldn’t be split in two places at the same time. I couldn’t work my way up the corporate ladder and be a present, hands-on mum. So when the possibility of Selling Sunset came around, it really brought my light back.

When new season six cast member Bre Tiesi (who has a child with Nick Cannon) joined the show, you had some concerns about her family dynamic that put a bit of a wedge between you. How is your relationship with her now?

I respect her, but I don’t have a relationship with her. Very rarely do I regret something I’ve said, but I regret how my relationship with her started. I projected a lot of my unhealed trauma onto her, which I don’t think is fair, and I can understand why we have that rift in our relationship. My approach could have been a lot better. My tenderness and care and kindness could have shown in a better light so that the audience could get to know who I am at my core. But at the same time, relationships are a journey. I tend not to hold grudges and believe everything can be rectified to an extent, and I hope to do that.


Hernan (right, with Chrishell Stause) in a crystal-embellished suit by Nadine Merabi
Hernan (right, with Chrishell Stause) in a crystal-embellished suit by Nadine MerabiCOURTESY OF NETFLIX

How would you describe your style?

Classy, elegant, sexy. I think confidence is key in any industry, but especially this one. And being a woman in business, I want to feel confident when I walk into a room, and I want to feel confident when I’m on the red carpet. That could mean wearing a power suit or it could be a really sexy dress that makes me feel like a woman.

You entered the series quite fashion-forward already. Had you watched the show before and thought, “I gotta bring it”?

No, to be honest with you, I’ve loved fashion my entire life. So of course I jump on a show where fashion is so important. It was literally my dream.

What’s your favorite physical feature to play up?

I have crazy long legs. Chelsea’s my girl and she’s always like, “Show off your legs. You have to do it. Your legs are 6 feet tall.” It’s so funny because I never really knew I was tall, but then I got tagged in some funny memes on Twitter about how Selling Sunset does a slo-mo up my legs every time I’m walking.


Smith on the show in a rose-gold wig and dress by Afffair
Smith on the show in a rose-gold wig and dress by AffairSARA MALLY

Your hair is like the ultimate accessory — particularly the rose-gold wig you recently paired with a mauve corset dress. How do you conceptualize your hairstyles?

I have had a bit of a love-hate relationship with my hair my whole life. It was never cool to have an Afro when I was a kid because I couldn’t just jump in the pool like my friends and it was hard to manage. But now, as an adult, I really embrace it and I love it because we can switch it up and do things that not everybody can do. An outfit can be kind of simple, but if you rock a super funky cornrow look with some accessories in your hair, then it jazzes it up.

How do you describe your style?

I like to have a lot of fun. I think it’s edgy and it’s usually a little bit outside the box. I like to dress pretty funky. I like to push my limits. Even in the office, I’ll wear a leather harness that looks a little S&M-ish over a business suit.

How are you now healthwise?

I went to the hospital because I was having severe lower back pain for almost a month. I thought I had a slipped disc or my back had gone out, and they did an MRI and a CAT scan because they thought that I had a tumor, but after admitting me and testing my blood, they found out that I had a bacterial infection called osteomyelitis, which attacks the bone. I was in the hospital on intravenous antibiotics for 31 days. I had a PICC line for three weeks after I got out of the hospital and I’m still on oral antibiotics. I had two spine surgeries, because from the time I was admitted until two weeks into my hospital stay, about three-quarters of one of my vertebrae had been completely deteriorated from the bacteria in my blood. So now a portion of my spine is titanium and I have rods and screws in there, but my blood is bacteria-free. I could have died. They literally told me if I had stayed home even one or two more days with how severe it was that I might not be here, so it’s been a crazy journey getting back on my feet.

Fans were surprised to see that you’d blocked Chrishell on social media and assumed you two were feuding, but you said that was for your mental health as well. Can you share what happened?

Chrishell and I had a little bit of a beef, and I don’t need to get into why, but it sort of carried over into some business and I didn’t like the way things were handled and it caused a falling out. I blocked Chrishell at the time not to be petty but because I was so affected by what had happened with us because I love her dearly and I just didn’t like seeing her videos and things pop up. But when I was in the hospital Chris reached out to me and she started her message by saying, ‘I hope that I’m not upsetting you by texting you’ and she was checking up on me and when you’re told that you could’ve possibly died and you’re lying in the hospital everything just sort of falls into perspective. We can agree to disagree about our bullshit, but at the end of the day, she was a dear friend and I love her dearly and this health thing has made me not care about the stupid petty shit. It’s not important anymore. I wish her the best and I hope that she’s doing great.